Summer is here – which means mosquito season is upon us. No matter what area of the country or world you’re in, chances are you may be plagued by these pesky creatures. And if you’re like this Minnesotan, to ward them off you typically reach for the Deep Woods Off. But, traditional Deet-filled mosquito repellent is far from natural. Thankfully, there are plants that repel mosquitoes. They either work by planting them in your garden or by taking a bit of the plant and releasing some of the scents.
Here are the best ones:
Mosquito Repellent Plants that Repel Mosquitoes
- Citronella Grass (Use the oil from Citronella. Also, ensure that the plant you’re buying is not just a “Citronella Plant” “CItronella Geranium,” or “Mosquito Plant” as these are different varieties and while they may smell similar to Citronella, they are far less effective.)
- Catnip (reported to be up to 10 times more effective than DEET)
- Neem Trees
- Lemon balm (a good, cheaper alternative to Citronella)
- Lemon Grass
- Lemon Thyme (reported to be about 60 percent effective as DEET)
- Tea tree
Not all of this mosquito repellent plants grow in all climates. Check with your local nursery to find the plants that grow best in your area.
In order for these mosquito repelling plants to be most effective, plant them in potted plants around your patio area. When you’re sitting outside and the mosquitoes are especially bad, break off a piece of your plant that repels mosquitoes, crush it, and rub its oils on your pulse points.
Even better than repelling mosquitoes is preventing them. Some birds (like Swallows) and bats eat mosquitoes so encourage these animals to live near your home. Bird feeders, man-made nesting boxes, and bird baths are helpful. However, if you use a bird bath be sure to empty and clean it frequently because mosquitoes will breed in the water.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water – so ensure that you don’t have empty pools, flower pots, unused birdbaths, or other sources of stagnant water in your backyard.
With these plants potted in your backyard you will be on your way to a DEET and mosquito free summer!