We all know the frustration of drifting off to sleep only to be rudely awoken by the whine of a mosquito in your ear. These pesky insects take shine off of warm summer nights with their incessant buzzing and unbearably itchy bites; when this happens our natural action is to reach for a mosquito repellent cream or spray which is understandable.
Unfortunately these chemical based repellents have a number of downsides; the most tame being the fact that this must be reapplied often for it to maintain its potency throughout the night. Chemical insecticides can come in many forms with their own list of negatives.
Spray and smoke based insect repellents can irritate the eyes and affect people with persistent breathing problems. Insecticide creams can also sting the eyes and cause skin irritation from allergic reactions to the various chemicals. The main reason why prolonged use of chemical insecticides is a chemical called N,N-diethyl-m- toluamide or DEET. This chemical absorbs quickly into the skin and with prolonged use cause an itchy, red skin irritation; which almost makes you miss mosquito bites.
Keeping your skin safe from mosquitoes is important; not just because of the frustrating noise and rage inducing itchiness but due to the fact that mosquitoes can carry deadly diseases such as malaria and dengue. Luckily nature has a number of solutions for a chemical and mosquito free night’s sleep.
34 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes At Bay The Natural Way
Many plants from weeds to herbs and flowers have a natural built in resistance to mosquitoes commonly due to their potent scents. These plants can be used in a myriad of different way, which I will lay out for you, to help you keep mosquitoes away from your home the natural way. Many of these techniques can double as aroma therapy or as a room decoration that’s serves dual purposes.
So if you prefer to go the natural route or are just looking for a healthier alternative to chemical repellents then here are:
Basil is a delicious and highly aromatic edible herb commonly found in most vegetable gardens. The leaves are used to make essential oils that can be used as a natural insecticidal spray but the plant being planted near your home can deter mosquitoes all on its own. The scent is also highly toxic to mosquito larvae so you can plant it next to bodies of standing water such as swimming pools and water features to prevent them from laying eggs inside them.
2. Bee Balm
Bee balm is more than just a pretty flower to adorn your garden with. This beautiful plant attracts hummingbirds, butterflies and bees for a garden that comes straight out of Cinderella. The birds that bee balm attracts also feed on insects like mosquitoes so they get a delicious snack and you stay bite free! These delicately petalled flowers come in red, pink, white and purple. When its leaves are crushed to release their oils the scent will repel mosquitoes. The leaves can then be distributed around your garden or home for a lasting protective barrier around your house.
3. Cadaga Tree
The cadaga tree is a medium sized tree with long slender leaves that is a member of the eucalyptus family. This gorgeous tree can act as a barrier from those buzzing pests merely by being planted in your garden, due to its natural scent. Planting these trees on the perimeter on your garden will help keep your whole property mosquito free while looking beautiful at the same time.
The calendula flower is a beautiful daisy like orange flower whose petals and leaves have mosquito repellent properties. The most effective way to use calendula is to brew a tea, not the kind you drink, from its leaves and flowers. The flowers and leaves can be picked, left out in the sun to dry and then infused in water. The resultant brew can then be placed in a spray bottle and used as a natural insecticide.
Catnip is potent mosquito repellent plant that is really easy to grow that is very heat tolerant. It contains a chemical compound similar to citronella; which causes it to actively repel mosquitoes just by being planted. The oils extracted from the leaves can be used diluted as a spray for around the home. Alternatively the leaves can be dried and made into catnip sachets that you can place around the house to help keep the pests away. One problem is the reason for its name; cats love catnip! So if you are planning on growing fresh catnip make sure to plant this under wire domes so your cat, or even neighbors’ cats don’t flatten it when they roll around in it. Luckily they also really enjoy the dried version so you’ll have a mosquito free house and a very happy cat.
6. Cinnamon Basil
Cinnamon basil is another member of basil family with strong mosquito repelling powers. The leaves contain the chemical cinnamate; which is also responsible for giving cinnamon its flavour and it is this potent scent that the mosquitoes find so distasteful. This herb can be planted in your vegetable patch to deter a number of plant eating insects. To keep mosquitoes away from your home you can strategically plant cinnamon basil near or in the home or the leaves can be picked, dried and placed at regular intervals around the house in sachets or as potpourri.
Citronella is a plant whose leaf is very fragrant, when a frond is broken off and rubbed on the skin the natural oils will keep you safe from mosquito bites. The essential oil can be diluted and used as a natural insecticide spray in your home. Citronella is commonly found in the form of specialized mosquito repellent candles but now you can grow the real thing!
The beautiful scent that makes cloves repellent to mosquitoes is the same sweet and spicy scent that makes this this a delicious spice for cooking with in its dried form. It can also be used dried as a natural painkiller for toothache by wedging the whole dried clove in between the effected teeth. These fragrant evergreen bushes can be planted strategically around your garden to repel mosquitoes or it can be used as an oil; both are just as effective. The oils can be burned as aromatherapy that doubles as a mosquito deterrent or used diluted in a spray.
This tapered leafed tree is not only a favorite of koalas but it is also the source of very fragrant natural oils that act as a natural insecticide. The oils can be bought from any pharmacy or health food store and burned or sprayed around the house. Alternatively the leaves themselves can be crushed to release fragrant scented oil; which can be directly applied to mosquito bites to act as a natural antibacterial agent.
10. Fever Few
These cute little daisy-like flowers have a hidden mosquito resistant superpower. The flowers themselves give off a strong scent that you can smell on the air. Planting these pretty flowers throughout your garden can be both aesthetically pleasing and repel mosquitoes at the same time. But that’s not all, fever few is medically proven herbal preventative and cure for migraines because it contains the natural chemical parthenolide. The dried leaves can be drunk as a tea to cure a number of ailments including nausea, arthritis and even tinnitus.