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Which Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

Updated on April 3, 2017

Mosquito Close Up

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Gone are the days when a mosquito bite simply meant getting 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 them from your property. Here we will go over 5 plants that repel mosquitoes along with some additional ideas to keep them away.

1. Lemon Geranium

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Citronella Geranium

The Citronella Geranium, citrosa geranium or pelargonium citronellum, is a beautiful little perennial plant, also known as the "mosquito plant". It has a refreshing citrus scent, blooming lavender flowers all summer long. Looks great, with its lacy leaves, in-ground or grown in containers. Recommended in-ground for zones 9-11 and in containers (being taken in before the first frost) for all other zones. Grows up to 2 feet tall.

2. Marigold Flowers

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Marigolds

Full of cheery color, marigolds are a wonderful addition to your garden. Also, mosquitoes, along with a host of other insects, detest the aroma marigolds release. Marigolds contain an ingredient, thiopenes, insects naturally find unpleasant. Thiopenes is released from the marigolds roots and into the surrounding soil. This is why marigolds have long been found growing in vegetable gardens, tomato beds in particular.

3. Lavender

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Lavender

It is argued that the relaxing scent of lavender confuses a mosquitoes 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 lavender outside bedroom windows.

4. Basil

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Basil

Basil, Ocimum basilicum, gives off quite an aroma without even having to crush its leaves. The lemon basil, Ocimum citriodorum, and cinnamon basil, Ocimum basilicum 'Cinnamon', are said to repel mosquitoes best. Grows well in zones 4 to 10. Basil not only repels mosquitos, it, like marigolds, makes a great protector for your vegetable garden. Basil repels many insects. Plus it's super scrumptious in many dishes.

5. Painted Daisy

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Painted Daisy

Painted daisies contain an ingredient included in many mosquito sprays, pyrethrum. It attacks the nervous system of mosquitoes, leaving the female mosquito (females are 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 their eggs.
  • Female mosquitoes lay one hundred to three hundred eggs at a time and lay eggs every three days.
  • A Male mosquitoes life span is ten days or less, but females are able to live for six to eight weeks.
  • Mosquitoes spend the first ten days of their lives living in water.
  • Mosquitoes can smell the CO2, (carbon dioxide) you exhale from 100 feet away.
  • The mosquito is the deadliest animal in the world.

Other Ways to Naturally Keep Mosquitoes Away

Some plants will help repel mosquitoes. You also want to check the security of your home against the pests. 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, when you're able to, helps prevent being bitten. Staying indoors at dusk and dawn is no longer relevant since the very mosquitoes responsible for carrying these diseases are out biting during all hours of the day. Nothing is a substitute for DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptis. 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 on items in your yard after it rains. Mosquitoes only need a very small amount of water to lay their hundreds of eggs in. A couple of times a day refill animal water bowls with fresh water. Mosquito bites are what can cause heart-worms in cats and dogs, so don't forget about your pets. You can buy Mosquito Dunks, 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 water 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 mosquitoes in a single hour! Besides that, which is a big thing, they're pretty cute.

Mosquitoes dislike smoke. Citronella candles, tiki torches, using a fire-pit, or cooking on the grill are all ideal 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?

A bat house can keep mosquitoes away

Did you know bats can eat up to 1,200 mosquitoes in a single hour? Installing a bat house in your yard could help protect it from blood sucking varmints. The bat population is on the decline, so you'd also be helping protect their species by installing a bat house. One bat house can shelter anywhere from

Do You Plan to Use Plants in Your Yard to Control Mosquitoes?

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    • liataylor profile image
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      liataylor 20 months ago

      Thank you.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 20 months ago from New Delhi, India

      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!