Plants That Repel Mosquitoes Naturally


It is a common experience that during summer and rainy days, mosquitoes, insects, flies, bees, spiders, ants, fleas, bugs, etc trouble us most, responsible for many deadly diseases including dengue and malaria. We are bothered by the buzzing sound of flies and mosquitoes and itching all over our body.

Find a list of 13 fragrant and attractive plants that repel mosquitoes, insects, flies and bugs, keeping your home and garden mosquito free. Many of these insect repelling plants can be placed indoors to keep your home free of mosquitoes and flies.

There are many commercial products available to fight against mosquitoes and insects. However, many of these products contain toxic chemicals that are not good to humans and pets.

Do you know that there is a natural way to deter mosquitoes. There are many plants, known as mosquito plants that can help to keep insects away! Preventing insects and rodents may be simply placing certain plants in your balcony, verandah, backyard, front-yard, inside home to repel them. Growing and caring for mosquito plants is quite easy.

You must be thinking what easy to grow plants repel mosquitoes and flies. There are some herbs, plants and shrubs that contain natural oils which are considered the best mosquito repellents. If you are a garden lover, it is likely that you already have some of the following insects repelling plants, like my garden.

Mosquito-Repellent Plants to Keep Pests Away


Continue reading below about what to plant to get rid of mosquitoes. Following is a list of mosquitoes and flies repellent herbs and plants that you can grow easily around your yard or even indoors . These mosquito repelling plants not only make your surroundings pleasantly fragrant, beautiful and attractive, their distinct smell keep away mosquitoes.

1. Citronella Plant (Cymbopogon nardus)

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Citronella Plant
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Citronella Plant
Citronella is known as mosquio repellent plant, mosquito plant geranium, citrosa geranium and Pelargonium citrosum.

Citronella (called Ganjari in Hindi, Khavai in Punjabi, Khaddi in Bengali) oil is one of the most common ingredients in various commercial mosquito repellents.

Citronella plant, a hybrid of African geranium and Chinese Citronella grass, contains citronella oil that emits a strong aroma, making it a natural insect repellent.

The mosquitoes avoids citronella's strong smell and go away from that area, so it is a great choice for repelling mosquitoes, insects, flies, fleas and bugs naturally. It is used in candles, gels, soaps, lotions and towelette wipes.

Why not grow citronella plant in your backyard, kitchen garden or pots. It is a beautiful perennial clumping grass growing up to 2 m high in colder climates and prefers full sun or partial shade. This plant has also anti fungal properties and is used in the perfumery industry for its high oil content.

Do not apply pure citronella oil  directly on skin, it can increase the heart rate of some people. Always try a little oil on your skin to test for an allergic reaction. You can mix drops a few drops of essential oils with coconut oil as a carrier oil and use only externally.

2. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Lemon Balm
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Lemon Balm
A member of the mint family (growing mint), the plant also known as horsemint, balm, beebalm, balm mint, is a perennial herbaceous plant. The leaves have a mild lemon scent similar to mint, in addition to compounds that can repel mosquitoes much the same as citronella. This plant is used to attract bees to make honey.

Lemon balm can improve appetite, reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep and improves digestion.

Lemongrass is the main ingredients in citronella candles, that are burned to repel mosquitoes.

The is a very hardy plant, grows very fast, even in shade.

For a quick mosquito repellent, simply crush a handful of lemon balm leaves in your hand and rub them on your exposed skin.

3. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Lemongrass
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Lemongrass
Lemongrass or lemon verbena contains citronella oil, so it can be used as a natural insect repellent. It sends intense, strong fragrance of lemony scent, the fragrance mosquitoes hate.

You can grow lemon grass from seeds, cuttings or by root division, however, it is much harder to grow than lemon balm. It grows to a height of 70–150 cm.

Note that lemon balm and lemongrass, though both are perennial herbs, are two different plants.

Both the plants are used as a flavoring and making herbal teas. Lemongrass has a stronger flavor than lemon balm.

4. Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Catnip
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Catnip
Catnip grows wild in many parts of the world. It is a natural mosquito repellent.

The catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET, the ingredient commonly found in bug repellents  [1, 2, 3]. The terpenoid nepetalactone in the essential oil of catnip plant is a mosquito, cockroaches, fly repellent and termites. [4]

The plants catnip, catswort or catmint are natural mosquito deterrents.

The catnip plant is nontoxic to humans and pets, but attracts cats.
The catnip is an easy to grow perennial plant, growing to 50–100 cm tall. Once grown, it will give you years of mosquito protection.

How to Use Catnip Boil some leaves of catnip in water and then fill the liquid in a spray bottle. Spray this repellent in corners and doorways.

In a pinch, you can take sprig of catnip and crush them in your hands and apply  on the body parts which are exposed.

5. Peppermint

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Peppermint
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Peppermint
Peppermint is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. It has a high menthol content. Its oil contains oil thymol which has natural fungicidal and bacterial retardant properties.

In fact many members of mint family horsemint, spearmint and peppermint keep insects away. The plant is used for the treatment for colds and flu and stomach problems.

