The warmer weather has finally arrived, and with that, so have the bugs! Imagine entertaining on your porch and day turns to night. You are enjoying the outside air, when suddenly you feel a pinch and you’re instantly itchy. You know right away what is was – a mosquito! Most outdoor events during the evening hours involve some sort of mosquito repellent like a spray or citronella candle to help avoid bites, but did you know that your plants could also act as a natural repellent?
When planning your landscape, consider some of these plants, especially near entertainment areas (around a patio or potted plants on a deck or front porch). Here are the top plants that can serve as natural mosquito repellent –
- Lavender – You may be a big fan of the smell of lavender. Most commonly in the form of scented household items like candles or soaps, or in its raw form as an essential oil. This same lovely scent serves to prevent mosquito bites because of its strength and ability to hinder mosquitos’ sense of smell. The good news is that lavender plants are beautiful, smell great, and are generally low maintenance once established, making it a desirable option. It is important to note that lavender requires full sun and good drainage to thrive.
- Marigolds – Marigolds also emit a smell that mosquitos dislike helping to act as natural mosquito repellent. These are great as potted plants on your patio or deck. Additionally, marigolds also keep away other insects/pests.
- Citronella Grass – It’s no surprise that a plant with the word “citronella” in the name keeps away mosquitos. Citronella grass is actually the main ingredient in common mosquito repellents. Citronella grass should be planted in a mobile pot or planter because it cannot survive frost, so it will need to be moved indoors during the winter.
- Geranium – Geraniums also have a lemon scent, similar to citronella. They prefer warm, sunny, dry climates.
- Catnip – No we are not talking about the cat food product, we are talking about the plant/weed. In a study conducted at Iowa State, it was determined that catnip was 10x more effective than DEET (chemical used in most insect repellants).
- Herbs like rosemary and basil – These plants are great because they serve more than one purpose. Not only do they deter mosquitos, but they can be used as seasoning for food! Rosemary has a woody scent that keeps away mosquitos, cabbage moths, and carrot flies. Rosemary thrives in hot and dry climates and is best in containers. Basil has a very pungent smell that keeps pests away. It thrives in a damp environment with good drainage, and a lot of sun. Fresh rosemary and basil are great when cooking and are often much more flavorful than processed or dried forms of the herbs.
Not only are mosquitos an annoying buzz-kill, but they can also be dangerous. They can transmit threatening diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever, Zika, encephalitis, and West Nile. Mosquitos can also affect your pets and can cause heartworm in dogs. Children and pets are at increased risk from insect-borne disease, because they tend to spend more time outdoors where exposure is greatest.
In addition to purposefully planting to repel mosquitos, you should also implement mosquito control in your garden and other parts of your property. Red Cedar can provide you with practical mosquito control solutions to control unwanted mosquitoes. Our mosquito control treatments are applied to the rough perimeter areas and lawn areas of your landscape. Now’s the time to implement your pest control plan. Contact us today for your free consultation!