Did you know that only the female mosquito bites? Let that sink in for a second. As much as we all get eaten alive each summer by pesky mosquito bites, we are only facing the wrath of the females.
Can you imagine how many mosquitoes there actually are?
Well, each summer my poor little boy gets bitten a ridiculous amount by mosquitoes. I’ve tried the natural approaches, I’ve tried the big nasty chemicals, I’ve even taken him to the doctor in hopes of finding a solution.
But unfortunately, there isn’t one. Or so I’ve been told. That is until I started doing research and realized I could fill my yard with plants that would naturally deter these creatures.
So I planted my heart out last year and much to my surprise, my son didn’t get bitten anywhere near what he normally did. Which is why I’m going to share these plants with you, in the hope that you can avoid mosquitoes in your yard this year as well.
Mosquito Repelling Plants
Most of us are pretty familiar with a citronella plant. They have a very distinct smell that doesn’t sit well with mosquitoes.
So if you plant these little beauties in your yard, know that they will carry a scent but that scent is what is helping to deter your property of pests.
However, citronella is an annual so you must plant it each year. This is the only drawback to it in my book.
We plant marigolds every year in our garden. They do a lot. They deter pests and snakes from your garden as well.
So when I found out they deterred mosquitoes as well I wanted to plant them everywhere. They have a very distinct odor as well.
Who would’ve thought that mosquitoes had sensitive noses? (That was a joke.) But they do have a very distinct taste as to what smells they want to be around.
Catnip is a perennial plant. This means you can plant it once, and it will come back year after year. If you don’t want to have to plant something special each year to avoid mosquitoes, then you may want to consider planting a perennial.
However, be advised, as great as catnip is to have around for tea or deter mosquitoes, it will also draw every cat in the neighborhood.
So if you are a cat person, then you might really like the idea of growing your own catnip. I’ve considered growing it in the house for my house cats.
This was a plant that I placed in my perennial flower bed. This flower bed stretches the length of the front of my house.
So it seemed suitable to plant lavender there in order to keep mosquitoes away from my front porch. That way we could sit on it during the summer and not worry about being eaten alive.
But beyond its mosquito fighting affects, it is gorgeous and smells great too.
We grow a lot of basil each year in our herb garden. We love to dry it and save it to use in dishes, but we also love to use it fresh too.
So when I discovered that basil was a mosquito deterrent I knew we had to keep growing it. Our herb garden is the backyard of our house which is great because then I was covered for my back porch too.
Which is really what you want to do. You’ll want to plant these mosquito repellent plants strategically around your yard so every area is covered. When it comes to basil, lemon and cinnamon basil are the ones that come most highly recommended.
6. Lemon Balm
We grow a lot of lemon balm around our yard for our bees. They absolutely love it, and it also helps us to catch swarms because it will attract bees as well.
So if you enjoy the fresh scent of lemon, then you’d probably enjoy planting this around your yard. We actually plant ours at the tree line of our property. That way our perimeter is mosquito protected, and the bees will be out of the way as well.
But it is all about the layout of your property and what areas need protecting the most. For me, I needed to protect everything because my poor child couldn’t go anywhere without being bitten by a mosquito.
Peppermint is what saved the day around our swing set. My son loves to play on his swing set. He loves the show American Ninja Warrior.
So we bought him the swing set that had the climbing wall. He played on it constantly, but he was being plagued with mosquito bites.
Which led me to plant mint around the swing set. It backed up to the tree line so I didn’t mind putting up lots of plants. I figured the more mint that grew the better. And it worked quite well.
But be advised, while peppermint deters adult mosquitos and kills off the larvae and eggs, it will take over. If you don’t want a whole lot be sure to plant it in a pot.
If you’ve ever gone to the nursery and seen a plant that is labeled ‘the mosquito plant’ it was probably citrosum. It smells a lot like citronella but it isn’t.
Actually, it doesn’t work quite as well as citronella either. It really only works if you crush the leaves and rub them on your skin.
But if you’d like to have a handy and natural insect repellent, then you might want to consider growing this plant to rub on your skin.
Do you enjoy hanging around your fire pit over the summer? Oh, I know we do! It is a great place to gather and have a great time together creating memories.
Well, if so, then you need to grow sage in your yard. It isn’t a great mosquito repellent just by growing, but it is great if you pick some and burn it. Which means when you are around your fire pit, toss some sage in and the smell will deter mosquitoes from hanging around.
If you don’t already have sage growing, but you do grow rosemary currently in your herb garden then there is no need to start growing something new.
Instead, just use what you already have. The next time you are around your fire pit and the bugs start biting just browse through your herb garden for rosemary.
Then toss it into the fire (the same way you would sage) and let it burn. The smell should cause the mosquitoes to go away.
Garlic cures a lot of things. I’ve heard people say that if you eat enough garlic it would deter mosquitoes. I wouldn’t actually try that because I’m sure you’d have to eat a lot of garlic.
But you can grow garlic. It is a great thing to have on hand because it is used so commonly in so many different dishes.
However, the smell of the growing garlic will deter mosquitoes from hanging around your property. So you can grow one plant with multiple purposes.
This is a plant that is related to mint. That means that it will take over your property if you aren’t careful.
Now, you could do what I do and plant things similar to mint near a tree line so if it is going to run away, it’ll run into the woods.
But if you don’t have woods near your home, then you could always plant it in a pot. You can simply plant pennyroyal in your yard or keep some of its crushed leaves in your pocket to deter mosquitoes from hanging around you.
I love geraniums. They are gorgeous flowers and add a lot of color to your yard.
But did you know that you could get them in different scents? You can! There are geraniums that come in a lemon scented option.
So if you are looking to deter mosquitoes from your yard, then you need to consider growing geraniums. Even if you can’t find the lemon scented option, they could still help deter the unwanted pests from hanging around you and your family.
14. Lemon Thyme
Thyme is a very aromatic herb. It packs a lot of flavor when added to your food as well. But did you know that thyme can be helpful outside of the kitchen too?
Well, it is actually a great herb to grow in an effort to deter mosquitoes from hanging around your property.
As a lot of other plants, it comes in different scented options. The lemon scent works best as mosquitoes are not very fond of that scent.
Natural DIY Mosquito Repellent Options
But now that I’ve shared some plants you can grow to deter mosquitoes from making a home out of your yard. You might also be interested in natural mosquito repellents that you can spray directly on to yourself so mosquitoes will leave you alone no matter where you are.
Here they are:
1. Neem Oil Mosquito Repellent
This article is very informative. It shares why mosquitoes choose certain people to bite instead of others.
But she also offers two different recipes using neem oil to deter mosquitoes. You can choose either the lotion option or the spray option.
2. DIY Bug Spray
This bug spray looks super simple to make. It only requires some distilled water, essential oils of choice, and witch hazel.
So if you are looking for an all-natural way to stay mosquito bite free this summer, then you might want to consider trying this recipe.
3. 3-Option Mosquito Spray
Let’s say you are looking for an all-natural way to be free of bug bites this year. You’ve planted different varieties of plants in your yard, but you need a spray for when you are on the go.
Well, then this could be a great resource for you. It shares three different recipes with different scents to suit your preference.
4. Mosquito Repellent Luminaries
You like the idea of keeping mosquitoes at bay, but you don’t want to spray anything on you that makes you smell like lavender or lemon? It’s okay. I get it.
But you could still use these brilliant all-natural luminaries while you are outdoors to keep mosquitoes away.