Peppermint is a quick-spreading perennial herbal plant which grows best in shades.

6. Pennyroyal (Mentha Pulegium)

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Pennyroyal
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Pennyroyal
Pennyroyal is of mint family so it is a natural deterrent for mosquitoes.

It is also known as American pennyroyal, squaw mint, pudding grass and mosquito plant.

Pennyroyal is highly aromatic, its flavor is more pungent than that of spearmint or peppermint.

Pennyroyal is used as an insect repellent, besides its use as an antiseptic, carminative, stimulant, antispasmodic and for stomach disorders [5].

You can grow pennyroyal from seeds in full sun. Sow the seeds in a fertile and  well-drained soil.

7. Marigolds

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Marigold
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Marigold
Marigolds contain pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many mosquito repellents.

Marigold is a hardy sun loving annual plant, very easy to grow requiring very little care. They flower in different shapes and colors, having a unique aroma which insects, ants, mosquitoes, aphids, thrips find repulsive.

Marigold pots can be placed near windows or doors. The smell of marigold flowers may deter mosquitoes entering your house.

Place potted marigolds near your tomato bed to repel insects from tomato plants.

Growing marigolds is quite easy,even in a pot, just throw some seeds in and water (growing marigolds). They will germinate in a few days to produce flowers for many months.

8. Basil

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Basil
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Basil
Basil plants, particularly lemon basil or cinnamon basil or Peruvian basil are natural mosquito repellents, although any type of basil will repel mosquitoes since they have the strongest fragrances.

Basil is  one of the easiest herbs to grow in your kitchen garden. It can be grow very easily by seeds.

9. Lavender


Lavender is a natural mosquitoes, fleas, flies and moths repellent.
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Lavender
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Lavender

Plant lavender plants in your garden beds to deter many insects and bugs that are harmful to your vegetable plants.

Lavender can be grown outdoors or indoors in containers.

Cut some lavender flowers and place them in bowls throughout the home.

As the lavender dries, it will continue to provide a sweet fragrance while repelling insects.

10. Lemon Thyme (Thymus x citriodus)

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Lemon Thyme
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Lemon Thyme
The lemon thyme plant does not repel mosquitoes in the area, but you have to crush the leaves between your hands and rub them on your skin to repel mosquitoes.

The lemon thyme is a herbaceous perennial plant which can thrive even in dry rocky soil.

The plant has attractive foliage with tiny flowers, which can be used as a good ground cover plant.

The flowers of lemon thyme also attract bees, helping in the pollination of surrounding plants.

11. Garlic

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Garlic
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Garlic
Garlic has been shown to repel mosquitoes. Have some garlic plants in your garden to deter many harmful insects to come close to your vegetable and fruit plants in your garden.

Crush some garlic cloves and mix it with water. Use this garlic spray on your skin or plants to keep mosquitoes away.

Eating garlic on a regular basis may keep the insects from biting you, besides providing you incredible health benefits.

Growing garlic is very easy in garden bed or containers (how to grow garlic).

12. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Rosemary Plant
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Rosemary Plant
Rosemary oil can repel mosquitoes and keep your garden safe. This plant will keep bugs away from your garden.

You can grow rosemary by a cutting or buy a small plant from a garden shop. It needs full sun and little care.

13. Floss flowers (Ageratum)


Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Floss Flowers
Plants That Repel Mosquitoes - Floss Flowers
Ageratum secretes coumarin whose smell mosquitoes find offensive. The coumarin is widely used in commercial mosquito repellents.

Ageratum is an annual 20 – 45 cm high plant, producing blue, pink, white and  violet flowers.

The plant is not fussy about quality of soil, thrives in full sun.


How to Use Mosquito Repelling Plants

Many people think that by simply planting mosquito plants in their graden will keep away  all the flying insects. They may repel mosquitoes in close proximity to the plants only. The repellent plants may have a very small effect on the mosquitoes as they come to your garden.

These plants are most effective when used directly on the skin. You have to bring out their volatile oils in their foliage by crushing them and rub it on your neck, arms and legs, keeping the mosquitoes from biting you.

Rub fresh or dried leaves of the mint family plants (catnip, peppermint, spearmint, pennyroyal, etc or citronella, lemongrass, etc.) on all over skin to repel insects.
You can also burn some plant leaves in fire to keep mosquitoes away from the area.

References

1. Junwei J. Zhu, Christopher A. Dunlap, Robert W. Behle, Dennis R. Berkebile, Brian Wienhold,(2010). Repellency of a wax-based catnip-oil formulation against stable flies, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 58 (23): 12320–12326 (8 Nov 2010).
2. Chris Peterson and Joel Coates, Catnip sends mozzies flying, News in Science, Sept 2001, ABC Network.
Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET.
3. American Chemical Society, Catnip Repels Mosquitoes More Effectively Than DEET, Science Daily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2001.
4. Termites Repelled by Catnip Oil. Southern Research Station, United States Department of Agriculture – Forest Service. 26 March 2003.
5. Pennyroyal, Review of Natural Products. factsandcomparisons4.0 [online]. 2005. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed April 19, 2007.




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