Mosquitoes are more than just annoying. They can also carry and transmit dangerous diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus. To protect yourself and your family from these pests, you may think that you need to use chemical repellents or pesticides, but these can have harmful effects on your health and the environment. Fortunately, there are natural ways to repel mosquitoes using plants that have scents and oils that mosquitoes hate. These plants can create a pleasant aroma in your garden and home, while also deterring mosquitoes and other insects.
In this article, you will learn:
- What plants repel mosquitoes and how to grow them
- How to use these plants to enhance their mosquito-repellent effect
- Other tips and tricks to keep mosquitoes away from your garden and home
What Plants Repel Mosquitoes and How to Grow Them
There are many plants that have mosquito-repellent properties, but some of the most popular and easy to grow are:
- Citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus):
This is the plant that produces the essential oil used in many commercial mosquito repellents. It has a strong lemony smell that mosquitoes hate. It can grow up to 6 feet tall and prefers full sun and moist soil. You can plant it in large pots or containers and place them around your patio or deck. It is often labeled as a mosquito plant in big-box stores, but be careful not to confuse it with other plants that have similar names but different properties.
- Lavender (Lavandula sp.):
This is a beautiful and fragrant plant that can add color and charm to your garden. It has a soothing scent that repels mosquitoes, as well as flies, moths, and fleas. It can also help you relax and sleep better. Lavender likes full sun and well-drained soil. You can grow it in pots or in the ground, and prune it regularly to keep it bushy .
- Basil (Ocimum basilicum):
This is a versatile herb that can enhance your culinary dishes, as well as keep mosquitoes away. It has a strong aroma that mosquitoes find unpleasant. It also contains a compound called eugenol that can kill mosquito larvae. Basil likes warm temperatures and full sun. You can grow it in pots or in the ground, and harvest it frequently to encourage new growth .
- Marigold (Tagetes sp.):
This is a cheerful and bright flower that can add color and beauty to your garden. It has a pungent smell that repels mosquitoes, as well as aphids, whiteflies, and nematodes. It also attracts beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies. Marigold likes full sun and well-drained soil. You can grow it in pots or in the ground, and deadhead it regularly to prolong its blooming .
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus):
This is a tropical plant that has a similar scent to citronella grass, but is more edible and ornamental. It has a lemony flavor that can be used in teas, soups, salads, and curries. It also has a citrusy smell that repels mosquitoes and other bugs. Lemongrass likes warm temperatures and full sun. You can grow it in large pots or containers and place them near your doors or windows .
These are some of the most common plants that repel mosquitoes, but there are many others that you can try, such as rosemary, mint, catnip, geranium, lemon balm, sage, thyme, garlic, etc.
How to Use These Plants to Enhance Their Mosquito-Repellent Effect
Growing plants that repel mosquitoes is a great way to create a natural barrier against these pests, but you can also use them in other ways to enhance their effectiveness. Here are some tips on how to use these plants:
- Crush or rub the leaves of these plants on your skin or clothing to release their oils and scents. This can create a personal repellent that can last for a few hours.
- Cut or dry the leaves of these plants and make them into sachets, wreaths, bouquets, or potpourri. You can place them around your home or outdoor spaces to create a pleasant aroma that repels mosquitoes.
- Burn or boil the leaves of these plants and make them into candles, incense, or sprays. You can use them to create a smoky or misty atmosphere that drives away mosquitoes.
- Extract the essential oils of these plants and dilute them with water or alcohol. You can use them as topical repellents or diffusers that spread their scents throughout your home.
Other Tips and Tricks to Keep Mosquitoes Away from Your Garden and Home
Besides using plants that repel mosquitoes, there are other things you can do to keep these insects away from your garden and home:
- Eliminate standing water sources where mosquitoes breed, such as birdbaths, buckets, gutters, pools, ponds, tires, etc.
- Install screens on your doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- Wear light-colored clothing that covers most of your skin when outdoors.
- Avoid going outside during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use a fan to create air movement that mosquitoes dislike.
- Choose a mosquito trap that is effective and safe for your environment. Consumer Reports has tested and rated several mosquito traps.
- Apply a mosquito repellent that is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency and has been shown to prevent mosquito bites when applied to skin. Some of the recommended active ingredients are deet, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535.
Mosquitoes are not only annoying, but also dangerous. They can transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus. To protect yourself and your family from these pests, you don’t need to use chemical repellents or pesticides, which can have harmful effects on your health and the environment. You can use natural ways to repel mosquitoes using plants that have scents and oils that mosquitoes hate. These plants can create a pleasant aroma in your garden and home, while also deterring mosquitoes and other insects.
By following the tips and tricks in this article, you can keep your garden and home bug-free with plants that repel mosquitoes. You can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about mosquito bites or diseases. You can also save money and protect the environment by using natural methods instead of chemicals.
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