Pests can be the bane of your existence, but is using plants to repel mosquitoes a good idea?
Summers are just around the corner. You’re probably looking forward to the backyard barbecues, picnics, and late-night outdoor gatherings in your lawn.
However, with all those amazing outdoor activities come some not-so-welcome guests – mosquitoes!
Mosquitoes are extremely annoying, unhygienic, and dangerous for health. Humans are a prime choice for these little critters, and there’s not much that you can do to make yourself unattractive to these little bloodsuckers.
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide (that we exhale), sweat (that we do profoundly), and warm bodies (that we are). In short, we are the perfect platter for mosquitoes.
There are numerous chemical-based mosquito repellent sprays that we can use to keep these annoying flying insects away, but these chemicals are not only harmful to the environment but for human health as well since they can be inhaled and do a lot of damage to human bodies. For a natural solution to the mosquito problem, you can try adding some plants to your home that are known to repel mosquitoes.
You read that right. Some plants can help keep mosquitoes away by producing strong scents and chemicals that these insects don’t want to be around. If you’re surprised by this fact, you might be enthralled to know that many plants that you’re so fond of are excellent mosquito repelling plants. You might already have a mosquito solution in your garden without you being aware of it!
We have listed down some of the best mosquito repelling plants that you can plant in your garden or place inside your home to keep mosquitoes away for good.
Basil is not just an ingredient that adds amazing flavor to your food, but it is an excellent mosquito repelling plant. Its strong aroma is too strong for mosquitoes to bear, which is why they tend to stay away from it. It is toxic for mosquito larvae. Planting basil in your garden is highly recommended by experts, especially if you live in a region that has a warm climate for most of the year.
You can also use basil to make a natural mosquito repellent spray to use indoors or in outdoor sitting areas to keep mosquitoes at bay. All you have to do is add boiling water to basil leaves, infuse it with some vodka, and put it in a spray bottle. Now, you’re good to fight the mosquitoes off. The best thing about using basil as a mosquito repelling plant is that it keeps flies away too!
Catnip is one of the best mosquito repelling plants found in nature. It is even more effective than DEET, which is a chemical constituent in the majority of mosquito repelling products. Catnip contains nepetalactone, a strong mosquito repelling chemical, which gives this plant the excellent mosquito repellent properties it is popular for.
3. Bee Balm
Bee balm has widespread use in the kitchen and is used to make tea, jellies, as salad garnishes, and also plays a part in many other dishes. However, what you may not know about this plant is that it is an excellent mosquito repelling plant. Commonly known as horsemint and bergamot, it will bring butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to your garden, all of which are natural pollinators. This will help your garden flourish as well!
Citronella is a common scent used in numerous mosquito-repelling torches and candles. This scent comes from Cymbopogon nardus, a plant that is named after the Citronella essential oil extracted from it. Planting plenty of Citronella plants in your backyard can help keep mosquitoes away. When there are many Citronella plants in the same vicinity, their aroma will mask the smell of attractants like carbon dioxide.
Citronella essential oil is far more effective as a mosquito repellent as compared to the plant itself. If you want the maximum mosquito-repelling effects, you can try planting Citronella with other mosquito repelling plants like lavender.
Garlic has been long used as a mosquito repellent. If you have garlic in your yard, the mosquitoes won’t want to come anywhere near it thanks to its strong, pungent smell. The scent of garlic is so strong that it lingers around the entire area, which means that you not only gain a strong repellent, but also a repellent with excellent coverage.
According to a study conducted by Colorado State University, garlic oil has the capability to kill mosquito larvae. Moreover, sprays made from garlic extract contain sulfur, which can keep mosquitoes away from sprayed areas for several weeks!
That’s not all! Eating garlic can also keep mosquitoes from biting you. We aren’t kidding! When you eat garlic, it leaves a potent taste and scent in your bloodstream that makes you a less-tempting meal for these blood-sucking monsters!
Lavender is known for its pleasantly sweet smell. You will be surprised to know that apart from being one of the best-smelling plants, it is also one of the best mosquito-repelling plants as well. The smell of lavender is everything mosquitoes don’t like – sweet, calming, and soft.
To get the maximum mosquito-repelling benefit from lavender, you can extract lavender oil and apply it on your skin directly or use lavender-based body spray to keep the mosquitoes from biting you.
7. Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is a member of the mint family. It has a strong yet calming scent that mosquitoes may find undesirable. Lemon balm has a number of beneficial uses in your life. It has healing properties and can be used to alleviate stomach pain and depression.
As if these healing properties weren’t enough, crushing lemon balm leaves and applying them directly on your skin can also keep pesky mosquitoes away! Growing lemon balm plants in your garden will leave a lingering pleasant fragrance in your garden and make the time you spend outdoors mosquito-free.
Marigolds are extremely simple yet beautiful flowering plants. They add vibrant red, orange, and yellow colors to your garden. But that’s not all they do. Keeping in line with all the other plants on this list, marigolds are also amazing as mosquito repellents.
The scent is pleasant to humans, but mosquitoes can’t stand it and hence will stay far away from any area that has these plants. Planting Marigolds near the main entry points of your home like your windows and doorways will keep mosquitoes from entering your home, and planting them in your garden will enable you to enjoy quality time outdoors without having to worry about mosquito bites.
If your garden is designed in a way that it doesn’t receive ample sunlight, it is an ideal spot for mosquitoes since these insects prefer dark places to breed. However, if you plant mint, a fast-growing and somewhat invasive species of plant, you can ward the mosquitoes off. The scent of mint is very strong; hence, mosquitoes stay away from the entire radius of where mint is planted. You can plant mint plants in pots to keep inside your home to ensure mosquitoes stay away from your home.
You can also prepare a mint spray if you want a natural mosquito repellent that you can spray around your property.
Lemongrass is not just a beautiful bushy grass for your yard and patio but also an excellent mosquito deterrent. It consists of citronella oil (found in Citronella plant discussed earlier), which is the agent responsible for its mosquito repellent properties.
Not only does it keep the mosquitoes away, but it also helps relieve the irritation of a mosquito bite. Simply rubbing a piece of lemongrass over a mosquito bite will relieve the inflammation and itching.
The Best Way to Use Mosquito Repelling Plants
Using plants to repel mosquitoes is only effective if done properly. The best way to use mosquito-repelling plants is by planting them in greater numbers for a combined, wholesome effect. Planting them in pots is also a smart way to go about it as it allows you to move the plants wherever you need them.
Other than planting mosquito repelling plants, you should take other measures that will help prevent excessive mosquito breeding. You can do this by getting rid of any pools of collected water like under the pots, clogged rain gutters, or any other places where the water may get collected.
Mosquito repelling plants can actually help keep mosquitoes away – it is definitely not just a myth! Choose the right plant (or a combination of plants) from this list and enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful, mosquito-free outdoor space!