Using chemicals for mosquito control can have a bad effect on our health, our pets and our environment when used heavily or long term. Why use potentially dangerous chemicals, when there are many attractive garden plants to put in your yard that work great to repel mosquitoes? Plant them around your areas of activity, wear a sprig of these plants on your clothing, while some can be applied to your skin and some can even be eaten to repel mosquitoes.
Here are just a few of the plants that naturally repel mosquitoes.
CITRONELLA GRASS: If you live in tropic climate, grow Citronella grass, also known as Lemon Grass in your back yard. Citronella grass is what is used to make citronella oil that is used in candles and lanterns as natural mosquito repellent. But Citronella grass needs a tropical climate to thrive, so you can use pure essential oil of citronella to rub on your skin. But don't use the fragrance oil as they are made for burning not for topical use.
SOYBEAN OIL: Look for repellents that are made from soybean oil. Natural repellents made of soybean oil are very effective repellents. Soybean oil also makes an excellent body moisturizer.
CATNIP: Catnip herb is highly effective natural mosquito repellent. Grow catnip around your patio and clip a sprig to wear to repel mosquitoes. But keep in mind that cats are greatly attracted to the plants. You can also try this homemade catnip mosquito repellent spray:
CATNIP MOSQUITO SPRAY
2 cups catnip, stemmed
3-4 cups mild rice vinegar
Rinse herbs, roll lightly with a rolling pin, then place the herbs in a clean quart jar and cover with vinegar. Seal jar and store in a dark cupboard for two weeks.
Shake jar lightly every day for two weeks. Strain the liquid into a clean jar, seal and refrigerate. Unused, this can be stored up to 6 months. To use, spray on exposed skin and around outdoor sitting area to repel mosquitoes.
NEEM OIL: Use "neem oil" derived from the Nemba Tree, as it has also been found to be quite an effective mosquito repellent. You can also use Neem oil as an organic insecticide on crops, as it repels harmful insects like white flies, gnats, aphids, mites, and weevils. Neem oil also serves to strengthen crops against rust, scab, mildew, and blight.
LAVENDER: If prefer and more pleasant fragrance in your yard grow lavender or use the essential oils of lavender to repel mosquitoes.
BASIL: Grow basil in pots and place out on your patio to repel mosquitoes. Rub a handful of fresh basil leaves on your skin as a natural mosquito repellent.
LEMON BALM: Rub the crushed leaves of Lemon Balm on your skin to repel mosquitoes. Other lemon scented plants, such as Lemon Thyme, Lemon Grass (Citronella), Lemon Basil, Lemon Oregano, etc, also serve as great mosquito control.
PENNYROYAL: Grow Pennyroyal mint plants as a natural mosquito repellent or look for insecticides made from Pennyroyal oil. Pennyroyal repels flies, gnats, mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Pennyroyal is highly toxic, so the concentrated oil of pennyroyal should never be taken internally and should not be used topically by pregnant women. There are other options to use topically, so in my mind, this one may be best left in your garden.
MARIGOLD: Add Marigolds to your gardens. Many insects, animals and humans find the scent of Marigolds to be less than pleasant. Marigolds are a good plant for mosquito control in the yard. Marigolds also repel aphids and other insects that can attack vegetable plants.
ROSEMARY: The oil found in Rosemary serves as a natural mosquito repellent. Grow rosemary in a pot and place on your patio during the warmer months to repel mosquitoes. Since Rosemary does not tolerate cold climates, take the plant inside during the winter months.
TANSIES: Plant Tansies, more commonly known as "Mums." Mums not only provide various colors to your yard, but serve to repel mosquitoes as well.
GARLIC: Grow garlic in your gardens for effective mosquito control then eat the garlic to serve as a natural mosquito repellent wherever you go.