Summers, for most, are all about enjoying the warm weather in swimming pools, backyard barbecues, various outdoor activities, and the pleasant sunset. However, it is all fun and games only until mosquitoes decide otherwise. There are over 170 mosquito species in the United States alone, a majority of which are active during the summer months, given the favorable conditions. And, while male mosquitoes mostly survive on plant and fruit nectar, females happen to require blood to fill their protein requirements for egg development.
From the smell of carbon dioxide as humans breathe out to a compound in human sweat, the heat of the bodies, genes, etc., mosquitoes are attracted to a number of human features and aromas. Well, since spending the summers indoors is out of option, there are several sprays, candles, bracelets, bug zappers, and chemical mosquito repellants on the market to help you fight the bug issue. But, neither are chemically ladened repellents good for your health nor for the environment, so how about planting some greens for the purpose?
The following article discusses the best plants with natural mosquito-repelling properties that can effectively and healthily keep these tiny harmful insects at bay, not to mention all the benefits of introducing a new plant.
The beautiful bright little flowers and the relaxing and pleasant aroma of the lavender plant, though, presents enough reason to get one for your home right away. But, in case you still haven’t, know that the pleasant smell of lavender is not so pleasant for the mosquitoes, so much so that it drives them away.
What’s more, apart from mosquitoes, lavender also keeps insects such as moths, spiders, fleas, and flies away, not to mention the great addition it makes for both your garden arena and home.
However, all the plant varieties of lavender require full sun, occasional deadheading, and well-drained soil for optimal growth. Talk to an expert and find the perfect variety of lavender that grows well in the climatic conditions of where you live.
Basil in salads and pesto sauce is everyone’s favorite, making it a go-to herb on a regular basis. However, the strong aroma of the herb also makes it a powerful natural mosquito repelling plant. The aroma is so strong that a person does not even need to crush the leaves or prepare them in any way to get the mosquitoes flying away.
This warm-weather herb is toxic to mosquito larvae. Therefore placing them near areas with standing water or whatever you believe is the prime breeding source of mosquitoes will help not merely deter mosquitoes but halt the entire growth by preventing the laying of eggs.
For optimal growth, keep the basil plant in a sunny spot with well-drained soil and monthly fertilization. Also, do not forget to pinch away any flower buds occasionally, as flowering in the basil plant can halt its process of producing new leaves.
Catnip is a plant widely known to attract felines, but why do you think it does? The leaves of catnip contain a chemical called Nepetalactone, which is why cats love the plant, but the same chemical is also why mosquitoes don’t.
The mosquito-repelling effectiveness of catnip can be drawn from several studies suggesting that Nepetalactone is an even greater mosquito repellant than the commercially used chemical repellent called DEET.
The pretty purple or white flowers of the plant bloom from spring to fall, making it a great addition to your garden. What’s more, since the plant is a perennial, it is assured to grow year after year; one must make sure it gets adequate sunlight and soil dries out between watering sessions.
Besides being a great mosquito repellent with its citrusy smell, members of the mint family, Lemon balm, other than being a great mosquito repellent with its citrusy smell, also features great medicinal properties and use in cooking.
Since the plant induces sleep, reduces stress, relieves stomach trouble, and much more, one may dry the leaves to use them in lemonade, lemon herb tree, etc., or get a few fresh ones for soups and other dishes.
Again, place the lemon balm plant in a partially shaded region with moist soil for optimal growth. However, try growing the plant in a pot rather than a garden bed, given the invasive species it is.
The other name of the citronella plant is the mosquito plant, which is enough to speak for its effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes. The strong smell of the plant leaves is why it is widely used in candles and mosquito repellants.
But, not only are mosquitoes repelled by this smell, but they also have a hard time tracing the smell of attractants of human bodies, such as carbon dioxide, considering how the plant masks it. Citronella plant is also one of the most low-maintenance and easy to grow mosquito repellant plants on the list and is fairly drought resistant.
However, the plant grows best in rich, fast-draining soil and afternoon shade. Being annual, chances of the plant coming back after frosty weather are also thin. You may as well consider other plants from the family, such as citronella grass, etc.
Other Plants To Consider
While the above mentioned are just six mosquito repellant plants, there are many others with similar benefits to consider depending on the climatic conditions of the area you live in. Let us have a look –
- Floss flower
- Scented Geranium
Mosquitoes pose a great threat in the warmer seasons, and given the climate crisis and rising temperatures, things are bound to get difficult. There is nothing better than planting green mosquito repelling plants in such cases to keep both the surrounding cooler and prevent mosquitoes.
If you are not sure about taking care of a plant well enough, keeping with you essential oils such as lavender and citronella oil, or crushed leaves of the plants like mint and rosemary, is also a great natural way to repel mosquitoes. Happy Scrolling!