Mosquitoes getting you down this summer? These 5 natural mosquito repellents might already be in your garden.
By Bethany Bourgault
Aug 02 2016
5 Natural Mosquito Repellents In Your Garden | LemongrassPhoto Credit : Pixabay
Mosquitoes making your gardening a chore? Worried about keeping the kids or pets safe from nasty bites? You’re not alone. Here are 5 natural mosquito repellents you already have in your garden that you might want to think about planting more of this summer.
Catnip can grow just about anywhere – you don’t need a green thumb to take care of this one. Its distinctly fragrant leaves will take over your garden if you let it. Considering its credentials in the lab as a mosquito repellent, letting it take over the garden might just be this season’s new trend. Catnip’s scent comes from nepetalactone, a chemical proven to be ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.
Ironically enough, that’s the same chemical that makes cats attracted to it. Go figure.
Basil is one of the most versatile herbs in your kitchen, but did you know that it’s keeping you safe from mosquito bites, too? Basil leaves give off their signature scent without being disturbed (many other plants need their leaves to be broken to release their scent) so you don’t have to pick the plant for it to be effective. However, if you’re looking for some natural mosquito repellent on the go, cracking and rubbing the leaves on your skin will do the trick. Basil repels household flies, too, so having some on hand in your kitchen will help you keep it a fly-free zone.
For extra mosquito-repelling scent, try lemon basil – the oils are more fragrant and will deter the bugs more effectively.
Not only is it a beautiful addition to any garden, but those fragrant lavender flowers keep mosquitoes at bay, too. Humans love the scent, but mosquitoes do not. In fact, they can’t. Lavender works by disabling the bugs’ sense of smell. Since they can’t smell you, they don’t recognize you as their next meal. The effect is only temporary, though, so if you’re relying on lavender oil as an on-the-go repellent, remember to reapply frequently.
In addition, lavender can be used to make soaps, oils, and teas that have calming effects on the nerves, and are often said to promote sleep.
This ornamental lemongrass is often so pretty that gardeners wouldn’t even think it was edible – much less that it was keeping bugs away from their gardens. The scent we smell when a citronella candle is nearby is really the scent of a natural oil found in lemongrass (and many other plants, too). Having a lemongrass plant nearby can be just as effective as having these store-bought candles on hand.
Lemongrass’ unique flavor also pairs great with soups, salads, and fish.
Rosemary’s talents extend far beyond its many uses in the kitchen. These fragrant needle-like leaves give off a woody scent that bugs are much less a fan of than we humans are. The unique shrub-like plant makes an interesting aesthetic addition to your garden, too. Either pick and use fresh, or dry and save the branches for use all winter.
There are so many other great options for natural mosquito repellents and bug-repelling plants. How do you keep those pesky little flies away from your garden? Let us know in the comments!