Mosquito infestation is one of the biggest pest-related problems of almost every household. Not only are they annoying, they also carry deadly infectious diseases like dengue and malaria – both of which are epidemics in some countries. They are common in tropical countries and prefer warm seasons. 

The usual remedy that we usually use to combat this is through the use of insect repellant sprays or scented candles. Though these are generally harmless, they still contain chemicals that may be irritating to some people and can also be a cause of allergic reactions. 

For this article, we will tell you all about a natural and safe way to repel mosquitoes from your home. We will be discussing different insect-repelling plants that are great to have in your yard and even indoors.

1. Lavender

white flowers with green leaves

Lavender is a pretty popular plant all over the world. Aside from the attractive scent and the vibrant color, it also has an inherent ability to repel mosquitoes. Lavender somehow emits a scent that is pleasant to humans but irritating to mosquitoes. 

Applying lavender essential oil to your skin is effective in protecting yourself from getting bitten by mosquitoes. You can also pair with a carrier oil like coconut oil (also an effective pest control substance). 

A bottle of lavender oil is cheap and is widely available on Amazon.

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2. Wild Bergamot

purple flower in tilt shift lens

Wild bergamot is known for attracting the good insects like bees, butterflies, and even hummingbirds and at the same time keeps the mosquitoes away. So this is a good choice of plant to have in your garden or your yard. Like the lavender, its oil is also good for application on the skin since its scent repels mosquitoes. 

If you have this plant, expect a bunch of butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to hang around often. Wild bergamot essential oil can be bought on Amazon and physical stores. 

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3. Mint

green plant in black pot

Mint is widely used for tea and as an additive for preparations because of its cooling effect. There are many different variants of the mint herb and we will also be discussing two of them as we move forward but for this part, this is basically just general information. 

Majority, if not all members of the mint family, are powerful insect repellants. The menthol aroma of the plant turns out to be repulsive to mosquitoes and other flying pests like gnats. They are also pretty easy to grow in your backyard but you have to know that they are invasive and take up a lot of ground in just a short amount of time. They can be put in pots to limit their growth and these can be placed on your porch, patio or any confined space in your outdoors. 

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4. (Burning) Sage

lighted white textile

Burning sage is a good choice for insect repelling plants for outdoor activities like camping or just having a casual occasional bonfire under the night sky. It is also proven to keep ticks, moths, and other flies away from the area. But the smoke of the burning sage can only protect you as long as you stay near it. 

There is also an essential oil derived from the sage plant that is great for skin application on the pulse areas like the wrists, the sides of the neck, and around the neck – usually the spots where you apply perfume. Sage essential oil can be bought online on Amazon or physical health stores. 

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5. Marigold

orange flowers with green leaves

Marigold flowers come in shades of red, orange, and yellow. They do a great job of adding a splash of color to your yard. The usually green garden transforms into a beautiful field of bright-colored flowers with these around. Furthermore, the terpene oil that is secreted by their leaves keeps mosquitoes away. 

Even if you do not know much about gardening, you can still take care of these flowers because they do not really require constant tending and maintenance. Marigolds are able to  tolerate heat and resist dry weather easily. If you want to beautify your yard and repel mosquitoes at the same time, marigolds are a great choice. 

They are pretty much easy to find in your local plant nursery and you can also buy seedlings on Amazon.

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6. Lemongrass

green plants

Lemongrass is widely popular for its efficiency in repelling mosquitoes. It works similarly with mint because of its lemon-scent component. It also has an oil content which is citronella – a well-known mosquito repellant substance as well. 

This plant serves multiple purposes as well. It can be used as a food additive and can be incorporated into a lot of recipes. However, there have been reports that its extracted oil can cause birth defects to infants. Pregnant women aren’t advised to consume food with lemongrass content. 

Lemongrass oil can be bought online and also at your local health food store. 

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7. Lemon Thyme

Lemon Thyme
Lemon thyme or the citrus thyme – fragrant perennial herb. Image of blooming thyme growing in the garden, top view.

