Time to Spring Clean
March 19, 2017
Planting Spring Bulbs
April 4, 2017

10 Fragrant Plants That Repel Mosquitoes


Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying when enjoying the outdoors, they’re a legitimate cause for health concerns. They buzz around, searching for people or animals to dine on, sucking out their blood and bringing all sorts of diseases and viruses with them, like Zika, malaria and west Nile virus, none of which you’d probably wish on your worst enemy. But, dousing yourself, and your family, in chemical sprays come with another set of problems that can impact your health.

So, what’s can you do to repel these biting insects and keep everyone in the home free of disease? Use the power of smell. Mosquitoes are attracted to things like sweat and body odor. However,  certain scents that many of us find pleasant, actually will repel them. That’s why things like citronella candles and DEET sprays work. There is also a number of sweet smelling, beautiful plants that contain powerful mosquito repellent properties.

By including these 10 plants in your garden, you can give up those toxic chemical mosquito repelling products and enjoy a much more relaxing outdoor space without fear of getting bitten.

1. Citronella

The plant carries the fragrance of citronella in its foliage, and when a leaf is crushed and rubbed onto the skin, the aroma is very pleasant, yet it helps to naturally repel those mosquitoes. While not as effective as bottled repellents, it comes without the high price or potentially hazardous chemicals, and when grown in the garden, you’ll always have it on hand.

2. Catnip

Not only will your feline friends be especially appreciative of having catnip around, it’s considered one of the best natural insect repellents. It contains a natural chemical known as nepetalactone, which is both a useful insect repellent and a feline attractant.

Catnip is easy to grow and while it will repel mosquitoes that are in close proximity to it, some people apply the crushed catnip leaves for optimal protection.

3. Marigolds

Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents. A “screened cage method” study examined the repellent action of essential oils derived from Marigolds and Myrtle compared to DEET and found that it demonstrated the protection time of 50% essential oils of marigold and myrtle were respectively 2.15 and 4.36 hours, compared to 6.23 hours for DEET 25%.

Position potted marigolds near the entrances to your home, as well as common mosquito entry points like open windows to deter the insects from going past the barrier.

4. Basil

As one of the most pungent of herbs, basil makes an outstanding natural mosquito repellent, giving off a scent without the leaves having to be crushed or touched. The oils from Basil contain high levels of mosquito protection, as much as 100 percent.

Plus, as basil can be used in a wide range of dishes and for a variety of reasons, you’ll be able to take advantage of its wonderful flavors just by taking a few steps outside your door.

5. Lavender

The pleasant aroma of lavender is offensive to mosquitoes and is best harnessed by planting it in the garden, or in pots situated near doors, windows and entertainment areas.

For an even higher level of protection, rub the plant onto your skin to release its oils.

6. Peppermint

Experts discovered that Peppermint offers repellent action when applied to exposed body parts, while also showing larvicidal and mosquito repellent action. Mosquito larvae were killed 24 hours after exposure to a solution of peppermint oil and water.

When enjoying your yard or when mosquito problems get severe, crush a few of the leaves on the plant to release the scent and oils.

7. Garlic

Planting garlic can helps deter the nasty rascals.  Simply add some garlic to your vegetable garden or flowerbed. Extra garlic is always good to have on hand in the kitchen as well!

8. Pennyroyal

Simply planting it outside around your house can discourage them from taking up residence in your yard, and by keeping a vase of fresh pennyroyal in a room, it can kill any that occupy the area as well as drive potential newcomers away.

9. Rosemary

This beautiful flowering plant is most commonly used to flavor dishes, but it can also serve as an outstanding mosquito repellent amongst a number of other fantastic uses. You can keep it indoors or out, just be sure it gets full sun. For repellent purposes, both the live plant and cuttings from it are effective for repelling those annoying disease-carrying insects.

10. Geranium

Scented geraniums are yet another popular mosquito repelling plant recommended by countless gardeners and gardening sites. The lemon scented type of geranium is most effective, as it’s similar to citronella, which as mentioned previously, is one of the best for keeping the pests away.

Think of these great natural mosquito repelling plants as you plan for your Spring gardening!