10 Plants and Herbs That Repel Mosquitoes
Can Plants Ward Off Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are naturally attracted to environments that produce food that they need to live on. And of course, Mosquitoes are attracted to certain plants that will provide them with the nourishment they need. Don’t be mislead that Mosquitoes only feed on blood. It is only the female that bites in order to feed her eggs. At their mature age mosquitoes seek the nectar from certain plants such as water lilies and hyacinths. If you have these types of plants in your garden it is a good idea to remove them.
There are plants that can repel mosquitoes. A Mosquito generally picks up on a human’s body heat and motion. However, the strongest attraction to a human is the smell of the carbon dioxide that we emit from our pores. There are the obvious repellents in a can we can use to deter these insects and the other way is to create an environment that is not attractive such as the plants we grow in our gardens.
Here is a list of 10 plants that may help you ward off mosquitoes and other bugs.
- Catnip – Cats may love it, but mosquitoes hate catnip. Related to mint, it contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which’s both a feline attractant and an insect repellent.
- Citronella – Originally used as a perfume, essential oils and extracts from Citronella plants are so effective at keeping mosquitos away that they’re now a go-to ingredient for many commercial repellents.
- Lavender – It may sound hard to believe since the scent is so heavenly to us humans, but mosquitoes can’t stand the smell of this herb. Keep bugs at bay by planting the lavender variety, which has a high concentration of camphor. Bonus: It also keeps moths and flies away!
- Lemon Balm – The strong lemon scent of this plant contains high levels of the bug-repelling compound—but in a more appetizing way. (It’s an invasive species, however, so it’s best to grow it in containers.)
- Peppermint – This member of the mint family boasts health benefits, a lovely smell, and its oils can eliminate any pests lurking around.
6. Basil – Placing a pot of basil on your picnic table is helpful for giving your food a flavourful update—but it will also keep the bugs away, since it’s one of the few plants that offer a strong-enough bug-repelling scent that you may not even have to crush the leaves! A 2009 study showed that basil essential oil is toxic to mosquito larvae.
7. Citrosum – Also known as “Mosquito Repellent Plant,” this perennial is heavily marketed as a useful insect repellent. While some research suggests that this plant may not be so great at keeping biting insects away, it can’t hurt to plant some near your porch, right?
8. Marigolds – Not only do they look pretty, these colorful and heady flowers will repel mosquitoes. They also repel other insects, since they contain pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents.
9. Mint – Mint leaves can aid in keeping mosquitoes away. Bonus: Mint essential oils can also help soothe bug bites.
10. Sage – Gathering around the bonfire to roast some marshmallows? You might want to toss a little sage into the fire—the scented smoke will keep those pesky critters away. (Rosemary works, too.)
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