Say hello to warmer weather and goodbye to those pesky mosquitoes. As outdoor entertaining kicks into high gear, the last thing you want to worry about is unwanted insect bites.
Welcome the humidity, but keep those annoying bugs at bay. Your secret weapon? Certain plants that not only enhance your garden's appeal but also minimize mosquito invasions. Dive into our expert-approved green guide to discover how to make your outdoor space a no-fly zone for mosquitoes.
Citronella: An effective mosquito repellent.
“Lemongrass is more than a popular candle scent; it's an effective mosquito repellent,” comments Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal. It masks the scent that mosquitoes find irresistible with its delicious lemon aroma. Plant it in pots or directly in the ground around your outdoor spaces to set up an effective barrier against mosquitoes. According to Amber Noyes, horticulturist and editor of Gardening Chores, other lemon-scented plants such as lemongrass, lemon balm and lemon verbena all serve the same purpose – it all depends on what works best in your local climate.
Lavender: Excellent for deterring mosquitoes
What's not to love about lavender? It's a gorgeous plant with a heavenly scent, and it's excellent at deterring mosquitoes. “Lavender contains linalool, a chemical compound that mosquitoes find repellent,” says Clayton. What's more, its dried petals can even be used as an itching remedy. However, lavender thrives best in the sunshine. Ben McInerney, founder of Home Garden Guides, advises against planting it in shady areas, ensuring optimal growth and mosquito repellent power.
Catnip plant: feline pleasure and mosquito scourge
It's not just cats who go crazy for catnip. This plant is an effective mosquito repellent, thanks to its nepetalactone compound. Clayton points out that it's even more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. What's more, catnip is easy to grow and maintain, making it an excellent choice for experienced and novice gardeners alike. “It's a hardy plant that thrives in a variety of soil types, as long as it's well-drained,” adds Noyes. Clayton also suggests using catnip oil or leaves to create your own repellent.
Carnations: the effective insect repellent
Add a touch of color and insect repellency to your garden with marigolds. These vibrant flowers emit a scent that mosquitoes can't stand. “India carnations also contain pyrethrum, a natural insecticide that eliminates mosquitoes,” says Clayton. Vibrant blooms are ideally planted near entrances and resting areas, ensuring a bug-free experience.
Mint and basil: culinary delights and mosquito repellents
Who knew your kitchen essentials could double up as mosquito repellents? Mint, with its refreshing scent, is an excellent mosquito repellent. Noyes recommends Algerian mint for its unique spicy aroma. It grows easily in all types of soil and in partial shade.
Basil, meanwhile, isn't just perfect for your pasta sauce. “This herb contains oils that can exterminate mosquito larvae,” reveals David Lundquist, owner of Mosquito Hunters of Austin. Clayton suggests planting it near your grilling area. The eugenol compound in basil acts as a mosquito repellent, and you can also use its leaves to make a natural spray.
Put an end to your mosquito problems with these fragrant, colorful and easy-to-grow plants, and reclaim your backyard.
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