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May 8, 2017

Mosquito-Repellent Plants

No one likes having to share their patio with mosquitoes.

Close up of the green leaves of a citronella (mosquito) plant

No one likes having to share their patio with mosquitoes. Keeping them away is as simple as growing mosquito-repellent plants! You can plant mosquito repelling annuals in containers around your deck, patio, or fire pit to help keep the bugs away. You can also crush a handful of fragrant leaves to release their oils, rub the oil on your skin or place the crushed leaves nearby. Sometimes, as is the case with sage and rosemary, it can be useful to burn the foliage. Learn more about the mosquito-repellent annuals to plant in your yard:


Citronella geraniums – It makes sense that citronella geraniums would keep the mosquitos away – citronella is one of the main ingredients in insect repellents! It has a strong smell that masks mosquito attractants to keep those bugs far from you.

Catmint – Catmint is easy to take care of and works great as a mosquito repellent. In fact, a study found that the oils in catmint are ten times more effective than DEET, a chemical used in most insect repellants. This is a good plant to crush and apply for more protection.

Lemon Balm – While lemon balm (also known as horsemint) is great for attracting bees and butterflies, it also works as repelling mosquitos! Consider planting this in a pot near your patio so it doesn’t take over your yard.

Peppermint – Peppermint in concentrated form (or peppermint oil) can be used as an insect repellent. One study shows that it repels adult insects and can even kill the larvae and eggs of several mosquito species.  

Lavender – Get the best of both worlds… lavender smells wonderful to humans and is a great plant for keeping pesky mosquitos away. Some say that lavender oils can even hinder a mosquito’s ability to smell. Bonus: it can also be used to repel moths when dried and placed in wardrobes.

Lemongrass – Cook with it and/or repel bugs with it. Lemongrass contains citronella, so plant this annual around your yard or in containers to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Sage – Gathering around a fire in your yard or on your patio? Burn sage – the scent that burning sage gives off smells good to us but terrible to insects, so it works as a mosquito repellent around a fire.  

Rosemary – Use it to season your meals and keep pests away. Rosemary doubles as a mosquito repellent and works best in containers or as decorations. Like sage, you can burn rosemary in your fire to repel mosquitos. The woody scent of this herb also helps keep cabbage moths and carrot flies away.

Basil – Another plant that has double duty – you can enjoy it in food or use it for repelling insects! Basil is an herb that works great as a mosquito repellent, even without crushing the leaves. The strong smell that the leaves give off can also help repel flies.


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