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Mosquitoes are a real nuisance when you’re outside in the spring and summer months. They are also a health concern because they can spread many diseases. But covering yourself in chemical sprays can also cause negative health effects. Thankfully, there are many plants that repel mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are attracted by smell, sweat and natural body odor are strong lours for them. But there are many smells that they find unattractive and this is why citronella candles and commercial DEET sprays work.
There are also many beautiful plants that we can grow in our gardens to help repel mosquitoes. By including these 10 plants in your garden you can have a more enjoyable and relaxing time outdoors.
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
When you think about plants that repel mosquitoes Citronella is likely the first one that comes to mind. It’s found in many natural bug sprays and insect repelling candles. However the live plant is much more effective at repelling insects then the sprays are.
Citronella has a strong smell that helps to mask mosquito attractants. It’s an excellent choice for planting near your doorways, patio and garden boarders. Citronella is a perennial and can grows 5 to 6 feet tall. You can plant them in the ground or keep them in large pots.
Citronella plants prefer well drained soil and full sun.
Lemon balm also called horsemint, has a strong lemon smell that deters mosquitoes.
It’s also a member of the mint family an is fast growing, drought resistant and spreads quickly. If you don’t want lemon balm to take over your garden plant it in containers instead.
Lemon balm likes to grow in part shade to full sun. It attracts a lot of bees and other pollinating insects to your garden.
Catnip, it’s not just for making your cats happy it’s also a wonderful insect repellent.
Catnip is in the mint family and like most mints it’s very easy to grow. It does well in both full sun and shade but remember like all mints catnip will spread and can easily become a weed in your garden.
If you’re willing to work around that catnip is one of the best insect repellents you can have in your garden and it a wonderful tea too!
Marigolds are a very easy to grow annual flower that is easy to find in most garden centers. It has a strong sent that deters mosquitoes.
Marigolds have long been grown in the garden to help prevent pest problems.
Marigolds Help To Repel:
- Mexican bean beetles
- Squash bugs
- Tomato hornworms
Basil is another common kitchen herb that deters mosquitoes. Their pungent sent helps to keep insects away.
Basil is an easy to grow herb that loves hot weather and full sun. Keep the soil damp but provide good drainage and it should thrive.
Basil does well planted in containers, or in your garden flower bed or around tomatoes.
- Tomato hornworms
Click here to learn how to grow and harvest basil.
Lavender is often placed in drawers to keep moths away but, did you know it also repels mosquitoes?
If you’ve grown lavender before you may have noticed it is almost never bothered by insects. Rabbits and other garden pests also don’t bother lavender plants.
Lavender has a strong smell that many people find attractive and this comes from the essential oils found in their leaves. Unlike people insects do not enjoy this strong sent. Some say that lavender oil interferes with a mosquito’s sense of smell.
Lavender is a hardy, drought resistant plant that needs full sun and good drainage. Plant it in your garden borders or on large pots.
Peppermint is another easy to grow herb that repels mosquitoes.
Peppermint will grow in full sun to part shade and can be very invasive in your garden. If you don’t want it to take over it’s best to grow peppermint in containers or containers sunken into the ground.
Peppermint oil has been shown to repel mosquitoes and kill their larva and eggs.
Garlic is well known for deterring pests in the garden. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that mosquitoes also don’t like to be around garlic.
Garlic is a very easy to grow plant. If you want to have nice large bulbs for harvesting it’s best grown in full sun. If your just looking for a pest repellent garlic will happily grow in shady areas too. Just add some garlic to your flowerbed or vegetable garden.
Click here to learn more about growing garlic.
Rosemary, a common herb in most kitchens is also an excellent mosquito repellent.
Rosemary prefers hot and dry growing conditions and is well suited to containers. These are fun plants to grow in your garden because they can be pruned into many different shapes.
- Cabbage moths
- Carrot flies
Scented geraniums have to be the most beautiful mosquito repellent of all! They have gorgeous flowers with a strong sent that deters many insects.
Scented geraniums prefer a warm, dry climate and lots of sun but if your in the north like me you can still grow them well in containers.
The Importance Of Yard Clean Up For Mosquito Control
In addition to growing mosquito deterring plants in your garden it’s important to also make the overall environment unfriendly to them.
Mosquitoes are highly attracted to stagnant water, this is where they like to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs in even a small amount of water.
Don’t leave buckets, empty plant pots and other containers outdoors to fill up with rainwater. Also remember to keep children’s toys put away or covered to prevent water from collecting.
If you have a small pond in your backyard garden use a waterfall to keep the water moving and raise some small fish to eat any larva that is laid.
Make checking your yard for pooling water a regular part of your outdoor chores and you will see a reduction in mosquitoes.
Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.