It seems mosquitoes are taking over this year! We want to enjoy the outdoors, but most of us don’t want to spray chemicals all over ourselves to keep the mosquitoes away. I know I was excited to learn that there are several herbs that repel mosquitoes.
What I found interesting is that mosquitoes really don’t like anything that has a strong smell, so plants, flower and herbs that have a strong aroma will often keep them away. Take marigolds, for example. These flowers are beautiful and easy to care for, and they just happen to contain Pyrethrum, which is used in many insect repellents. You’ll have to plant these flowers each year, but it’ll be worth it!
Some of you might not have known that citronella is not just an insect repelling candle you can buy, but it is an actual plant. The citronella plant has such a strong aroma that it covers up other smells that mosquitoes are attracted to, which means they won’t be swarming around bugging you. This plant is a perennial clumping grass that can grow to be quite tall, so make sure you plant it in an area that will allow for growth. If you live in places where you get frost in the winter, you will want to plant it in a pot that can be brought indoors in the winter.
Catnip is another plant that repels mosquitoes, and it is said to be ten times more effective than DEET, which is a chemical added to most insect repellents. This plant will grow easily in most part of America. An important thing to know is that catnip will attract cats. If you have cats, they will roll around in it since it is almost like a drug to them. If you aren’t a cat lover, you probably don’t want to plant this one!
Another point to make is that mosquitoes tend not to like strong smelling herbs in general, so if you are planting an herb garden outside, that should deter them as well. Some herbs to plant would be basil, mint, lavender, rosemary and bay leaf.
So, before you reach for the chemicals, try some of these natural solutions! Nature usually has a solution.
Mountain Rose Herbs has a variety of herbs to choose from, as well as essential oils, teas and tea supplies, bulk ingredients, bath and body care products, and much more.
To take this a step further, here’s a great article I stumbled across about creating your own natural insect repellents: