What Kind Of Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

Some plants repel mosquitoes with their scent, while others deter the pests with physical properties. Mosquito repellent plants typically have a strong smell, and like citronella, mask the CO2 mosquitoes use to find their prey. Like lavender and marigold, some plants also contain oils that repel mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes, like all creatures, are drawn to environments that provide them with the resources they require to survive. And specific plants are included! Believe it or not, mosquitoes do not survive solely on the blood of animals (only the females bite, and they feed the blood to their eggs). Mosquitoes consume the nectar of specific plants as adults, including taro, papyrus, water lilies, and water hyacinths. Therefore, removing those plants from your yard may be beneficial.

However, mosquitoes are more likely to thrive in areas with pools of stagnant water, such as ponds, lakes, and swamps.

And, believe it or not, some plants repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes locate potential bite targets in part by sensing their body heat and movement, but primarily by “smelling” the carbon dioxide emitted by our pores.

While traditional mosquito repellents such as DEET and other chemicals make it unpleasant for mosquitoes to land on your skin, certain plants have a strong enough scent to mask your smell and confuse the mosquitoes.

However, these plants do not simply waft that aroma throughout the yard! To obtain the mosquito-repelling effect, take a few leaves, crush them slightly, and then rub them on your arms and legs. This is a non-starter for those who are sensitive or have skin allergies. And for others who are particularly susceptible to bites, this may not be effective enough to make a difference.

However, for many people seeking more natural mosquito repellents who do not suffer from allergies, these plants make a noticeable difference—and they leave you smelling great!

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Mosquito Repellent Plants

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Lavender

Because bugs, rabbits, and other animals are so fascinating to watch, the lavender plant was not harmed by any of them. The plant’s leaves have a pleasant scent due to the high concentration of essential oils in them. Mosquitoes can less detect the smell of lavender oil because of the smell.

Once established, this plant is hardy and can withstand periods of prolonged drought. It is necessary to have full sun and good drainage. It can survive in various climates but prefers to be in warmer temperatures when possible.

Marigolds

Marigolds, an easy-to-grow annual flower, have a repellent scent. Grow them in containers and place them near your patio or front door to keep insects out. Have you ever noticed how insects, rabbits, and other animals never harm your lavender plant?

This is due to their lovely fragrance, derived from the essential oils found on the plant’s leaves. It is even said that lavender oil impairs a mosquito’s ability to smell!

Once established, this plant is extremely hardy and drought tolerant, requiring only full sun and adequate drainage. And while it thrives in a variety of climates, it is most abundant in warmer regions.

Citronella Grass

Catnip can be found in the most hostile environments (catmint). Both a commercial and an invasive species, it is found worldwide. It’s easy to care for and tends to spread across your garden.

Catnip

Catnip is a plant that can be found almost anywhere (catmint). It is both a commercial and a weed that grows worldwide. It requires little upkeep and tends to spread throughout your garden.

The BBG recommends the plant as a mosquito repellent if one can look past its dubious origins. In a University of Iowa study, catmint was ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most insect repellents.

Rosemary

Another effective mosquito repellent is rosemary. The New York Botanical Garden and PlantShed both recommended this plant.

Many of us are familiar with rosemary, and their woody scent repels mosquitoes, cabbage moths, and carrot flies. They thrive in hot, dry climates and thrive in containers, making them an excellent choice for areas with winters.

Additionally, they can be pruned into various shapes and sizes, making excellent borders or decorations. While the pests are avoiding the herb, you can enjoy its scent and use it to season your cooking.

Basil

Basil is yet another herb with the added benefit of acting as an insect repellent. Pests are deterred by the pungent odor that basil leaves emit. And, because all varieties of basil are effective at repelling flies and mosquitoes, feel free to experiment and find suitable varieties of basil to incorporate into your garden. This herb prefers a moist environment, good drainage, and plenty of sun.

Moreover, Basil can be grown in containers or the garden, alone or in combination with other flowers, provided that both plants meet the exact requirements.

Scented Geraniums

Geraniums with scented flowers appear to be a popular mosquito repellent plant. According to PlantShed, BBG, and NYBG, the preferred scent seems to be lemony, evocative of citronella grass.

The intense fragrance repels a variety of pests. These vigorous plants prefer warm, sunny, and dry climates, but they can be grown in planters in cold temperatures with constant pruning.

Bee Balm

Want to attract beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies while repelling undesirable ones? Then bee balm is the plant for you, also known as Monarda or horsemint. To release the fragrant oils from its leaves, crush them.

Additionally, you’ll have to enjoy vibrant flowers in shades of red, pink, lavender, white, or purple all summer.

Mint

Mint is a great non-toxic alternative for repelling mosquitoes, flies, and ants. The stronger the aroma, the fewer insects you’ll have. Grow it in containers on your patio, easily accessible if you want to add a leaf or two to tea.

You can even dry the leaves and use them as a natural pest control method inside your home. a natural pest control method inside your home

Peppermint

As with most mint family members, peppermint’s fragrance is a natural mosquito repellent. This versatile perennial herb has many culinary applications: dry the leaves for tea, add a few fresh leaves to lemonade or cocktails, shred leaves for Asian dishes and salads, or add a few chopped leaves to fruit salads to amp up the flavor.

Peppermint is an invasive plant, so confine it in a container, place it in a partially shaded location, and water regularly to prevent the soil from drying out.

Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal, a member of the mint family, has a pungent scent that repels mosquitoes and other insects, making it one of the most effective pest-repelling plants.

Caution: Because the herb is potentially toxic to humans and animals, grow it in a container to keep it contained and away from children and pets. Pennyroyal thrives in full sun and moist but not saturated soil.

