Mosquitoes are carriers of various diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya virus that have caused health issues and deaths among wide population around the world.
Global warming, unplanned sewerage systems and insects developing resistance to available medicines, have made the battle against pests and mosquitoes a challenge. As an answer to the threat of mosquito-born diseases, science developed N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, (DEET) chemical based mosquito repellents. However this chemical is toxic for humans and is known to cause rashes, anaphylactic shock, seizures out of the many side effects, when used in high concentration.
Various plants are used as essential oils, sprays and ointments. However the mere presence of certain plants can naturally keep mosquitoes at bay in a given area.
Read on for some ideas of plants that repel mosquitoes – naturally!
Pest Repellent Plants
Chances are, you’ve heard of this one before- it’s one of the most common ingredients in most mosquito repellents. Strange enough though, many people don’t even know that citronella is actually a plant! Citronella is a beautiful perennial clumping grass that emits a strong aroma. That aroma masks other scents, and keeps mosquitoes from being attracted to things located around it. The citronella plant has a much stronger aroma than other mosquito repellents that contain citronella, so it is a great choice. Citronella is very easy to grow, and can get to be a very tall 5 or 6 feet high! You can grow citronella in pots and place it around a porch or patio, or you can plant it directly in a yard or garden bed. It’s a great choice for repelling mosquitoes naturally. It repels insects and keeps cats away.
Citronella is not grown in cool or freezing climate. Its popular, common names include lemon grass, fever grass, barbed wire grass.
Lemon balm or Melissa officinalis is a perennial plant, of the mint family and requires partial shade to full sunlight. It is also known as horsemint. It is easy to grow and is drought resistance. It is a great choice to keep away mosquitoes. It also repels ants and flies. It has a lemon scent with a tinge of mint. Herb Society of America recommends the plant be grown outdoors. It is an outdoor plant with unbridled growth. It can be grown in small vessels.
Your feline friends will be happy to know that catnip is a great mosquito deterrent! In fact, in a 2010 study, researchers found that catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET, the ingredient commonly found in bug repellents. It is a very easy plant to grow, and if you have cats in the house, they will surely be happy to have it around. However, be careful not to plant catnip in with other flowers, veggies, or herbs if you have cats around your garden. It repels ants, beetles, bugs, aphids, cockroaches but attracts cats. Catnip is a drought-tolerant and low-maintenance plant.
Basil can also be used as a pest and mosquito repellent plant. It can be kept both indoors and outdoors. Calling all cooks! Want a double whammy when it comes to mosquito protection? Plant some basil! Not only will you have a quick and easy mosquito repellent, you will also have a delicious fresh herb on hand to add to all of your favorite recipes! There are many different varieties of basil around, so feel free to experiment and find the ones that you like best. Many expert gardeners recommend trying lemon basil or cinnamon basil to deter insects. Plus basil is one of the easiest herbs to keep alive – even the biggest novice can manage it!
It repels carrot flies, asparagus beetles and whiteflies.
Marigolds are natural mosquito repellents that keep bugs and aphids away. These annual plants can be kept both indoors and outdoors. Marigolds contain pyrethrum, a component that is found in many insect repellents.
You probably know that lavender is a gorgeous purple flowering plant with a soothing, calming scent. But, did you know that it is also a natural mosquito repellent? Grow it indoors near a sunny window, or outside in your garden or flower bed to keep the bugs away. While you’re at it, make a delicious herbal tea, or use lavender to fill your home with a wonderful calming aroma.
It repels moths, fleas, flies and scorpions. It has violet-purple flowers that grow in whorls.
The mint aroma of this plant keeps aphids, flea beetles, cabbage looper, squash bugs, whiteflies, and mosquitoes away. They spread fast thus it is preferred to grow them in small containers.
Unfortunately for all of us who love Italian food, studies have shown that EATING garlic does not repel mosquitoes. (Unless, however, you were to eat a HUGE amount!) However, having garlic around DOES! Make sure to add some garlic to your flower bed or vegetable garden for added protection!
Not only will you keep mosquitoes away, you’ll also have a whole load of garlic to flavor your food and for its incredible health benefits.
Pungent odors of Wormwood, Sagebrush, Mugwort which are members of the Artemisia family make them a good choice as a mosquito repellent. They can be grown as border plants in full sunlight.
Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis is a beautiful flowering plant that is often used to flavor lamb or fish dishes, but did you know that it is also a natural mosquito repellent? It’s perfect to add to your herb garden or flowerbed to keep bugs away, and it even attracts butterflies!
Plus you can simply snip a few springs off every time you need to add extra flavor to your lamb or steak!
There are mosquito repellent plants both for outdoors and indoors. These pest repellent plants will help mitigate mosquito-borne diseases. For the outdoors, lemon balm, citronella, garlic, clove, peppermint, rosemary, Artemisia plants is a good choice to ward of pests. Catnip, lavender, basil, marigold, lemon scented geranium can be kept both indoors and outdoors. Like a table lamp or a table fan, you can have your own table anti mosquito plant like basil, marigold, lavenders and geraniums. Lemon balm and peppermint grow rapidly and can be grown in small containers to control them. Grow plants, make them your friends in the battle to combat the mosquitoes menace. However a DEET-based repellent can be used when needed especially if there is an endemic situation.