How to Repel Mosquitoes
Repel mosquitoes naturally with certain plants
We've all seen the ads for the "Mosquito Plant" that is supposed to repel mosquitoes, but in actuality, it does not. There are plants however that will help repel mosquitoes. This article will explore some of them to help you have a mosquito free year.
- Lantana (Lantana camara) - This is one of the only plants that will repel mosquitoes without crushing the leaves first. Placing lantana around doors that open frequently may help prevent mosquitoes from getting into the house. You may also want to grow lantana around patio areas or grilling areas around your home.
Lantana is fairly easy to grow. In warmer climates they may be perennial, but are grown as annuals in the north. Lantanas require a sunny location with moist well drained soil, moderate watering (once a week or so), and come in small and large varieties.
Lantana can be poisonous to pets that ingest more than 1% of their body weight. Lantana can also irritate your skin, so avoid rubbing the leaves oils on exposed skin.
- Catnip (Nepeta cataria) - A member of the mint family, the essential oil in catnip can be as effective as deet to repel mosquitoes. Since it is a member of the mint family, it can grow and spread readily, but if watched and harvested regularly you can keep it in check. Simply crush the leaves and rub on exposed skin.
Catnip prefers moist, well-drained soil in a sunny location. Most cats love catnip, so plant away from prized plants, or grow in pots that are protected by chicken wire if there are a lot of outdoors cats in your area.
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) - A perennial herb, thyme, including lemon thyme, can go a long way in repelling mosquitoes as effectively as deet. Simply crush the leaves and rub liberally on the skin.
Thyme also likes moist, well-drained soil that is located in a sunny location. Remove blooms as they form to keep the plant growing.
- Lime basil (Ocimum americanum) - An annual, this herb works best when burned. Add some sprigs of it to a smoldering, smoking fire to help repel mosquitoes from the area.
Grow lime basil in sunny, well drained soils that are rich in organic matter (compost). Pinch off blooms to promote growth and harvest often to keep the plant growing. Don't forget that lime basil tastes great in rice, poultry and fish dishes.