Here we have another plant from the lemon species. We also emphasized that plants that belong in the lemon family are natural mosquito repellants. The lemon thyme can survive extremely hot weather and can thrive in soil types that are generally difficult for other plants to grow in. As long as there is a constant supply of sunlight, lemon thyme is sure to survive.

You can obtain the natural oils from the lemon thyme plant by crushing its leaves and rubbing it on your exposed body parts that mosquitoes usually bite on (usually the limbs.)

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8. Garlic

union bulb

Mosquitoes are the insect version of a popular mythical creature that we all know – vampires. According to folklore, garlic is a vampire’s kryptonite. The strong scent of garlic is irritating to mosquitoes and apparently helps in keeping them away. 

The juice of garlic, in particular, has the biggest repelling activity. But you do not want this smell on your skin. What you can do is cut up a few cloves of garlic and put them near your patio or porch just to allow the fumes of its juices to circulate the air and ward off mosquitoes. 

Mosquitoes reproduce in places with stagnant water, inside old tires, trash bins, ponds, and small creeks. These are the best spots to utilize the power of garlic so completely get rid of them. 

Garlic essential oil can be bought online or at local health food physical stores. 

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9. Catmints

Catmints are also referred to as ‘catnip’ – an attractive plant to cats. If you have a feline friend, then you can expect them to hang around this plant a lot. Catmints are also effective at repelling mosquitoes. 

This plant is a member of the mint species which is known for secreting a chemical called nepetalactone – a natural pest repellent. Catmint grows rapidly and abundantly. It will easily dominate your garden or yard if you are unable to maintain it regularly.

Below is a link for you to purchase Catnip online. 

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10. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal

The use of Pennyroyal plant as a home remedy for several ailments goes way back in the olden times. It has also been recognized as an effective insect repellent. However, in order to achieve its mosquito-repelling effect, you have to cut up a part of the plant and carry it with you in your pocket and not just drink the famous Pennyroyal tea.

Pennyroyal has a reported toxic effect on infants and pregnant women so they are not allowed to partake in any product derived from the Pennyroyal plant. 

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11. Rosemary

white flower with green leaves

You might be familiar with Rosemary because this is a very popular herb that is used in a variety of recipes. Another great thing about it is its inherent mosquito-repelling ability. If you have this plant ready in your yard, you get a natural insect repellent as well as a readily available supply of herbs for your cooking. 

A method to use it as a personal mosquito repellent, you can take some leaves, slightly bruise them, and stick them on you when you go outside. You can also rub the leaves on your skin but it’s more convenient if you buy the essential oil of Rosemary and apply that instead. 

You can find essential oil online or at your local health store. 

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12. Geranium

Geraniums come in a variety of vibrant colors like pink, red, purple, orange, and white. Their visual appearance is attractive to us humans but the lemon-like scent that they subtly emit is repulsive to mosquitoes and other insects. 

You can simply have this plant in your yard or porch and it would greatly reduce the swarming of mosquitoes in your area. You can also apply Geranium essential oil on your skin in trace amounts for additional protection. 

Geranium young plants and seeds are usually sold at local nurseries and the essential oil can be purchased online. 

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13. Basil

green plant on brown pot

Along with Rosemary, this one is another common herb used in cooking. It has a very rich and distinct aroma that is usually used in Italian dishes. It is also effective in keeping mosquitoes away from the area where they are planted. 

You can rub the leaves on your arms, hands, legs, and other usually exposed body parts to apply the repelling scent onto you. There is also an available essential oil formulation of Basil that you can buy online or at a nearby health goods store. 

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14. Peppermint

green leaves

From the name itself, it is clear that this is another member of the mint species. Leaves of the peppermint can be bruised and crushed to release the scent that has the insect repelling activity. This only hastens the release of the chemical but even if you do not do so, the plant still exhibits the same effect without causing any injury to it. 

