Are you an insect magnet? If you aren’t, you probably know one. Insect magnets attract annoying insects the second they walk outdoors — or so it seems.
Most insect-repelling plants do so with their natural fragrances, which keep annoying mosquitoes away and introduce wonderful scents throughout your garden. If you don’t want to douse yourself or your garden in chemical bug sprays you can grow some of these plants to help keep mosquitoes away naturally. Plant these plants in areas where guests will be often such as by a seating area or a doorway.
Repels house flies and mosquitoes. Plant basil in containers by your doors and in outdoor areas where you like to relax or entertain. Basil is delicious in salads, in many pork and chicken recipes and with a variety of soups. Basil also improves the flavors of certain vegetables, include tomatoes, peppers and asparagus. You also can use fresh basil to make an insect repellent spray. A simple recipe calls for pouring four ounces of boiling water into a container holding four to six ounces of clean, fresh basil leaves (stems can be attached), letting the leaves steep for several hours, removing the leaves and squeezing all of the leaves’ moisture into the mixture. Then thoroughly mix four ounces of (cheap!) vodka with the basil-water mixture. Store in the refrigerator and apply as a spray when going outdoors. Be sure to keep the spray away from your eyes, nose and mouth.
Repels moths, fleas, flies and mosquitoes.1 Lavender has been used for centuries to add a pleasantly sweet fragrance to homes and clothes drawers. Although many people love the smell of lavender, mosquitoes, flies and other unwanted insects hate it. Place tied bouquets in your dwelling to help keep flies outdoors. Plant it in sunny areas of the garden or near entryways to your place to help keep those areas pest free. You can also use oil extracted from the flowers as a mosquito repellent you can apply to exposed skin when going into the garden or patio.
This hardy herb can adapt to dry or rocky, shallow soil and will thrive in your herb garden, a rock garden, or a front border as long as these are in sunny locations. The plant itself will not repel pesky mosquitoes. To release its chemicals, you must first bruise the leaves. To do this, simply cut off a few stems and rub them between your hands.
Repels mosquitoes. Mint is best grown in pots rather than the ground because it spreads aggressively. Once established in the garden, it can be difficult to remove. Cuttings of mint in mulch can help broccoli, cabbage and turnips. The leaves are commonly used to flavor minty iced tea. The aromatic properties found in the leaves are also present in the stems and flowers. With a little work, the plant’s aromatic oils can be extracted and combined with apple cider vinegar and cheap vodka (or witch hazel) to make a mosquito repellent. Containers of mint strategically placed in the garden or on the patio will help keep nearby plants insect free.
Like rosemary, sage is a perennial plant that can be grown in planters on a patio or planted into landscaped beds. If you’re camping or making s’mores in the backyard, toss a little sage or rosemary into the fire. The scented smoke helps keep away unwanted insects. You can make a bug repellant spray using sage, too.
Another great mosquito repellant is rosemary. Both the New York Botanical Garden and PlantShed recommended this plant. Rosemary is an herb that many of us are very familiar with and their woody scent is exactly what keeps mosquitoes as well as cabbage moths and carrot flies away. They do best in hot and dry climates and thrive in containers, which may be ideal for areas with winters. They can also be pruned into all sorts of shapes and sizes and make great borders or decorations. While the pests stay away you can enjoy the herb’s scent and also use it to season your cooking.