Keep Mosquitoes Away With These Plants

Mosquitoes repelant plants

There is nothing worse than being chased inside by mosquitoes. You can buy expensive sprays or hire a company to treat your yard, but there are also some natural and attractive alternatives to help keep mosquitoes from ruining your time outside.

The first and most obvious step is to eliminate breeding places. Any object that can hold as little as a few tablespoons of water for seven to ten days, the time it takes for eggs to hatch and larvae to mature. Commonly overlooked breeding spots include clogged gutters, abandoned buckets, and corrugated plastic tubing used for drainage. Change the water weekly in bird baths, wading pools, outdoor pet bowls or anywhere else you might find standing water around your property.

If your yard contains large water troughs, ponds or other areas with standing water, you can use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), a naturally occurring bacterium that kills mosquito larvae, yet is nontoxic to people and fish. Many garden centers sell mosquito dunks or granulated products containing this fast-acting biological larvicide.

There are also a number of plants that naturally repel mosquitoes. Most of these are attractive plants that will add beauty to your garden while keeping the mosquitoes away.

Citronella – One of the most common ingredients in most mosquito repellents. 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.

Lemon Balm – A member of the mint family, the plant also known as horsemint and beebalm is an easy plant for beginning gardeners to grow. Lemon Balm is also a very hardy plant, it resists drought, and flourishes even in shade. It is a very fast growing and sometimes aggressive plant, so you might want to contain it to a pot, where you can move it to wherever you like to ensure that it doesn’t take over your garden.

Catmint – Catmint (catnip) can be found thriving almost anywhere. It is very easy to take care of and may even start to invade other areas of your garden. If you are willing to forgo this plant’s insidious nature, it is an amazing mosquito repellant. In fact, in a 2010 study, researchers found that catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET, the ingredient commonly found in bug repellents. Not only will catmint keep the mosquitoes away, but your neighborhood cats will love you for planting it!

Marigolds – A bright, hardy annual plant, marigolds are a great choice for repelling mosquitoes. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents, and they have a unique aroma which bugs find repulsive. The flowers themselves are beautiful and can make a great border or addition to any flower bed. Try placing them around borders of your home, and mosquitoes might not want to cross over.

Lavender – Along with beautiful purple flowers that attract butterflies, lavender in your garden will help keep mosquitoes away.

Peppermint – Most bugs despise the smell and taste of peppermint, so planting it around your home is a great way to keep them away from your home.

Rosemary – Rosemary is a beautiful flowering plant that is often used in cooking, but 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!

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