Mosquitoes…ugh! We all hate seeing them around the house and will do anything to prevent them from coming inside our homes. As the weather warms up, these pesky critters can become extremely irritating to both you and your pets inside and outside your home and they can cause certain health problems too since they carry serious diseases.
Of course there are numerous chemical sprays on the market that you can use to get rid of mosquitoes, but these commercial products contain toxins that can cause various other medical problems that are detrimental to your health.
Your other option for getting rid of mosquitoes is to go for the natural alternatives like the following 11 mosquito repellent plants that work just as well as any commercial product available. I’ve used a few of these mosquito repellent plants in my home last summer and I was able to relax without the fear of getting bitten.
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Lavender is a beautiful purple plant that gives off an equally beautiful scent, but did you know that it does wonders for keeping those annoying mosquitoes away? Although pleasant to you, the aromatic smell of lavender is repugnant to mosquitoes and will stop them from attacking you both indoors and outdoors. Plant it directly in your garden or in pots close to doors and windows to keep mosquitoes at bay. Crushing the leaves and rubbing them directly onto your exposed skin will give you even more protection against these pesky critters.
These pretty, colorful little flowers with their strong, aromatic smell, are also great to use as mosquito repellents. The reason for this is because marigolds contain a substance called pyrethrum, an ingredient used in numerous commercial insect repellents. Positioned in pots around the doors and windows of your home will look great, but will form an invisible barrier that will stop mosquitoes from entering your home.
Besides its refreshing, clean “minty” smell that is way better than the chemical smell of any commercial insect spray, mint is also an effective, natural mosquito repellent. According to a report by the Malaria Journal, studies conducted showed that mint, when applied to exposed body parts, stopped mosquitoes from settling on the skin. It was also discovered from these studies, that mosquito larva died a day after being sprayed with a mixture of water and peppermint oil.
4. Lemon Balm
With the leaves having the scent of lemon with a slight minty smell, it is no surprise that lemon balm is part of the mint family. Apart from its many healing properties, lemon balm is also used by many people to keep mosquitoes at bay. If mosquitoes are making your life miserable, crush a few lemon balm leaves between your fingers and rub them onto any exposed skin. Grow lemon balm close to your doors and you will have a quick and easy mosquito repellent handy to use indoors as well.
Besides being hugely attractive to cats, catnip is also deemed to be one of the most effective natural insect repellents around. This particular plant contains nepetalactone, a natural chemical which is effective as both a cat attractant and insect repellent. According to the American Chemical Society, one of several studies conducted discovered that catnip is in fact, about ten times more successful than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. Apart from growing catnip to repel mosquitoes, you can apply the crushed leaves to your exposed skin for maximum protection against mosquito bites.
Like many other people, you probably also use citronella candles to ward of mosquitoes, but do you know that they contain harmful chemicals that can be damaging to your health? More effective and with no risk to your health at all, is the citronella plant (citrosum), frequently referred to as the mosquito plant, that you can grow in your garden to use as a mosquito repellent and when you need to. The citronella scent is found in the leaves of the plant and when crushed and applied to the skin, helps to repel mosquitoes.
While this lovely flowering plant is frequently used to flavor food, it is also extremely effective at repelling mosquitoes. Rosemary can be grown in your garden or in pots inside your home, provided that they are placed in a position where they can enjoy full sun every day. The growing plant, as well as cuttings from it, is great for keeping mosquitoes away. If you’re camping or having a BBQ in your garden, toss a few sprigs of rosemary into the fire and the smell it gives off while it is burning, will keep mosquitoes away from you, as long as you’re close to the smoke.
Basil, one of the most aromatic herbs, is one of the easiest, most effective plants to keep mosquitoes away. Unlike other plants, there is no need to touch or crush the leaves of the basil plant to stop mosquitoes from attacking you, although applying the crushed leaves to your skin will give you ultimate protection. Simply grow basil in pots and place them at strategic places in your garden or on your patio to stop an invasion by those irritating mosquitoes. A study conducted in 2009 reported that basil essential oil, when sprayed onto mosquito larva, kills them off within 24 hours!
9. Scented Geraniums
Many gardening sites and gardeners recommend scented geraniums for use as a mosquito repellent, with the lemon-scented variety being the most effective. The scent of these plants is similar to citronella, which is well known for being one of the best for keeping insects at bay. Plant them in your garden close to windows and doors to stop mosquitoes from invading your home. Scented geraniums can also be grown in pots on your deck or patio, but should be pruned regularly to keep their prolific growth in check.
Another plant well known for its natural insect repellent properties, pennyroyal is most effective for the fight against mosquitoes. Planting them in the soil around your house will prevent mosquitoes from coming into your yard. You can also place vases containing sprigs of fresh pennyroyal around your home to kill off any that come into those areas. Pennyroyal can also be grown in pots inside your home for added protection.
If you are going to be in an area where you know you will be plagued with mosquitoes, simply put some crushed pennyroyal leaves in your pockets and the mosquitoes are guaranteed to stay far way from you!
Crushing sage leaves and rubbing them on your skin will keep mosquitoes away, but for maximum effectiveness, go for a higher concentration of sage in the form of sage essential oil to keep mosquitoes at bay. Tossing some sage into the fire when you’re out camping or entertaining guests around a BBQ will give off a sage-scented smoke that will keep the irritating pests away.
As mentioned above, it is the natural smells in the oils found in the leaves and flowers of certain plants that make them effective natural insect repellents. You can plant them in pots on your deck or patio, close to your front and back doors, or directly in your garden, whichever suits you best. By doing this, you will not only have colorful, wonderfully-scented plants to beautify your home and garden, but some of the best and most effective natural mosquito repellents too, to keep these irritating insects at bay.