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.