Nobody likes mosquitoes. They can quickly turn a pleasant evening outside into an annoying itchy night. This annoying insect not only leaves itchy bites, but they can also transmit serious diseases. So how do you repel mosquitoes? Are there mosquito repellent plants and flowers as an alternative for chemical sprays or zappers?
When it comes time to keep these pesky insects away, you have a variety of options. There are chemical bug sprays as well as electronic bug zappers, but not everyone wants to add the associated toxins or sound to their lawn. Fortunately, you have another option!
Some plants and flowers can help repel mosquitoes, so you can enjoy a yard free from these pests. We’ve rounded up the top 10 mosquito repellent plants that you can add to your garden or patio.
In your quest to get rid of mosquitoes, you’ve probably heard of citronella. But do you know what it is? Citronella is a tall grass that’s closely related to lemongrass. When you crush its leaves, it releases a fragrant essential oil that drives away mosquitoes. Therefore, it’s sometimes known as mosquito grass.
While some people claim the plant itself will keep away mosquitoes, the release of the citronella essential oil is key. Fortunately, it’s easy to get the oils flowing out of the plant and into the world. All you need to do is grab some of the grass and crush it between your fingers.
Yes, there’s another use for mint besides mojitos and ice cream! All kinds of mint release essential oils that can help repel mosquitoes.
All sorts of mint repel mosquitoes, including peppermint, spearmint, applemint, and chocolate mint. That means you can choose one or more types of mints for your garden or home. Before you plant mint, be aware that it can spread quite rapidly. If you’re worried about it taking over your garden, you can plant it in a pot.
Don’t be afraid to trim your mint to use in the kitchen; every time you cut the plant, it releases more oils that repel mosquitoes.
Also known by their genus name Monarda or the common name bergamot, these flowering plants are loved by butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. While these critters love bee balm, mosquitoes do not.
Bee balm plants produce compounds that mosquitoes dislike. Unlike a lot of other plants on this list, bee balm doesn’t need to be crushed to repel these blood-sucking insects.
Since these plants are perennials, they’ll return year after year. Plus, they spread quite a bit, so you can divide the plants and transplant them to other areas.
Sure, it’s great in the kitchen, but rosemary can also be used to keep mosquitoes away. These plants thrive in hot and relatively dry conditions, and they can be grown in a pot.
The woody smell you love is what mosquitoes hate. Not only do these plants keep mosquitoes away, but they also help repel garden pests including cabbage moths and carrot flies.
The scent of basil brings about dreams of pesto and caprese salad. But it says “get out of here” to mosquitoes.
All types of basil keep mosquitoes away. So feel free to try out different types of basil such as Italian basil and Thai basil.
Scented geraniums are great at keeping mosquitoes away. This type of geraniums has small flowers and foliage that releases fragrances when crushed. The scents range from citrus to peppermint to apple.
The citrus-scented geraniums seem to be the best at keeping away mosquitoes. Some people call these plants citronella plants, but they don’t actually release citronella. People often refer to them as mosquito plants.
These cheerful yellow, orange, and red flowers keep all kinds of pests away. Their flowers contain a compound called pyrethrin which repels insects including mosquitoes. This compound is so powerful that scientists extract and condense it to use as an insecticide.
All kinds of marigolds release pyrethrin, so choose the variety of flower that works for your garden.
Catnip has more uses than cat toys. Catnip plants release a compound called nepetalactone. Scientists have found that this chemical is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET! Catnip plants don’t release nepetalactone on their own; you need to crush their leaves first.
Catnip is an easy-to-grow plant, so it’s great to add to your garden.
You might already know all about the powers of lavender. Its essential oil is often used to calm and relax humans before bedtime or during a stressful event. Plus, it smells amazing. Another great thing about lavender is that it can help repel mosquitoes.
Lavendin varieties of lavender have an extra high concentration of camphor, so they’re great at keeping mosquitoes away.
Floss flowers produce dainty purple blooms that look like their namesake floss. While these flowers are great at attracting butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds, they can keep mosquitoes away.
One important thing to note is that floss flowers are highly toxic to humans and pets. So if you have curious animals or children running around, this plant probably isn’t the best choice.
Are there dog-friendly plants that repel mosquitoes?
Yes! Marigold, basil, bee balm, and rosemary are all mosquito repellent plants that are non-toxic to dogs. The other plants on this list can cause issues ranging from an upset stomach to a lack of muscle control.
Are there cat-friendly plants that repel mosquitoes?
Yes! Marigold, basil, bee balm, and rosemary are all non-toxic to cats. Other plants on this list can be toxic if cats ingest large quantities. Yes, even catnip can cause cats to vomit!