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We had a mild winter, which means we’ll be dealing with a lot of mosquitoes this spring and summer. I don’t know about you, but I seem to be a magnet for these yucky pests. News stories about the Zika virus and other diseases carried by mosquitoes have prompted me to add certain plants to my garden. One of my favorites is lavender. I adore this purple bloom for two reasons. One, its fragrance attracts butterflies to my garden. Two, it’s a natural mosquito repellent! Take a look at some other plants and flowers that will help to keep the mosquitoes away.
Ten Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
- Mexican Marigolds. Marigolds are a beautiful addition to a garden, but their fragrance is uninviting to mosquitoes. In fact, pyrethrum is a compound found in marigolds and is an ingredient in many mosquito sprays.
- Catnip. This plant is easy to grow and has a fragrance that mosquitoes find irritating. Studies have shown that catnip is more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET (an ingredient in many insect sprays).
- Citronella. Chances are good that you’ve heard of citronella candles for repelling insects. A citronella plant has a strong fragrance that can throw mosquitoes off the scent of any humans in the vicinity. These grass-like plants can grow to be five or six feet tall!
- Horsemint. This plant has an intense fragrance that confuses mosquitoes and hides the human scent. Horsemint, similar to beebalm, is a favorite of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
- Peppermint. Another plant with a strong fragrance that repels mosquitoes, along with other pests, is peppermint. Did you know that rubbing a peppermint leaf on your skin can help to soothe a mosquito bite?
- Geraniums. These lovely blooms also have a fragrance that drives mosquitoes away. You can add color to your garden, porch, or patio while making it a more peaceful place to relax in the evening.
- Rosemary. Plant this pleasing herb with a fragrance that keeps the mosquitoes at bay. You can also use it to spice up a variety of recipes!
- Pennyroyal. A delicate purple plant with a scent that mosquitoes make an effort to avoid, these plants are great for attracting butterflies to your property.
- Ageratum. Coumarin is one of the ingredients in ageratum as well as in several types of insect spray. Mosquitoes will give your garden a wide berth when they detect the scent of your ageratum plants.
- Basil. If you’ve ever opened a container of basil and taken a whiff, you know why mosquitoes avoid these pungent herbs.
Other Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes
Along with adding a few of these plants to your garden, you can use lemon eucalyptus oil to keep mosquitoes away. Garlic powder is another natural repellent for mosquitoes: You can sprinkle some around your garden area if you aren’t a fan of recipes with garlic in them. Mixing water with a little vanilla extract is a natural and effective insect spray. While the sweet aroma of cinnamon is attractive to most humans, it repels mosquitoes. And a white vinegar spray can also help to keep these flying pests away.