10 Mosquito-Repelling Plants You Need in Your Yard

4 min read
mosquito repelling plants

Warm summer months are a treasured time of year. However, we forget that with the delightful weather come dreadful mosquitos. It is never fun to wake up after a summer night, only to be covered in itchy bites.

Most people depend on chemical-filled bug spray to keep pests away. But did you know that active ingredients in most bug spray can put your health at risk?

Luckily, there is an alternative way to keep pests away — plants. There’s no need for harmful chemicals when you can plant sweet-smelling plants that mosquitos can’t stand to be around.

Continue reading to find out which mosquito-repelling plants you need in your backyard.

10. Rosemary


Not only can you season chicken, steak and potatoes with rosemary, but it will also deter mosquitos from buzzing around your outdoor space.

If you don’t have a garden, this plant will do just fine on a sunny windowsill. Once it has grown a sufficient amount, take a few sprigs and rub any exposed skin before heading outside.

If you don’t want to smell like a rosemary plant, the alternative options are to throw some rosemary in your firepit or on the grill to enhance the distinct scent.

9. Basil


Planting basil in your garden is a must. You’ll have easy access to this delicious herb that does so much more than compliment Italian dishes.

Basil helps your garden thrive by attracting bees, enhances the flavor of other plants, and, of course, it effectively deters mosquitos. Just crush up some leaves and rub them all over your body or spread leaves around the area.

8. Lemon balm


The fresh scent of lemon is bound to put you in a happy mood. Luckily, mosquitos don’t enjoy it one bit. You may be familiar with citronella, which works wonders as a mosquito repellent.

Well, citronellal is a compound found in lemon balm and has a very similar effect. So you’ll definitely want to add it to your mosquito repellent plant collection.

ALL TIME TIP: Lemon balm can easily overcrowd your garden, so it is best to plant it in a pot.

7. Catnip


Catnip should be the next addition to your garden if you want to attract cats but keep mosquitos away. It grows to a height of 3 to 4 feet, so keep that in mind when choosing its placement.

Various studies have proven the essential oil found in catnip to be an even more effective mosquito repellent than store-bought bug sprays that contain DEET.

6. Pennyroyal


Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family. However, it has a much more potent smell than just regular old mint. So potent that the oil it contains is toxic to humans and animals if too much absorbs into the skin.

Still, it is one of the most highly effective mosquito repellent plants out there. When used carefully, of course. Place the plants strategically around a common seating area outside and watch the mosquitos disappear.

An alternative option is to crush up pennyroyal leaves and place them inside your pockets. The odor will be strong enough to keep mosquitos off your skin.

ALL TIME TIP: All plants in the mint family are good pest repellents.

5. Citronella


Citronella is the most well-known mosquito-repelling plant. You can find candles and bug sprays that are made with citronella oil. So there is no question of whether or not it works.

Consider creating a pest repellent powerhouse by planting citronella grass and other plants on this list in their own separate garden box.

Any plant with the name citronella on the label — for example, citronella geranium — works just as well.

Lemongrass is a plant that looks almost identical to citronella grass. Although they are technically different due to their base stems, both are effective.

4. American Beautyberry


This shrub is native to southern states and is delightful in many ways. When fully grown, vibrant purple berries form in bundles with small white flowers. However, what keeps mosquitos away are the leaves.

There are three ways to use beautyberry as a repellent:

  1. Crush up the leaves and rub them on your skin.
  2. Purchase bug sprays containing beautyberry essence.
  3. Create your own spray.

The American Beauty Berry shrub can do more than just fight off mosquitos — it keeps ticks away too. And you can create a delicious jam from the berries!

3. Lavender


We all know the relaxing benefits of lavender. It is essential for a spa day. Fortunately, this plant can multitask by creating a calming scent that humans enjoy, and mosquitoes despise.

It doesn’t need to be in plant form this time, although lavender plants add a gorgeous pop of color to your yard. You can easily find lavender oils or sprays at a local drug store or on Amazon!

So next time you’re relaxing on your outdoor patio, bring lavender along, and you won’t be bothered by pests.

2. Marigolds


Bring a touch of elegance and color to your backyard by planting marigolds. This decadent flower is more than a beautiful sight. The sweet smell it produces is atrocious to mosquitos.

So next time you are in a gardening mood, plant some marigolds around your outdoor seating area. It is best to plant them in pots so that you can move them to wherever people gather.

1. Garlic


Vampires aren’t the only blood-sucking creature that Garlic deters. Mosquitos can’t bear to be around the overpowering smell either. If you frequently use garlic in dishes, growing it in your garden is a must!

Of course, you can take the lazy route and purchase it at the store, but growing garlic is easy. Plus, eating food you grew yourself creates a sense of pride, not to mention freshness. You’ll never run out and never see a mosquito in your yard again.

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