What Plants Repel Mosquitoes? – Best Natural Repellents
Do you know the quickest way to ruin a lazy summer in your backyard? Being attacked by a swarm of buzzing mosquitoes hungry for your blood! If you don’t want to use harsh chemical-based repellents, you should know what plants repel mosquitoes.
Luckily for you, there are numerous plants that you can place in your garden that can repel mosquitoes, and many of these plants are easy to grow and thrive even with minimal care. Here are some mosquito-repelling plants that you should consider growing in your garden.
What Plants Repel Mosquitoes?
While you might usually use basil as a delicious way to add flavor to your favorite recipes, basil is also known as a great way to repel mosquitoes. The strong scent of basil makes it an ideal mosquito deterrent that’s also safe for children, pets, and non-target organisms such as birds and other insects.
If you want to make a safe mosquito repellent using fresh basil, boil together 100 grams of fresh basil leaves together with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vodka for 5 minutes. Allow the mixture of cool thoroughly and strain out the basil leaves. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and spray the solution around your garden to drive mosquitoes away.
Take note that this solution is not recommended for use on the skin. However, you can put one or two drops on your clothes if you want protection from mosquitoes. Be prepared to smell like pesto!
Lemon balm is an effective mosquito repellent because it contains a compound known as citronellal, which is chemically similar to citronella. This compound is responsible for the lemony scent of the plant, which is what drives the mosquitoes away.
If you plan to use lemon balm, you need to be careful where you plant it in your garden. Lemon balm is a prolific grower, and if you plant it in the ground, it can spread quickly and overtake your other plants. The best way to plant lemon balm is by growing it in a separate container and regularly pruning it. Lemon balm is a delicious addition to meat and fish!
If you've got a cat, they're going to love the addition of catnip in your garden. Any mosquitoes, however, will not. Catnip contains an essential oil called nepetalactone, which studies have shown is more effective in repelling mosquitoes compared to the commercially popular DEET. Nepetalactone is so effective in repelling mosquitoes, a gram of this compound is as effective as 10 grams of DEET!
Take note that catnip plants grow tall, so if you don’t plan to prune the catnip regularly, make sure to plant them somewhere that you won’t mind them growing tall.
Pennyroyal is a strong yet relatively unknown species of mint. It is not a popular choice when it comes to topical plant-based mosquito repellants because the essential oils are so strong, they are considered toxic to both humans and animals. Thus, if you plan to use pennyroyal, you must use it carefully and sparingly.
If you don't want to crush the pennyroyal leaves with your hands, you can pluck off the leaves, let them fall to the ground, and crush the leaves under your feet to release the oils.
Citronella is arguably the most popular botanical source for mosquito repellents. You can find many commercial products that contain citronella essential oil, from sprays to candles. Luckily, citronella essential oil is so potent. You won't even need to extract the oil from the plant to enjoy the mosquito repellent benefits. Simply crushing the leaves with your hands will release the scent of the essential oils and drive mosquitoes away from your garden.
One of the reasons why citronella is so popular is because they are so easy to grow in almost any climate.
Another highly popular source of botanical mosquito repellents, lavender, contains a compound called linalool. This compound is pleasant and sweet-smelling for people but drives away mosquitoes efficiently! Linalool affects mosquitoes in the same manner as DEET; the strong scent of the compound overwhelms their senses and drives them away.
A great bonus to using lavender is that the scent is also known to have calming effects for people.
Best Way to Plant Mosquito-Repellant Plants
Summer is the height of outdoor activities. Unfortunately, it is also the height of mosquitoes looking for a blood meal. This is why you need to learn how to properly place your mosquito-repellant plants aside from knowing what plants repel mosquitoes; if you don’t place them properly around your garden, you won’t be able to enjoy their benefits!
The best way to place mosquito-repellent plants in your garden is to plant them in small containers and place those containers near points of entry around your home. Place these containers near doors and windows. If you spend a lot of time in your garden, you should also place these plants around areas where you hang out often.
3 Weird Reasons Why You’re Getting Bitten by Mosquitoes
Have you ever noticed that there are times when you seem to get bitten more than usual? It’s not just in your head! There are circumstances where mosquitoes are more attracted to certain people, thus increasing the chances of them getting bitten.
Here are three weird reasons why you’re getting bitten more often by mosquitoes:
- You drink a lot of beer- when you drink beer, the ethanol content in your breath and sweat increases. Ethanol is known mosquito attractant.
- You’re sweaty – sweat is also attractive to mosquitoes because of the presence of lactic acid.
- You’re breathing hard – mosquitoes are drawn to carbon dioxide. The harder you breathe, the more carbon dioxide you’re putting out, the more mosquitoes will be drawn to you.
No one wants to be bitten by mosquitoes. Mosquito bites are annoying at best, and dangerous at worst because they can transmit diseases such as dengue and Zika. Knowing what plants repel mosquitoes allows you to have a natural and effective way to keep mosquitoes away from you so that you can enjoy as much time in your garden as you want!
May 1, 2020
by: Magnolia Ricci
Rodents and insects pose a massive threat to your garden. Plants you have long cared for may be at risk from getting devoured by these pests.