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Which Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

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As a mother, I have learned little ways to protect my family and keep them safer in our home, garden, and beyond.

Mosquito Close Up

Mosquito Close Up

Plants That Repel Mosquitos

Gone are the days when a mosquito bite was simply an itchy bump. Mosquitoes are now vectors of deadly viruses and diseases not only in the tropics, but world-wide. West Nile, Zika, chikungunya, dengue, just to name a few. Protect your family and help keep them safer by learning how to eliminate mosquitos from your property. Here, I will list five plants that repel mosquitoes and share some additional ideas to keep these insects away.

Lemon Geranium

Lemon Geranium

1. Citronella Geranium

The Citronella Geranium, citrosa geranium, or pelargonium citronellum, also known as the "mosquito plant," is a beautiful little perennial.

  • It has a refreshing citrus scent, lacy leaves, and lavender flowers all summer long.
  • It can be grown in-ground or in containers, but is recommended in-ground for zones 9-11 and in containers for all other zones, where it should be taken indoors before the first frost.
  • It grows up to 2 feet tall.
Marigolds

Marigolds

2. Marigolds

Offering a pop of cheery color, marigolds are a wonderful addition to your garden. Mosquitoes, along with a host of other insects, detest the aroma marigolds release. Marigolds contain an ingredient called thiopenes which insects find extremely unpleasant. Thiopenes is released from the marigold's roots and into the surrounding soil. This is why marigolds have long been planted in vegetable gardens—tomato beds, in particular.

Lavender

Lavender

3. Lavender

It is argued that the relaxing scent of lavender confuses a mosquito's sense of smell. Many pests dislike the scent of lavender.

  • Lavender—or lavendula—is an aromatic, perennial dwarf shrub that grows in zones 5-9.
  • Prune in spring when new growth appears.
  • Lavender looks beautiful as a border plant. Also, consider planting it outside bedroom windows.
Basil

Basil

4. Basil

Basil, Ocimum basilicum, gives off quite an aroma, even if you don't crush its leaves.

  • Lemon basil (Ocimum citriodorum) and cinnamon basil (Ocimum basilicum) are said to repel mosquitoes best.
  • It grows well in zones 4 to 10.
  • Basil not only repels mosquitos, but like marigolds, it makes a great general insect repellant for your vegetable garden.
  • Plus, it's super scrumptious in many dishes.
Painted Daisy

Painted Daisy

5. Painted Daisy

Painted daisies contain pyrethrum, an ingredient included in many mosquito sprays. It attacks the mosquito's nervous system, leaving the female mosquito—the ones that bite people—unable to bite. Painted daisies are a pretty addition to your flower beds. They are a perennial that grow in zones 3 to 7.

Interesting Facts About Mosquitoes

  • Only female mosquitoes bite; they need blood in order to produce eggs.
  • Female mosquitoes lay 100 to 300 eggs at a time, every three days.
  • A male mosquito's lifespan is 10 days or less, but females are able to live for 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Mosquitoes spend the first 10 days of their lives in water.
  • They can smell the CO2 (carbon dioxide) you exhale from 100 feet away—that's how they find you.
  • The mosquito is the deadliest animal in the world.

Other Ways to Naturally Keep Mosquitoes Away

  • Checking your screens, windows, and doors to make sure mosquitoes are unable to access you and your family indoors should be a priority.
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants outdoors helps prevent being bitten. Staying indoors at dusk and dawn won't stop you from getting bitten since these mosquitoes are out biting during all hours of the day.
  • Nothing is a comparable substitute for DEET, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The Centers for Diesease Control and Prevention have confirmed that oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) is as effective as DEET.
  • Dump out any standing water in your yard after it rains. Mosquitoes only need a very small amount of water to lay their eggs.
  • A couple of times a day, refill animal water bowls with fresh water.
  • Mosquito bites are what can cause heartworms in cats and dogs, so don't forget about your pets.
  • Mosquito Dunks are the only product with BTI, a bacteria toxic only to mosquito larvae. It's non-toxic to all other wildlife, including humans. One dunk treats up to 100 square feet of surface water.
  • If you have a pond, make sure and use a water pump to circulate the water. Mosquitoes do not like to lay their eggs in moving water.
  • Installing a bat house is a great way to diminish the mosquito population near your home. Bats love to eat mosquitoes. They can consume up to 1,200 in a single hour! Besides that, they're pretty cute.
  • Mosquitoes dislike smoke. Citronella candles, tiki torches, a fire-pit, or cooking on the grill are all great ways of keeping mosquitoes at bay. In fact, any candle will do. Basically, anything that produces smoke will be of some help.

What Flowers Keep Mosquitoes Away?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

liataylor (author) on February 26, 2016:

Thank you.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 26, 2016:

Very useful and informative hub!

I was aware about the benefits of planting Basil to prevent mosquitoes but I did not know about Marigold, Painted Daisy and Lavender that they are also effective to keep the mosquitoes away.

Very helpful hub with lovely pictures!

Thank you for sharing!