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Plants that repel mosquitoes

By RST Brands
November 23, 2014

While mosquito season may be waning, it's never too early to start planning your spring landscape. Mosquitos pose a pesky problem for many people who spend a lot of time in their backyards during the warmer months, particularly if they are doing a lot of outdoor entertaining. A plethora of spray repellents, candles and clip-ons are on the market for mitigating the issue, but many contain harsh chemicals and run outquickly. If you're looking for anatural alternative, look no further: Mother Nature's got your back.

You've probably used citronella candles, but theperennialclumping plant is actually far more potent. It grows up to6 feet highand has an incredibly strong aroma that mosquitos hate. You can buy them already grown from gardening centers or you can plant them yourself - either method will work just fine.

Lemon balm
Lemon balm is surprisingly amember of the mint family. It is a tough, aggressive plant that is resistant to drought, making it relatively low maintenance. It will take over your garden if you aren't careful, however, so be sure to contain it to its own pot.

According to a 2010 studyby the University of Iowa, catnip is 10times more effective than DEET when it comes to repelling mosquitos. Cats really do love this plant, so don't place it near anything you don't want getting trampled by outdoor kitties.

These flowers contain pyrethrum, which is found in many insect repellents on the market. Often used as landscaping borders or planted alongside other blooms, they need full sunlight and fertile soil to grow. Marigolds, like citronella, can be purchased fully grown at gardening centers or can be planted from seeds. The flowers are indeed beautiful but will attract wasps, so don't leave these guys on your patio diningtable.

One of the most convenient popular mosquito repellents is basil, as it will serve you well both indoors and outdoors. Grow this herb in your garden to keep the bugs at bay, then bring it inside to flavor your food. The two varieties recommended for deterring bugs are lemon basil and cinnamon basil.

Its unclear why bugs despise the scent of this plant, but they certainly do. Place it in pots near common entryways to your home like windows and patio doors, or place a decorative bucket on your patio dining table. When you want to fragrance the interior of your home, simply bring a few sprigs inside.

Peppermint should keep the mosquitos away, but if it doesn't, there's no need to worry: it makes a great itch relief treatment too. Pro tip: This makes a particularly useful bug repellent during mojito season, if we do say so ourselves.

Plants are a sustainable and natural way to repel mosquitos, but they will also make your backyard even more beautiful. Try planting a few varieties around your outdoor furniture for itch-free entertaining!