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Plants That Repel Mosquitos Naturally: 6 Plants and Essential Tips

A mosquito-free space is not only an outdoor comfort but also a health essential, given the diseases that these pests can transmit. One natural way to combat mosquitoes is by planting certain species in your garden and around your home.

These plants emit natural scents and compounds that are effective in repelling pesky insects.

In this article, we will explore six types of plants that can help you keep your home and garden free from mosquitos. In addition, we will offer essential tips to repel mosquitoes naturally.

Plants that repel mosquitos

The Importance of Repelling Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are more than just annoying pests. They can transmit diseases like malaria, dengue, and Zika. By repelling mosquitoes, you can reduce the risk of exposure to these diseases and ensure a safer environment for ourselves and our communities.

The presence of mosquitoes can disrupt outdoor activities like gardening, barbecues, and picnics. A mosquito-free space lets you spend time outside comfortably.

Excessive use of chemical repellents can harm the environment and our health. Utilizing natural mosquito repellents, such as plants that repel mosquitoes, can be an eco-friendly and health-conscious approach to pest control.

Implementing a diverse range of mosquito-repelling plants in your garden can deter mosquitoes and promote a healthier, thriving ecosystem. Many of these plants, like lavender and basil, can also have other benefits, such as culinary uses or attracting beneficial insects.

Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants

In this section, you will learn about plants your garden needs to repel mosquitoes naturally away from your outdoor living spaces.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, common balm or balm mint (Melissa officinalis) on garden

Lemon Balm is a fragrant herb that belongs to the mint family. It is easy to grow and contains oils that can repel mosquitoes. Plant it in pots or in your garden to help keep these pesky insects at bay.


Mosquito repellent. Citronella essential oil and fresh leaves on wooden background. Tag with citronella text

Citronella is well-known for its mosquito-repelling properties. Its strong lemony scent is what makes it an effective deterrent. Plant citronella grass in your yard or use citronella oil products like candles or torches to help keep mosquitoes away.


With their bright, colorful flowers, Marigolds are attractive and have an unappealing scent to mosquitoes. Plant them in your garden or place pots of marigolds around your outdoor living spaces to create a mosquito-free zone.


Small basil herb plant growing in a pot with bokeh background

An aromatic culinary herb, Basil is another effective mosquito repellent. Plant basil in pots or include it in your garden to help ward off these biting insects. Basil’s essential oils also make a natural mosquito-repellent spray when mixed with water.


Sunset over a violet lavender field .Valensole lavender fields, Provence, France.

Known for its calming scent, Lavender is also an efficient mosquito repellent. Its essential oils deter mosquitoes, so plant lavender in your garden or use lavender oil-based products to help keep these pests at bay.


Catnip or catmint green herb background

A member of the mint family, Catnip contains a compound called nepetalactone, which is an effective natural mosquito repellent. Plant catnip in your garden or use catnip oil as a mosquito repellent for protection against these biting insects.

How to Use These Plants Effectively

Garden Placement

Strategically placing plants that repel mosquitos in your garden can help reduce their populations. Focus on areas where you and your family spend the most time, such as patios and seating areas. Plant them in pots or directly in the ground, depending on the plant’s requirements.

Learn more about how to plant different types of flowers.

Indoor Use

Some mosquito-repelling plants can also be grown indoors, providing a natural indoor repellent. Keep these plants near doors, windows, and areas where you tend to relax or sleep.

Examples of indoor-friendly plants with mosquito-repelling properties include scented geraniums and lemon-scented plants.

Creating DIY Repellents

In addition to strategically placing plants in your garden and indoors, you can also create homemade repellents from their extracts.

For example, you can create your own mosquito repellent by:

  • Crushing fresh citronella leaves and rubbing them directly onto your skin or clothing.
  • Use crushed sage stems (fresh or dried) and rub them onto your skin or clothing.
  • Creating a natural spray by mixing a few drops of lavender, citronella, or other mosquito-repelling essential oils with water and some natural carrier oil (such as almond oil).

Additional Tips for Mosquito Control

Besides using mosquito-repellent plants in your garden, you can take a few other measures to control mosquitoes effectively.

Remove Standing Water

One of the most important steps you can take to prevent mosquito breeding is to eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, so regularly inspect your property for areas that collect water. Some examples include:

  • Empty flower pots and saucers
  • Birdbaths
  • Old tires
  • Gutters and drains
  • Swimming pool covers

Keeping these areas clean and dry or changing the water frequently can prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs and reduce their population in your outdoor living space.

Use of Screens and Netting

Installing screens and netting can provide an excellent barrier against mosquitoes, especially in areas where you spend a lot of time outdoors. Consider the following options:

  • Screen doors and windows
  • Outdoor curtains for porches and patios
  • Mosquito netting for gazebos and pergolas

Ensure that the screens are in good repair, and choose fine mesh materials to block even the smallest mosquitoes.

Consider Introducing Mosquito Predators

Introducing natural mosquito predators to your yard can help repel mosquitoes naturally. Some mosquito predators include:

  • Bats: Bat houses can attract bats, which consume large quantities of mosquitoes each night.
  • Birds: Certain species, like swallows and purple martins, feed on mosquitoes. Installing birdhouses or nesting boxes can attract them to your property.
  • Fish: If you have a pond, consider adding mosquito-eating fish like Gambusia or goldfish to help control mosquito larvae.

Strategically introducing these predators in your outdoor space can contribute to a more natural and effective mosquito control approach.

Drive Those Mosquitos Away!

Incorporating plants that repel mosquitoes naturally is an effective and natural way to keep these pesky insects at bay. The addition of DIY repelling mosquitoes with repellants, using screens, and introducing bats or other predators will also greatly impact your garden.

If you are interested in learning more about repelling another garden pest, read our guide on How to Keep Weeks Out of Gardens.