Gardening Blog

6 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes Naturally

Nothing can ruin a sunny, warm day in the garden quite like mosquitoes buzzing around your head. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce these annoying pests from bothering you. For example, it’s important to remove any standing water from your property, because this is where mosquitoes tend to breed. And you should consider growing the plants mentioned below, which have essential oils that help keep away mosquitoes by serving as all-natural bug repellants.

Basil repels mosquitoes naturally and taste great in Italian food

Basil photo via amandabhslater

1. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

This delicious herb is not only helpful in the kitchen, but basil also is believed to keep away mosquitoes and flies. Place colorful pots of this aromatic herb in sunny locations near patio doors, open windows, porches and outdoor tables — wherever you can enjoy the fragrance and flavor. Read about the one mistake most first-time gardeners make when growing basil. Lemon thyme repels mosquitoes and grows near Rozanne geraniums

Lemon thyme and geranium photo via mwms1916

2. Lemon thyme (Thymus X citriodorus)

This aromatic herb thrives in sunny, dry conditions, along pathways and rock gardens. For best results, bruise the leaves and rub them between your fingers to release the herb’s essential oils.

Cats like catnip, but mosquitoes don't.

Catnip photo via peppergrasss

3. Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Yes, the cats love this pretty herb, but the mosquitoes apparently do not. This perennial herb (Zones 3 to 9) blooms in white to purple flowers in the summer, and is pretty enough for a prominent position in your garden.

Citronella grass repels mosquitoes and is featured in insecticides

Citronella grass photo via Ahmad Fuad Morad

4. Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus)

This clumping grass is native to Southeast Asia, and grows best in full sun. The perennial (hardy in Zones 10 to 12) is the source of citronella oil used in pest repellant and the commonly found mosquito candles. This plant is inedible and has an unpleasant taste. Citronella also can cause skin dermatitis with some people due to its concentrated oils.

Grow mint in containers to repel mosquitoes

Mint photo via Alice Henneman

5. Mint (Mentha spp.)

A favorite in the kitchen, this easy-to-grow herb should be planted in containers to prevent it taking over the garden. Place the mint-filled pots around your home to help repel mosquitoes. Or, use the fragrant mint leaves to make an all-natural mosquito repellant.

Grow lemon balm to repel mosquitoes in the garden

Lemon balm photo via Andrea_44

6. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

This member of the mint family has an aroma that is said to naturally repel mosquitoes and other insects. Unlike mint, this fast-growing herb doesn’t spread by underground runners. However, it does reseed each year and can become a nuisance in some gardens. Deadhead flowers regularly and mulch well to help control growth.

What’s the best way to repel mosquitoes?

Be aware that there’s a bit of a debate about plants that repel mosquitoes. Some experts emphasize that these plants only release their mosquito-repelling oils when their leaves are crushed. Others suggest that just having these types of plants around your garden will help keep the mosquito population down. As these six plants are all pleasant to have in the garden, why not give them a try and see for yourself? Always, use caution when applying plant leaves to the skin; test in a small spot first.

Are you growing plants that repel mosquitoes? Which ones work best for you?

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24 Comments

linda

im very interested in this site its great reading and love the ideas

Reply
Terry

how do I use these plants? Do I rub them on all open skin or just some?

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GlendaHicks

Posting to read reply to above question on how to use these plants for replying mosquitos.

Reply
Hailey

Merry golds are also flowers that give off a smell the mosquitoes hate. We used them they worked fantastically. We had neighbours that had a pool right next to us.

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Vivian Thurman

Does the wild mint repel mosquitos too?

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Richard

Yes it does. I work at a Greek restaurant and we have it growing all around our Patio…works great!

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Marty Hill

lots of good garden information. ENJOY!

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diane

It seems like a good idea to take the leaves of these plants, blend them with water in a blender, and spray it around the patio. That would release the necessary “crushed” oils.

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cart lambert

I believe that sage repels mosquitos also. I noticed that when gardening in the section near the sage, I never got bitten.

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Nancy

Artemsia repels. I just put a few sprigs in my hatband and garden away

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Kristin

Basil and Mint do not repell Mosquitos. I Have 7 large Basil plants growing on my back patio and My entire front yard is mint due to it taking over and we have Tons of Mosquitos. The only plants that I have experienced so far that really work on mosquitos is Citronella and American Beauty Berry that grows naturally in the woods here in Texas.

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melissa

i have every single one of those plants in my yard & my yard is already filled with mosquitoes this early in june. stinks!

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Margie

I use basil, and it works great. I have a pool, fish pond, and ots of animals that attract flies and mosquitoes. Sometimes if they get too bad (100 or so), I just rub the leaves a little and that takes care of it. I am in Missouri.

Reply
Tamika

This website really has all of the information and facts I needed concerning this subject
and didn’t know who to ask.

Reply
ONAy1FL

233141 8887The electronic cigarette uses a battery and a small heating component the vaporize the e-liquid. This vapor can then be inhaled and exhaled 849108

Reply
Charles Grinch

I use regular ( unflavored ) mouthwash to repel mosquitoes. The game wardens out here do too! ( I live in a pine Forrest )
I put regular mouthwash in a spray bottle and spray a light mist on my legs arms and torso and have no problems at all with mosquitoes at all. You can also spray it around where you camp ( on trees, chairs, tents, whatever )
As a bonus I discovered that mouthwash also helps relieve the burn and itch of fire ant stings, just smear it on the effected area and massage it in.
I hope you find this useful. 🙂

Reply
Jerri

Definitely worth trying 🙂

Reply
Mackenzie Barry

Hello Teresa,
I’m putting together an expert roundup on pest control tips and (naturally) wanted to reach out to you.
The question is:
What is your best tip for mosquito control/prevention?
I know you’re busy so a lengthy response isn’t necessary (100 words or less is totally fine).
I’ll obviously include a link to your site and Twitter profile in the post.
Thanks,
Mackenzie

Reply
Jerri

Make sure there is NO standing water. After a rain, even a sprinkle, go out and make sure to pour out any caught rain on flowers and other plants. If you have a bird bath, put a small recirculating fountain in it. Mosquitoes tend to like still water and the birds will play in it. Log sleeves and light cotton long pants are good protection but still very hot if you live in the sweltering Summer that I live in. Be vigilant with dumping water! Good luck.

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Helen hutcheson

Any information to Keep Snakes away?

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Erin

Cinnamon! There us actually a spray made with it you can buy but I sprinkle it heavily in a certain area I’m aware that they live and they left!! My neighbor buys the spray.

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Jerri

I have most all of these plants in addition to basil and rosemary. Even crushing the leaves and rubbing them on my arms and legs doesn’t work. Maybe the mosquito population, in areas where these plants actually work, is not as large as where I live.

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Terri

Do you have any suggestions of What I can put on my dogs to help with chiggers, that won’t harm them. We spray the yard but they are young dogs and like to roll around and run thru the yard but they are still getting bites. I know it is not flea’s. I take them to the groomer.

Reply
Kuldeep Sharma

The best way to prevent mosquito is to install nets. Using

repellent is very harmful for human beings. You can also use

portable nets when you are travelling.

Reply

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