15 Garden Plants That Act as Natural Mosquito Repellents


As it turns warm, along with the sun and fun, come a few nuisances, including pesky mosquitoes. These tiny, bloodsucking insects can quickly turn an idyllic outdoor setting into an itchy and frustrating experience. If you’re looking for ways to get rid of mosquitoes, it’s worth considering natural alternatives, given the potential side effects and environmental impact of chemical-based repellents. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best natural options available.


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Have you ever observed how insects, rabbits, and other animals seem to avoid damaging your lavender crop? The main reason behind it is the perennial’s delightful fragrance, derived from the essential oils in its leaves. Some argue that lavender oil even disrupts a bug’s sense of smell! Interestingly, it flourishes in warmer regions.



Basil is used for preparing yummy pesto sauce and salads and also helps keep bugs at bay. This herb releases its smell naturally, so you don’t have to crush the foliage or do anything special. Basil harms the larvae, so placing it near standing water can prevent anthropods from laying eggs.

Bay Laurel

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Bay leaves have a strong aroma that might deter mosquitoes to some degree. You could create a loose sachet by crushing a few bay leaves and then place them in a small cloth bag to hang near doorways or patios or tuck it into pockets for a light, potentially mosquito-discouraging scent. Alternatively, you could apply cooled bay leaf infusion for a temporary repellent effect.



You might recognize this one as an ornamental onion! Allium is related to onions, garlic, and chives and has a critter-unfriendly odor. These sturdy bulbs grow into lovely balls of purple, yellow, or pink flowers that bloom in spring just in time to keep flies away.



Simple-to-grow annual flower gives off a fragrance that deters these pesky organisms. Place marigolds in pots near your patio or by your home’s entrance. They are also great for borders and vegetable gardens. Besides repelling these bloodsucking organisms, they prevent aphids, thrips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms.


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Nepetalactone in catnip acts as a repellant for mosquitoes. It’s even more effective than DEET, a chemical in many synthetic products, making it a top pick in this category. Also, remember that catnip is low maintenance but can rapidly spread if planted in a garden bed.


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Fennel is believed to have repelling qualities, and it’s also incredibly versatile in the kitchen. It grows like ornamental grasses, with big, feathery looks, and its fronds are perfect for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Just remember to cultivate this potent herb in full sun.


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We’re all familiar with rosemary and its many benefits. Rosemary thrives in hot, dry climates and does well in containers, which makes it perfect for colder areas. You can prune rosemary into various shapes and sizes, making it great for borders or decorations. While unwanted guests stay away, you can enjoy its essence and use it to season your cooking.



Citronella is often used in pesticides, insecticides, and candles. Its strong scent covers up other attractants like carbon dioxide. This vegetation is usually grown in planters but can also do well in the yard without frost. Citronella is easy to care for, so you can keep fleas away with minimal effort.


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These are often called the ‘trap crop’ because they attract the two-winged anthropods to their foliage instead of repulsing them. Creatures like cabbage moths and aphids are drawn to nasturtiums, leaving crops like cabbages, tomatoes, and beans alone. That’s why nasturtiums are grown along the edges of vegetable yards.



Picture this: You pick a mint leaf for your tea and enjoy a peaceful evening on the porch—no annoying buzzing around. Yes, this tasty herb is good for more than garnish! All kinds of mint species, like spearmint and peppermint, work effectively. If you don’t cultivate it in a pot, keep it separate from your other greens.

Bee Balms

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If you want to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies while keeping away the nuisances, bee balm, also called Monarda or horsemint, is perfect. Just crush its shoots to release the fragrant oils. You’ll also have beautiful red, pink, lavender, white, or purple flowers all summer.


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Sage is widely used for spiritual cleansing in various cultures and is often burned in rituals. But did you know burning sage is also an excellent way to keep disease-spreading vectors afar? Toss some sage shoots into your backyard fire pit or fireplace to fill your home.


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Petunias, known as ‘nature’s pesticide,’ repel mosquitoes, aphids, leafhoppers, and other bugs. Instead of keeping them away, petunias catch them in their sticky stamens, where the vectors get trapped and can’t harm you and your greens.



Another scent we love and these pesky insects hate? Eucalyptus! This flora releases chemicals like linalool and geraniol that make them buzz off. You’ll even see eucalyptus oil in lots of sprays. To grow it, cultivate it early enough for the plant to settle in before winter.


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