10 Fragrant Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

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Imagine that you are having a cookout at your home. Everything is perfect; it recently rained but the weather stayed nice for your gathering. As you sit down to eat, you feel something crawling on your leg, and you slap it away.

Once the night is over, you notice that you have five big bites on one leg and three on the other. You were dinner for the local mosquitoes and so were the other members of your family. Mosquito bites are annoyingly itchy, but what’s worse is the fact that these little insects carry diseases like Malaria, West Nile, and the Zika Virus.

You and your family could become seriously ill because of a mosquito bite, so the best way to protect yourselves is to repel the mosquitoes as much as possible. Of course, mosquito spray and citronella candles are designed to repel these pests, but you don’t always want to use them while you are at home.

Mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of your body, but did you know that certain scents naturally repel them? In this guide, we are going to talk about 10 different plants that you can have around your home that produce a fragrance that repels mosquitoes. Some of them you may have known about, but others on this list may surprise you.

1. Citronella Grass

Citronella grass is actually the ingredient that gives citronella candles their distinct smell. If you like the results that the candles give you, then you will be happy to know that the plants are actually much stronger, meaning that they are much more effective at repelling mosquitoes.

This plant can grow to heights of five to size feet. It does not take a lot of effort to care for, but it must be grown in warm climates because frost will kill it.

2. Catnip


As you most likely know catnip attracts cats, but the same chemical in this mint plant that attracts cats also repels mosquitoes. If you decide to use catnip to lower the mosquito population around your home, make sure that the catnip is planted in a location where the other plants in your garden will not get damaged because a cat is trying to roll in the catnip. In addition, this plant is easy to grow, so you will not need to give it any special care.

3. Lavender


Lavender is a very durable plant that does not need a lot of love to thrive. In fact, it only needs full sun and well-drained soil to produce that amazing scent that we all love. Did you know that the relaxing scent that we love is the same scent that repels mosquitoes? In fact, the oils are even said to reduce the mosquito’s ability to smell, which will keep them off of your skin. In addition, if the plant’s aroma is sufficient, then rub the leaves on your skin.

4. Marigolds


Marigolds are beautiful orange annual flowers that are very popular summer plants because they thrive in full sun and humid conditions. In fact, you can even water these plants during the hottest time of the day without damaging them.

These little plants contain Pyrethrum, which is an ingredient that is used to deter mosquitoes. It is not as powerful as some of the other options, but if you place the plant near a window, they will fly in the other direction.

5. Lemon Balm


If lemon and mint are scents that deter mosquitoes, then it is not a surprise that lemon balm would be a great plant to have around when you want to repel the little pests. Crush some of the leaves and rub it on your skin if you need a stronger repellant.

This plant is a fast growing one that does not take a lot of care. It will attract bees and butterflies to your garden as well.

6. Geraniums


Geraniums have a lemony scent that is very similar to the natural scent of citronella grass. Placing these lovely plants near the entryways to your home will keep the mosquitoes away and brighten up the area.

They do not require a lot of care, but they do prefer warm climates. Placing them in an area that is sunny and warm will produce plenty of sweet smelling blooms. To keep the blooms looking fresh, you should prune them on occasion as well.

7. Pennyroyal


Pennyroyal is a plant that not only repels mosquitoes and keeps them from entering your home, it has a scent that can kill any of the insects that are presently in the room. If you are going out, place a few crushed stems in your pocket.

This invasive plant is one that does not require a lot, but it should be planted in a container if you don’t want it to take over your garden. In addition, if you are pregnant, you should not handle pennyroyal because it can cause your pregnancy to abort.

8. Rosemary


Rosemary is a delicious herb to use on your food, but it also has a strong scent that can keep mosquitoes at bay. If you are camping, rosemary is one of the most effective ways to get rid of those little pests.

All you need to do is toss a few sprigs of rosemary into the fire and let them burn. The smoke will smell pleasant, and the scent will deter mosquitoes and other irritating insects that may be nearby.

9. Peppermint


The scent and the oils that are present in the leaves of a peppermint plant are great for deterring mosquitoes from landing on your skin. You can simply be in the vicinity of the plant, or you can crush the leaves and rub the oils on your skin. Peppermint oil is so powerful that it is able to kill larvae that have been exposed within a 24 hour period of time.

10. Basil


Basil is another herb that tastes great in food, but the strong, pungent scent of the herb is noticeable without crushing the leaves. This means that the scent is strong enough to repel mosquitoes when it is simply placed in an area. All of the basil variations will work, but lemon basil is the most effective at repelling mosquitoes. Cinnamon basil is also an option that works well because of its potent scent.

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