Mosquito repellents like sprays and lotions offer handy protection against the blood-sucking pests. Recent reports, however, have proven that these repellents contain unsafe chemicals like DEET, which has been said to cause children to have slurred speech and seizures, among other things. We need an alternative preventive measure that is natural and safe and that is using plants that repel mosquitoes.

A good number of specialized plants can act as natural mosquito repellents.

These plants that repel mosquitoes can be grown on the very areas that mosquitoes thrive—in your garden or backyard. They are characterized by their strong aromas that keep mosquitoes away.

catnip essential oilHere are some of the most effective anti-mosquito plants:

  1. Catnip

It keeps the cats coming, but drives mosquitoes away. Catnip has been found to be more effective than DEET in repelling                mosquitoes. Some researchers have attributed this effect to the herb’s smell, but no one really knows the reason for certain. What’s certain though is that mosquitoes can’t stand catnip. It’s an easy plant to grow as it is essentially an herb related to mint. Crushing its leaves will release its essential oils and repel mosquitoes. But if you own a cat, you might want to look into the other plants listed below.

Marigold

Marigold—Olaf (Flickr.com)

2. Marigolds

Pyrethrum is a common compound used in insect repellents and is found in marigolds. Marigolds are plants that grow annually. They have a unique, unpleasant smell that drives away mosquitoes and even tomato-eating pests. You can place a pot of marigolds near mosquito entry points such as doors and windows.

3. Ageratum

Coumarin, another chemical used in mosquito repellents, can be found in ageratum. Crushing its leaves will strengthen the odor it releases, which repels mosquitoes.

citronella essential oil4. Citronella

Like marigolds and ageratum, citronella is yet another component of many commercial mosquito repellents including special anti-mosquito scents and scented candles. Citronella has a very distinct and strong odor which can distract mosquitoes from tracking other smells that might indicate a prey’s location (such as human sweat and carbon dioxide). It is an excellent addition to your garden, and since it is a grass, it is low maintenance.

5. Horsemint

Like catnip, horsemint is another herb that emits a strong odor that mosquitoes find offensive. It grows fast and can tolerate dry seasons. Having horsemint in your garden can mask human smells that attract mosquitoes, but its smell will lure butterflies and bees.

Lemon Thyme Plant

Lemon Thyme Plant

6. Lemon Thyme Plant 

This easy-to-grow perennial plant has a high citronella oil content  and is a potent mosquito repellent plant, more potent than citronella candles or sprays.  When the leaves are rubbed onto exposed areas of bare skin. The mosquito repellent thyme is up to three times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than other mosquito-repellent plants. Thyme is used as a garnish or cooking herb; the lemony scent of the herb makes it a great addition or flavoring foods for a citrus scent. The plants are easily grown and spread fast making an attractive low growing 4 tall ground cover with a mass of light violet flowers.

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Filed under: Mosquito Repellent Plants

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