Plants that Repel Mosquitoes and Other Insects

Rachel Cho Flowers | Floral Designer | blog
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The summer months bring long, warm days that encourage us to spend more time outdoors. Unfortunately, this is also prime season for mosquitoes and other unwelcome insects. These pests can be more than just an itchy annoyance—mosquito bites are linked to the transmission of the Zika and West Nile viruses, among other diseases. If you don’t feel comfortable slathering on DEET or other chemical insect repellents every time you set foot outdoors, you don’t have to resign yourself to being a mosquito’s buffet. There are natural plant alternatives that are effective in keeping bugs at bay.

Many of the plants below make attractive and fragrant additions to a garden to create a no-go zone for insects around your home. Alternatively, others make great container plants for balconies, rooftop decks, or windowsills. Use your favorites in combination for increased impact.

Lavender: The scent of lavender, which humans find relaxing, repels mosquitos, moths, and flies. This plant is drought-resistant when established. You can also dry its flowers to put in drawers and closets to repel moths indoors.

Citronella: This perennial grass is the source of the most common ingredient used in natural insect repellents. It can be grown in pots, and tends to be low-maintenance, preferring lots of sun and good drainage.

Peppermint: The clean scent of this herb is far less appealing to mosquitoes than it is to humans, and its essential oil has been shown to be toxic to mosquito larvae. This is a good plant to grow in a pot because it will happily invade the rest of your garden if given the chance.

Marigolds: This flowering plant contains pyrethrum, which is an ingredient in many insect repellents. It is a good companion plant for a vegetable garden, because it repels aphids as well as mosquitoes.

Eucalyptus: The fresh scent of eucalyptus repels mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. The essential oil from this plant also has mosquito-repelling qualities.

Basil: The pungent aroma of this herb may remind you of your favorite Italian dish, but to mosquitoes it’s intolerable. While some mosquito-repelling plants are more effective if you crush their leaves, basil’s scent is strong enough that you don’t need to.

Rosemary: This is another plant that’s handy to grow for flavoring your cooking as well as for dissuading mosquitoes from hanging around. Whether you’re planting it in a garden or in a pot, it does best in full sun.

Catnip: Catnip isn’t just good for driving your kitty crazy. The terpenoid essential oil nepetalactone, which makes this herb irresistible to cats and gives the plant its distinctive scent, drives off mosquitos and flies.

Insect-repelling plants can help you enjoy your summer without the company of unwanted flying guests. At Rachel Cho Floral Design, we believe that plants and flowers enhance any environment. We provide our clients with the freshest blooms of every season, tailoring our designs to match your aesthetic and vision. Our eye for innovative design is matched only by our passion for customer service. Contact us today for all your floral needs.

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