The concentrated essential oil of peppermint has a significant larvicidal effect as well, meaning it can kill the larvae of insects. You can also apply it directly on to your skin with the essential oil that has a cooling effect. Do not apply too much though because it tends to have an irritating effect at high concentrations. A few drops on your arms, legs, and neck should suffice. 

Peppermint essential oil is very common and can be bought online or from a physical store. 

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15. Floss Flower

Ageratum is the other name for Floss flower. This plant is so tough that it can withstand extreme hot and cold weather conditions and  they grow in large and tight bundles. This plant is great particularly for garden edging or in rock gardens. They thrive in almost any soil type as well. 

A chemical called coumarin, which is an ingredient in commercial insect sprays, is naturally secreted by this plant. You can have this plant lining the side of your house to keep mosquitoes away. 

Floss flower seeds can be bought online. 

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16. Allium

Alliums have bright-colored bulbs that reach around six feet tall at maximum growth and it also produces floral balls that exhibit vibrant color hues which are apparently repulsive to mosquitoes. The allium plant can thrive in hot climates and they survive throughout the spring and summer seasons. 

They are pretty low maintenance plants. You just have to place them in a spot where they can receive enough sunlight. If you put them in your porch, lanai, or any outdoor area, they are effective at minimizing the amount of mosquitoes that swarm near your home. 

They go well with other flowering and edible plants, especially if you have a vegetable garden because they are known to ward off cabbage worms, slugs, and aphids. 

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17. Lantana

Lantanas are invasive plants despite their visually pleasing appearance. They will take over your yard if you are unable to control their growth and maintain them. Nonetheless, they are effective mosquito repellants. 

This was proven by a study conducted in Africa back in the early 2000s where Lantana plants were placed outside 90 houses. The study revealed that the presence of the Lantana plant reduced the mosquito infestation by an average of 50%. 

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18. Mums

The entire name of Mums is Chrysanthemum and you can grow this plant at any spot that is hit by direct sunlight. If you have a raised garden in your home or on your patio or outdoor lounging area, chrysanthemums would look great in them as they can serve both as beautifiers and mosquito repellants. 

This plant can survive both hot and cold weather, may it be warm, humid temperatures or the winter frost. They are low maintenance and come in multiple color variations. 

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19. Tea Tree

Tea Tree

You may be familiar with tea tree oil if you are a beauty or skin care enthusiast. The oil of this particular plant is a common additive to many beauty products because it has acne-treating properties. It also offers relief from contact dermatitis as well as pediculicide properties, specifically in the treatment of head lice. 

It also has mosquito repelling effects – not the plant, but the oil. When applied to the skin, it can protect you from mosquito bites. Tea tree oil can be bought online and from local shops. 

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20. Petunias

Petunias

Bright colors are apparently repulsive to mosquitoes. Since petunias have bright and vibrant colors, they are also good at keeping insects away. Fun fact: petunias are also carnivorous plants, which means that they also feed on these insects. 

Anywhere with direct sunlight is a good spot to grow petunias. They grow well in garden beds, hanging baskets, around landscape borders, and can coexist together with edible plants. They do not require a lot of maintenance and can survive harsh weather conditions. 

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21. Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

For the last plant on our list, we will be including yet another member of the lemon family. The lemon balm is an efficient mosquito repeller because it is a perfect combination of the mint and citrus components – both of which are top tier anti-mosquito substances. This plant is also rather invasive and tends to dominate an area if left uncontrolled. 

The aroma of the lemon balm is a potent repellent of mosquitoes. You can crush the leaves to release some juices and apply them on your skin for additional protection from mosquitoes. 

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Conclusion

We are all annoyed with mosquitoes. They do not have any benefit and they only carry infectious diseases. It is best that we protect our homes from them. There are chemical insect repellents available in the market, as well as sprays and even candles. However, one of the natural and effective ways is through the use of plants. Our world is blessed with plants that produce essential oils with several uses – one of which is for protection against mosquitoes.