Monday, July 14, 2014

Mosquito repellent plants

We thought we would share the plants we found that can help repel mosquito's and other bugs. The ones we have growing on our deck are basil, rosemary, citronella, garlic, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, eucalyptus, spearmint and regular mint, marigolds - lots of marigolds. We are also happy to report the dragonflies have also arrived - did you know they eat mosquito's - the skies are full of them today.

WARNING - please do your research as not all plants are safe to have around doggies  - especially if you have a 'nibbler' dog like the Dweeb who loves tasting things. They can also cause allergies in both doggies and humans if skin contact occurs.

Basil – Ocimum americanum – has essential oils that can be extracted and used as a spray to repel mosquitoes. It has also been an effective repellent when grown nearby.

Bee Balm – Monarda – is a beautiful flowering plant that attracts hummingbirds and, of course, bees. It is also very effective used as a mosquito repellent, when allowing the fragrant oils to be released when the leaves are crushed.

Cadaga Tree – Eucalyptus torelliana – can repel mosquitoes simply by being planted in an area where mosquitoes are not wanted. The scent from the tree acts as a barrier to repel mosquitoes.

Catmint – Nepeta faassenii – is very effective at keeping mosquitoes away. It is even better than commercial bug sprays at keeping the pests away. Simply, cut off the flowers and boil them to make a spray.

Catnip – Nepeta cataria – is an effective mosquito repellent. One of its main active ingredients, nepetalactone, was found to be 10X stronger than even DEET in a recent study. It is a good non-toxic alternative to traditional chemical sprays. More…

Cedars – Thuja species – Many repellent products contain cedar oil as one of its active ingredients to repel mosquitoes as well as other insect pests.

Citronella Grass – Cymbopogon nardus – is a plant which, when crushed, releases an oil. This oil can be placed directly on the skin to act as a mosquito repellent, or mixed with other oils and liquids to make repellants.

Clove – Syzygium aromaticum – a natural mosquito repellent plant you can use as a planting around the yard or use the oil from the clove to repel mosquitoes quickly.

Floss Flower – Ageratum – Coumarin, which is secreted by ageratum, is found extensively in the manufacture mosquito repellents. Mosquitoes find the odor offensive. Growing well in partial or full sun with requiring rich soil.

Garlic – Allium sativum – is a natural way to repel mosquitoes. One way to use it is to cut up garlic and sprinkle it around your outdoor living areas. A yard spray can also be made. Garlic can even be mixed with natural aromatic oils in order to create a mosquito repelling body spray.

Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia – Even though lavender is a smell often enjoyed by humans, lavender repels mosquitoes because mosquitoes dislike the scent lavender gives off. It can be planted in gardens or made into oil and applied to the skin or mixed with other oils to keep mosquitoes away. More…

Lemon Balm – Melissa officinalis – Lemon balm is a herb in the mint family that has a variety of uses like in flavoring in herbal teas. Make a quick mosquito repellent, by crushing a handful of leaves and rubbing on your exposed skin. Grow them in the garden for easy access when you need them.

Lemon Grass – Cymbopogon citrates – containing citronella, a natural oil that repels mosquitoes. Lemon grass is used in Southeast Asia to flavor things such as chicken. In India, it is used as an anti-inflammatory medicine. Lemongrass has a wonderful aroma so that it is often used in perfumes and other toiletries.

Lemon Scented Geranium – Pelargonium crispum – can be added to your landscape to allow you access to a natural mosquito repellent. When the leaves are crushed, they emit a strong lemony smell. The crushed leaves can be spread around your living area to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Lemon Thyme – Thymus vulgaris – repels mosquitoes naturally. Mosquitoes tend to hate their citrus smell. Crush a few parts of this plant and rub on the body to keep these harmful bugs away. Make sure that your skin can tolerate the oil before applying to larger areas of the body.

Lemon Verbena – Aloysia triphylla – can be planted in your garden, doorways, and windows in order to repel mosquitoes. It has an aromatic, fresh lemon scent. The plant’s oils can also be applied to the body to ward off bugs.

Mexican Marigold – Tagetes lucida – the scent of marigolds is offensive to most people and mosquitoes. You can grow it in your yard or cut the flowers off and keep them around the house to keep mosquitoes from visiting.

Eucalyptus – Natural oil from the eucalyptus tree repels insects such as mosquitoes, sandflies, ticks, midges, stable flies and more. Formulas are made to be gentle to the skin.

Nodding Onion – Allium cernuum – Juices can be extracted from allium cernuum via grinding or blending. This juice is highly proficient in repelling mosquitoes and can be directly applied on to the skin. The allium cernuum is not an irritant and is not known for any sort of reaction.

Mint – Mentha – usually grown in gardens to flavor tea. However, mint also repels mosquitoes and you can make your own repellent with mint! All species of mint, both wild and cultivated, contain aromatic properties repulsive to insects.

Pineapple weed – Matricaria matricarioides – the aroma of pineapple. The weed can be dried or used fresh to prepare an interesting tea. Matricaria matricariodes’ buds can be used to add an interesting twist to salads.

