If you love to garden and dislike pesky mosquitoes, adding mosquito-repelling plants to your landscaping can serve as double duty. Planting to keep mosquitoes at bay doesn’t mean growing foul-smelling plants in your outdoor living spaces. Fortunately, many scents that are pleasing to the human nose are offensive to these bothersome winged creatures. Therefore, planting beautiful, aromatic flowers and herbs among other plants in your flower bed or in decorative pots may help you enjoy the outdoors without having to slap away stinging insects.
Plant basil in your garden and you can ward off annoying mosquitoes while also enjoying the benefits of this fresh herb in your kitchen. You can grow basil among the veggies in your garden or create a shallow herb garden on your outdoor patio. Master Pools Guild provides a recipe to detract pests with a natural basil insect repellent. First, steep 4 ounces of clean, fresh basil in a half-cup of boiled water for several hours. Next, remove the basil leaves and add a half-cup of vodka as a carrier. Place this concoction in a spray bottle and use on your skin as an insect repellent.
Your cat may enjoy the intoxicating scent of catnip, but mosquitoes do not. In fact, Science Daily reports that nepetalactone, the fragrant essential oil in catnip, is even more effective than DEET at keeping mosquitoes at bay. Do It Yourself provides instructions for making a catnip bug spray by soaking pulverized catnip leaves in boiling water and then straining out the leaves. You can add isopropyl alcohol, vinegar, or other essential oils to your spray bottle along with the catnip brew.
You may be familiar with the use of citronella to repel bugs. This essential oil is a frequent component of mosquito-repelling candles, bug sprays, and torches. However, you can also reap the bug-repulsing benefits of this plant by growing it in your yard. For extra protection against bothersome insects, plant citronella alongside other mosquito-repelling plants. Since mosquitoes love water, it is critical to remove any sources of standing water from your yard. Wading pools, birdbaths, and forgotten water buckets can be sources of stagnant water that attract these disease-carrying pests.
They say wearing garlic around your neck will ward off vampires. Bloodthirsty mosquitoes may be the real vampires that you are trying to dodge. However, you don’t have to wear a garland of garlic to reap the benefits of this aromatic bulb. Eating garlicky foods may provide double the pleasure by tickling your taste buds and then warding off insects as the garlic travels through your bloodstream. Nonetheless, you don’t even have to eat garlic to enjoy the insect-repelling benefits of this plant. Simply let the garlic work its magic right there in your landscaping.
Plants that deter mosquitoes can be beautiful as well as functional. The essential oils in geraniums may repel both mosquitoes and other pesky critters that can damage your crops. Hunker advises planting geraniums alongside cabbages, tomatoes, and roses to protect these plants against damage from beetles and other hungry insects. As a bonus, you get to enjoy the colorful blooms and citrusy scent of the geraniums.Related: 11 Helpful Tips for Preventing Mosquito Bites
This lovely, aromatic flower is another good choice for warding off those troublesome mosquitoes. Plant lavender among your vegetables to ward off destructive insects. If you grow an abundance of this useful plant, you will discover a myriad of ways you can use it in your home. Create fragrant lavender sachets to store in your closet or drawers to deliver a delightful aroma to your clothing while also warding off moths. Furthermore, HGTV offers tips on making your own lavender oil using fresh lavender, olive oil, and vitamin E capsules.
5. Lemon Balm
The citrusy-smelling lemon balm plant is another plant that gives off an aroma that is pleasing to humans and off-putting to mosquitoes. Gardening Know How warns that this plant can soon take over your garden. To prevent a lemon balm invasion, remove the small white flowers as they bloom. This prevents the seeds from dispersing and invading other parts of your landscaping. In addition to keeping mosquitoes at bay, the leaves of this plant are useful for brewing into a tea, tossing into a salad, flavoring soups, or adding to fragrant sachets.
The beautiful red, orange, and yellow blossoms of marigolds will add beauty to any garden. An added bonus to including marigolds in your landscaping is their deterrent effects on mosquitoes. Keep pots or planters of marigolds on your patio or deck to help prevent mosquitoes from interrupting your outdoor relaxation. Furthermore, planting marigolds near your tomato plants may deter aphids from destroying your tomatoes.Related: Why Mosquitoes Love You and How to Keep Them Away
Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family with an aroma that resembles that of spearmint. Growing pennyroyal in your back yard may keep mosquitoes at bay. However, it is important to keep in mind that the oils from this plant are extremely toxic to humans. The Poison Control Center warns against confusing this plant with its edible cousins. Consuming pennyroyal can lead to nausea, vomiting, bleeding, kidney or liver failure, and death. Nonetheless, if you are careful, pennyroyal can be an effective plant for keeping mosquitoes away.
Fortunately, not all plants in the mint family are poisonous. If planting pennyroyal seems too risky, you may prefer to add peppermint to your garden. Mosquitoes are repelled by the minty scent of this plant. Additionally, if you do happen to fall prey to a mosquito, Wish Garden Herbs suggest crushing peppermint leaves and applying them to the bite to soothe the itch. Mosquitoes aside, you can also enjoy the culinary benefits of this herb. The fresh taste of peppermint makes a great addition to teas, salads, and chocolate dips. You may be able to enjoy relaxing on your mosquito-free patio while enjoying a mint-infused mojito.
Rosemary is another plant that can provide you with multiple benefits. Whether you plant rosemary in your garden or keep it in a pot on your patio, the piney scent of this herb may help keep the mosquitoes away. Additionally, you can make your own natural mosquito repellent spray by steeping dried rosemary leaves in boiling water, straining out the leaves, and placing the liquid in a spray bottle. Finally, adding rosemary to your garden will provide you with a fresh source of this flavorful herb when cooking your favorite recipes.Related: Are Mosquitoes Always Biting You? 7 Reasons Why This Happens