11 Plants & Herbs That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes

Did you know that Metro Atlanta region ranks as the worst in the U.S. for mosquitoes, according to the Orkin pest control company?

As we head into peak mosquito season here in Gwinnett County, I came across this fantastic list of 11 different plants and herbs from Natural Living Ideas you can plant in pots for your deck or directly in your garden as a natural way of keeping these pests from buzzing around your back yard!


Enjoy these 11 Plants & Herbs That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes

1. Citronella

Chances are, you’ve heard of this one before- it’s one of the most common ingredients in most mosquito repellents. Strange enough though, many people don’t even know that citronella is actually a plant! Citronella is a beautiful perennial clumping grass that emits a strong aroma. That aroma masks other scents, and keeps mosquitoes from being attracted to citronella-grass-150x150things located around it.

The citronella plant has a much stronger aroma than other mosquito repellents that contain citronella, so it is a great choice. Citronella is very easy to grow, and can get to be a very tall 5 or 6 feet high! You can grow citronella in pots and place it around a porch or patio, or you can plant it directly in a yard or garden bed. It’s a great choice for repelling mosquitoes naturally.

2. Lemon Balm

A member of the mint family, the plant also known as horsemint and beebalm is a very easy plant for beginning gardeners to grow- even if you don’t have a green thumb! Lemon Balm is a very hardy plant, it resists drought, and it grows well even in shade.lemonbalm-150x150

It is a very fast growing and sometimes aggressive plant, so you might want to contain it to a pot, where you can move it to wherever you like to ensure that it doesn’t take over your garden. An added bonus? You can dry the leaves and use them to make a delicious herbal tea!

3. Catnip

Your feline friends will be happy to know that catnip is a great mosquito deterrent!catnip-150x150

In fact, in a 2010 study, researchers found that catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET, the ingredient commonly found in bug repellents.

It is a very easy plant to grow, and if you have cats in the house, they will surely be happy to have it around. Keep plants full by pinching the growing stems and flower buds when they appear.

4. Marigolds

A bright, hardy annual plant, marigolds are a great choice for repelling mosquitoes. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents, and they have a unique aroma which bugs find repulsive.marigolds-1024x681-150x150

The flowers themselves are beautiful and can make a great border or addition to any flower bed. Try placing them around borders of your home, and mosquitoes might not want to cross over!

Top Tip: Companion plant marigolds with tomatoes. The insects hate them so much they’ll stay away from your beloved tomatoes.

5. Basil

Calling all cooks! Want a double whammy when it comes to mosquito protection? Plant some basil. Not only will you have a quick and easy mosquito repellent, you will also have a delicious fresh herb on hand to add to all of your favorite recipes. (try my Perfect Pesto Recipe!)basil-150x150

There are many different varieties of basil around, so feel free to experiment and find the ones that you like best.

Many expert gardeners recommend trying lemon basil or cinnamon basil to deter insects. Plus basil is one of the easiest herbs to keep alive – even the biggest novice can manage it.

6. Lavender

You probably know that lavender is a gorgeous purple flowering plant with a soothing, calming scent. But, did you know that it is also a natural mosquito repellent?

Bouquet of lavender in a rustic decorative setting

Grow it indoors near a sunny window, or outside in your garden or flower bed to keep the bugs away.

While you’re at it, make a delicious herbal tea, or use lavender to fill your home with a wonderful calming aroma. There are so many reasons to grow lavender.

7. Peppermint

Most bugs despise the smell and taste of peppermint, so planting it around your home is a great way to keep them from dropping by uninvited.peppermint-300x225-150x150

Plus, if you do happen to get bitten, peppermint leaves rubbed directly onto the skin make a great bite relief treatment.

An added bonus is the wonderful minty smell that makes a delicious addition to food and beverages.

8. Garlic

Unfortunately for all of us who love Italian food, studies have shown that eating garlic does not repel mosquitoes. (Unless, however, you were to eat a huge amount!) However, having garlic around does!garlic-150x150

Make sure to add some garlic to your flower bed or vegetable garden for added protection from mosquitoes.

Not only will you keep mosquitoes away, you’ll also have a whole load of garlic to flavor your food and for its incredible health benefits.

9. Pennyroyal

The adorable pennyroyal flower is a natural deterrent for mosquitoes. Make sure to plant some around your flowerbeds.pennyroyal-300x225-150x150

Pennyroyal plants also make great groundcovers, and they attract a plethora of beautiful butterflies.

Some people even use pennyroyal to flavor certain fish dishes. As you can see, this plant has plenty of benefits.

10. Rosemary

Rosemary is a beautiful flowering plant that is often used to flavor lamb or fish dishes, but did you know that it is also a natural mosquito repellent?rosemary-150x150

It’s perfect to add to your herb garden or flowerbed to keep bugs away, and it even attracts butterflies!

Plus you can simply snip a few springs off every time you need to add extra flavor to your lamb or steak.

11. Geraniums

This beautiful flowering plant is a great choice for mosquito repellent.geranium-150x150

When planted in a hanging container, the colorful blooms will cascade over the side of the pot, providing a beautiful visual piece as well as a very useful bug repellent.

Note that geraniums don’t want too much water, otherwise their leaves will yellow and the plant can rot. Geraniums tolerate periods of dry soil much better than long periods of wet soil, so let the soil get fairly dry before providing additional moisture. Also, water the soil directly without wetting the leaves. Your geranium will thank you!

Bonus Tip #1:

Breaking the leaves of these plants and rubbing their oils directly onto your skin can amplify their positive effects on beating mosquitoes. Plus, think how good you will smell! (well, except for the garlic…)

Bonus Tip #2:

To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard, get rid of all standing water. Anything that can hold even the smallest amount of rain or sprinkler water must be removed or turned over.


There are over 65 varieties of mosquitoes in Georgia, and some of these plants will be more or less effective against certain types. However, all of these plants will add beauty to your garden, with others providing additional cooking benefits.

While our team at Holtkamp Heating & Air helps your family feel comfortable indoors, these mosquito tips from Natural Living Ideas will help you and your family enjoy maximum comfort in the outdoors this summer as well!

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