Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying but they spread serious diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever, encephalitis as well as the West Nile and Zika viruses. Mosquitoes are also responsible for heartworm in your pets specially dogs. So it isn’t just about the irritation or the itchy bites they give us but it’s about your health.
Today we will be discussing a few mosquito repellent plants that you can easily grow in your balcony or garden area.
A great mosquito repellent is rosemary plant. Rosemary is an aromatic plant that many of you may be familiar with and their woody aroma is exactly what keeps the mosquitoes, cabbage moths and carrot flies away from your house. They work best in warm and dry temperatures and can be easily grown in containers. Rosemary can also be trimmed into all sorts of shapes or sizes and used for decoration purpose. By keeping rosemary in your garden, the pests will stay away from your home and you can enjoy the herb’s lovely fragrance.
Next, we have is Marigolds. The flower needs no special introduction. It is an easy-to-grow flower, which gives out a smell that prevents mosquitoes. You can grow them in containers or pots and place them at the entrance of your house to keep the bugs out. Marigolds not only repel mosquitoes, but they also deter whiteflies, aphids, thrips, squash bugs as well as tomato hornworms.
3. Lemon Grass
Another great mosquito repellent is the Lemon Grass, which is also called Cymbopogon citrates. The flower contains citronella; a natural oil that repels the insect. Lemongrass is also used in Southeast Asian countries to bring flavor in dishes like chicken. And in India, the plant is used as an anti-inflammatory medicine. Lemongrass has a lovely aroma and that is why it is used in perfumes and other toiletries
4. Lemon Balm
The Lemon Balm or Melissa officinalis is an herb from the mint family that has a variety of uses, for example, it is used in the flavoring of herbal teas. You can make a quick mosquito repellent by squeezing a few leaves and then rubbing it on your body. It can be easily planted in your kitchen garden and be used whenever needed.
5. Catnip / Nepeta cataria
Catnip is also an effective mosquito repellent. Nepetalactone is one of the main active ingredients in Catnip, which was found to be 10 times stronger than even DEET, according to a recent study. Catnip is also a good non-toxic substitute to traditional chemical sprays.
Next in the list, we have is, Basil. This is another great herb that also works as an insect repellent. The strong smell of the basil leaves helps in keeping the mosquitoes away from your house. It is also important to know that Basil likes to be kept moist; it needs good drainage and lots of sunlight. The plant can be grown in containers or pots. The herb is beneficial for many other things as well. So planting Basil in your garden is a very good idea.
7. Garlic or Allium sativum
Garlic is another natural way to stay away from mosquitoes. You can use it by chopping it in small pieces and spread it around your living areas. A patio spray can also be made. You can also mix it with natural aromatic oils to make a mosquito repelling body spray. Or simply grow a garlic plant in your garden.
In addition to growing the plants or herbs mentioned above, you can also practice good mosquito control in your backyard so that the bugs don’t get out of hand. The best thing you can do is – prevent water from collecting as the mosquitoes can lay a number of eggs here. Prevention is always better than cure.