If your region is currently in its warm/wet season, you have likely swatted away more than your fair share of the dreaded blood-sucking mosquito. They’re not only annoying–insistent on interrupting your campfire fun and producing extremely itchy bumps–they’re also potentially dangerous, depending on whether contaminated blood has mingled within its body.
What’s worse than enjoying a fine summer evening among your garden, patio, or hardscaped pond area only to be disturbed by these flying fiends?
We’ll help you prepare for next time. Skip the chemicals and grow these mosquito-repelling plants near your happy place.
Herbs / Spices
Basil – Due to its essential oils that are extracted for mosquito repellent spray, simply planting these nearby may help deter mosquitoes.
Catnip – One of the main ingredients in catnip was found to be 10 times stronger than the popular DEET repellent, according to one research study.
Clove – Extract the oil from cloves and apply to skin for a personal repellent.
Garlic – Mince, slice, or grate–then sprinkle around the perimeter of the area to be protected. Or, mix with pleasant-smelling oils to produce a body spray.
Lemon balm – The leaves of this minty herb can be crushed and rubbed on skin to repel mosquitoes. Grow them in your garden for added protection and easy access.
Lemon thyme – Repels for the same reason as many other citrus products: mosquitoes detest the scent.
Peppermint – Plant to repel, but if you do get bit, rub a leaf on your skin to alleviate the itch.
Rosemary – The plant itself will help repel mosquitoes, but its oils can also be used as an ingredient in a spray applied to skin.
Stone root – A mint family plant that is easy-to-grow and can be crushed and boiled to form a mosquito repellent.
Lavender – Not only a repellent, but pretty and aromatic. You can even grow these inside in a sunny windowsill.
Lemon scented geranium – Plant these nearby so that you can easily crush up their leaves to produce a lemony-scented repellent. Sprinkle the crushed leaves around your area.
Lemon verbena – Both the plant and its oils smell like lemon and will ward off mosquitoes. Can be used on skin.
Marigolds – There’s no downside to this scenario: if marigolds fail to repel, instead eat the flowers or use as a colorful garnish. Can be easily planted in a container and moved to desired area.
Nodding onion – This flowering plant has an effective mosquito repellent inside of it. Grind or blend the plant to produce a juice that is safe for the skin.
Pineapple weed – Its citrusy scent is likewise offensive to mosquitoes.
Pitcher plant – This carnivorous plant will literally devour your mosquito infestation.
Sweet fern – Throw some sweet fern into your campfire to clear the surrounding area of mosquitoes. Or, use its oil as a body spray.
Wild bergamot – Can be irritating to skin if used in large quantities, so be sure to dilute with water and do an irritation check first. Recommended for repelling mosquitoes only if the plant already exists in your garden since there are less irritable options available.
Wormwood – Contains a very strong odor. Crush up the leaves and scatter around problem areas.
Cadaga – The scent of the cadaga tree is unattractive to mosquitoes.
Cedar – Its oils are often included in mosquito spray products.
Eucalyptus – This tree’s oils can be created into a gentle, aromatic repellent for your skin.
Tea – Tea-tree oil is a popular repellent; its scent is too strong for many bugs to withstand. Although natural, it is toxic if swallowed, and high concentrations can irritate the skin (be sure to dilute).
Lemon Grass – Last but not least. A must-have. The popular citronella oil is derived from lemon grass. Easiest to grow from a mature plant.
For easy-to-grow plants that repel mosquitoes, check out:
Creative Commons Flickr photo courtesy of John Tann.
Great tips. But citronella and lemon grass are two different things. Lemon grass leaves can be used to make tea, while citronella is toxic to be ingested.
I was just going to say that, Agatha – you beat me to it.
Citronella comes from Pelargonium ‘citrosum’ .
Sort of sad. This was the seco9nd article on this Gardening website that I read, and it has an obviously glaring error. Makes me wonder about the other articles…
There are Citronella plants.. we have them offered at our local Pacific NW nursery. I plant them in pots.. pretty large pots.. as they mature to 4 ft. I bring them in the shop for winter.. pretty cool!.. and it works..
alba faraon says
I’m with Agatha.
donald baxter says
Lantana shrub repels mosquitoes effectively.
carmelita e. cruz says
What plants/trees/herbs repel flies. We live in a subdivision near a big poultry. Flies swarm the neighborhood especially during daytime and mealtime.
The nasty smelling disposable fly traps from home depot work great…you fill to the line with water and the sawdust with smelly stuff mixes in the water….hang them away from where you work or sit down wind…be considerate of neighbors as well…they do smell
we have lemon grass, a citronella plant, Rosemary, thyme, mint, basil, marigolds all growing in various places in our yard. Still have those pesky Mosquitos!!!
Carol Ann says
Me too !!!
Greg Langus says
try: cover all water in yard. this is where they are breeding. standing water is an incubator for mosquitoes.
Liwayway M. Engle says
Oregano also repels mosquitoes.
What about Backhousia citradora? Lemon scented mytle.
I’ve tried lavender and marigolds neither of them did me any good
Any recommendations for getting rid of fleas on house pets? Dog goes out a few times during the day, was giving the pill from the vet to get rid of the pests, which works great. But would rather have some type of houseplant to get rid of the pests.
Jo .anne says
You might try giving your dog brewer’s yeast. I use Braggs Nutritional Yeast seasoning, about an eighth of a teaspoon on his food daily. He loves it and it does keep the fleas off.
Hi Kindra ,
The mosquitoes germs can be kill rapidly by the spreading of medicine in a garden with the help of harvest roller and also a proper watering to all the plants of a garden according to the passage of a time which help you to kill the mosquitoes germs in a few days and remember don’t give extra water, because the extra water increase the germs of mosquitos in all the leaves of a tree,so make sure all the water is absorbed to save the plans from the mosquitoes kills ,My suggestion is to take care of plants .
Khushroo Dubash says
Actually Citronella oil is derived from the Citronella plant, and Lemon Grass oil from the Lemon Grass plant. Both plants look very similar.
karen sieg says
does BTI in water work? like in rain barrels and other water storage? I keep rain water all the time and use the dunks thinking they kill the larvae and im helping decrease the population..
does anyone know if this is true? bacillus thuringiensis israelonis I think is proper spelling of what I refer to as BTI
I look for any info regarding its use pro and con. thank you.
Yes, those dunks work to prevent mosquito larvae.