Floss Flower

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This elegant annual herb can be utilized for both bedding and gardening. Insect repellent coumaphos can be found in plants, but it is toxic if ingested by people or animals.

Sage

Plant some sage nearby if you prefer to sit and relax around your fire pit with family and friends. The earthy odor will drive away the insects if you burn some plant tissue. Additionally, dried sage is required to make a sage bug repellent.

Allium

These bulbs, including garlic and onions, emit a pungent odor that repels mosquitoes. You’ll appreciate allium’s whimsical globe-shaped flowers that appear to float atop long, slender stems.

Lemongrass

Cymbopogon citratus’s natural oils somehow smell like real lemons, only better. Lemongrass is a common ingredient in the cooking of some Asian cultures, and its delicate fragrance lends a citrus note to some perfumes.

Lemongrass is a delicate plant that will not survive below zone 9, but it thrives in container culture. Coarsely chop the strappy leaves of this plant and scatter them around your deck during your next gathering for mosquito repellent properties as well as a pleasant aroma.

Lantana

Lantana (Lantana Camara) flowers have such a strong repellent effect on mosquitoes that they were featured in a scholarly journal: According to the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association (yes, such a journal exists), lantana flower extract in coconut oil provided 94.5 percent protection against Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

Indeed, the study discovered that this oil preparation provided users with an average of two hours of protection from mosquitoes. What a bonus that lantana flowers are easy to grow in sunny, warm climates and attract butterflies.

Fennel

Although fennel plants (Foeniculum vulgare) are often overlooked, favoring more compact plants in the herb garden.

Fennel plants have a wide range of uses in addition to their mosquito-repelling properties; Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars rely on these leafy plants as a food source and use them as an ornament in the garden, just like any other tall garden grass. A colony of bronze fennel can be formed by self-seeding in the following year.

Eucalyptus

The eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus cinerea) is a native tree of Australia that can reach 60 feet after several years. Because it is a delicate plant that will not survive a hard freeze, many gardeners prefer to grow eucalyptus in containers.

For short-term potting, choose a fast-growing species such as E. globulus subsp. Bicoastal, which produces an abundance of fragrant leaves for mosquito repellent.

Choose a slow-growing eucalyptus such as E. vernicosa for a plant that will thrive in a container for several years. Eucalyptus trees prefer full sun and fertile soil.

Thyme

Thyme completes the list of mosquito-repelling savory herbs. In the garden, plant thyme between stepping stones, where your footsteps will crush some of the leaves and release the mosquito-repelling oils.

Monarda

When Monarda blooms, it attracts beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies while repelling mosquitoes with a minty-herbal scent that makes them want to stay away.

Bee balm prefers full sun, though afternoon shade is beneficial in hot areas. Maintain moist soil and deadhead regularly to ensure that the flowers bloom until fall.

Ageratum

In the past, mosquitoes have spread malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and more recently, the West Nile and Zika viruses, both spread by mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes have also been implicated in the transmission of heartworms to dogs.

It contains coumarin, a chemical that mosquitoes despise. Plant it in a part-sun location with well-draining soil, watering regularly to prevent the soil from drying out.

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The Importance Of Mosquito Control

Mosquitoes have spread many diseases over the years, including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and the West Nile and Zika viruses, recently found in the United States.

Mosquitoes are also to blame for a dog’s heartworm infection.

Mosquitoes have spread many diseases over the years, including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and the West Nile and Zika virus.

Mosquitoes are also the cause of heartworm infections in dogs.

Thus, it is not just an annoyance or an itchy bite; it is a health concern for you and your family.

FAQs

Can Plants Repel—Or Attract—Mosquitoes?

Lavender, catnip, rosemary, and other herbs are well-known for their ability to repel mosquitos, which account for a significant proportion of mosquito bites in the United States.

These plants have a scent distinct from the insects they are attempting to repel, which means the plant is less likely to be attacked. Additionally, the odor may deter other insects.

Do Mosquitoes Feed On Nectar From Plants?

Yes, it is well established that mosquito larvae feed on nectar from flowers, and many insects, particularly bees, use floral nectar to feed their young. It has been suggested that mosquitoes consume this nectar for nutrition.

However, they do not do so frequently, and while they may feed on nectar, it is not their primary source of nutrition.

Additionally, they consume a high protein diet in blood and are primarily nocturnal, which means they do not feed at night.

What Scents Actively Deter Mosquitoes?

Certain plants’ natural scents act as an effective repellent against mosquitoes. These scents have been shown in research to repel mosquitoes and aid in reducing or preventing mosquito larval growth.

What Are The Perennial Plants That Repel Mosquitoes?

The plants you’re looking for are those that repel insects. So, what are you attempting to repel? If you want to repel insects inside your home, look for a plant that has a reputation for repelling mosquitos and other insects such as cockroaches and ants.

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Choose aphid-resistant plants for outdoor planting, so you can enjoy a lush garden without worrying about bugs eating your valuable vegetables and fruits.

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Which Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

Despite claims on “Mosquito Plants” (lemon-scented geranium or “citronella plant”) sold in big box stores, the plants do not repel mosquitoes. The oil contained within the leaves is what provides repellent properties.

To extract these oils, you would need to crush the leaves. Then you’d rub these oils into your skin. Planting them in your landscape will have a negligible effect on mosquito repellent.

Therefore, plants like citronella, lavender, and lemon balm are effective at repelling mosquitoes. Basil, catnip, and peppermint are also said to be effective, but if you’re looking to keep mosquitoes away from your backyard or patio, consider planting some of these plants in your garden.

Utilize a variety of different plants and herbs that have been shown to repel mosquitoes. All the following are excellent choices: lavender, rosemary, thyme, and geranium.

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