Pitcher Plant – Nepenthes alata – it is actually a carnivorous plant that is similar to a Venus Fly Trap. Except this little beauty gobbles up mosquitoes. Simply, plant this in your yard and watch it work.

Wormwood – Artemisia – strong but natural way to ward away mosquitoes. Crush up wormwood leaves and distribute around your outdoor living ways in order to effectively keep these nasty insects away.

Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis – can be planted in your garden in order to control mosquito infestation. It can also be mixed into various formulas and lotions to act as a mosquito repellent for the body.

Snowbrush – Ceonothus velutinus – is a plant that can be used in your landscape in order to keep mosquitoes away but considered a weed in most areas.

Sweet Fern – Comptonia peregrina – is a natural herb that has many uses. To fight mosquitoes away you can place some Sweetfern into a fire to keep the little bugs away from the fire and the surrounding area. Also can be used as an essential oil spray.

Tansy – Tanacetum vulgare – used for a variety of health problems, as it helps increase blood and saliva flow. Tansy can be used as a bug repellent around your home.

Tea Tree – Melaleuca – We have long used Tea Tree oil on our animals, as well as ourselves. The scent is too strong for any bugs to get near, and it also does wonders on irritations to bugs or the environment. It is great and natural! But toxic, so be careful.

Vanilla Leaf – Achlys triphylla – used by native tribes as an insect repellant. First crush and apply by rubbing mosquito-repellent plants like vanilla leaf on your skin.

Wild Bergamot – Mondarda fistulosa – can be used to repel mosquitoes but it must first be diluted with water because the plant itself can irritate the skin. Also you should test the plant on your skin in small amounts first to test for allergic reactions.

Stone root – Collinsonia canadensis – a tall plant that is similar to mint, in fact it is in the same family. It is easy to grow and can be made into a mosquito repellent when crushed and boiled.


  1. Wilhelm had a neurotoxic reaction to tea tree oil- that emergency vet trip was one of the worst moments of my life! We have a yard full of a massive variety of lavender and sage but still have mosquitoes feeding 24 hours a day! I think it is time to try some of these other plants- thanks for the list!

  2. We saw this list too! I definitely want to try adding Lavendar, Rosemary, Bee Balm and Lemon Verbena to our garden!

  3. I did not know that so many plants that my mom has in her yard will help to keep away the bad mosquitoes. Thanks for the helpful info.

  4. wesa haf some of those plants in our yard, and yes we are nibblers also.
    stella rose

  5. WOW I think I need all of those plants. My neighbor put in a little lily pond and the motor for circulating the water broke now it is a mosquito breeding ground. But Eucalyptus now Lee is allergic to that one. Lee got us a nice pretty citronella candle lantern that is safe if I knock it over.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

  6. It is very good of you to put this list out fur folks... we think that this year many of our furends are fighting this battle of the bugs...

    We KNOW that WE are very VERY lucky on this hill... we get near constant light to moderate breezes here... and those keep the mosquitosaurasus away. They just can't FLY in a breeze.
    THANKS again fur puttin the word out on how many HELPFUL and Beautiful Plants are out there.

  7. Thanks so much for the great information!!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  8. A great list! We tend to nibble a bit too!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  9. I'm going to have to see if any of those can be grown here.

    Monty and Harlow

  10. Well you made our Mom happy, nows she is on a mission to see what will work around here without messing up her allergies!

    The Mad Pirate Scots

  11. thanks for this great list! Mom & Dad burn citronella sticks when we are camping. Mom also has some lemongrass essential oil, which now she thinks it might work to rub some on to keep the skeeters away.
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Greta

  12. Wow - you have really done your homework, Reilly! What a great post!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  13. What a cool list! We have basil and monarda, but I planted the basil to eat and the monarda to feed the hummingbirds...didn't know it could help keep the bugs away. Cool!

  14. Hmmm, I wonder if garlic works. After all skeeters are related to vampires.


  15. Thank you so much for posting this list! I made my peep bookmark it so we can keep referring to it. We haven't had swarms like you have, but we also have some. My peep has horrible reactions to bug bites but doesn't like to spray toxic stuff. Thank YOU!

  16. Great list guys..the last swarm of dragonflies we had was durng a storm..looked like the sky was full of little helicopters :) stay bite free :) hugs Fozziemum xx

  17. How cool to have those plants that will help with those bugs
    Lily & Edward

  18. Oh what an interesting and useful list. Thanks so much for posting. In Scotland, where midges rather than mosquitoes are the main insect problem, bog myrtle (Myrica gale) is used as a repellent.

  19. Crikey ... look at all those dragonflies!!!! How good is that? Hope they get stuck into the smorgasbord of mozzies.

  20. Your mom has waged a one woman war on mosquitoes! And yes be careful as I know that I am allergic to cedar wood among many others. Love Dolly

  21. This is fantastic - thank you Miss Bree! Mom says she's going to plant some of these every year and then she doesn't butt after the mozzie invasion of 2013 we think she might just get her A into G this year and actually do some planning & planting.
    Wally & Sammy

  22. I grow a lot of those plants, but I think the mosquitos don't care. They still come after me.

    (PS: Found your blog through the post on My GBGV Life.)

    --Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats


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