Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes With Plants

There are natural ways to repel mosquitoes without using chemicals. Did you know that mosquitoes have a very good sense of smell? That is why they’re drawn to humans and other animals to feed off them.

But you can deter them as well as have fragrant plants around you at the same time.

So what is it they’re not attracted to?

I have the plants that will help deter those biting pests listed below.


Everyone has heard of citronella and some buy citronella scented candles for outdoors to try to keep mosquitoes away. Citronella oil comes from the lemon grass plant. And I have it on my patio.


Mosquitoes also don’t like mint. If you get a bug bit, you might try peppermint oil to relieve the itch.

I also have this fragrant herb in my patio garden.


So far this year I have not purchased basil. But it is not only a wonderful seasoning for food, but is also a bug repellent.


Likewise I don’t have garlic on my patio as of yet. Garlic is a member of the onion family.

You can cut up garlic and scatter around your outdoor space. Mosquitoes don’t like the harsh smell.


Lemon balm happens to be a member of the mint family. Some insects tend to not like the smell of lemon. However bees, butterflies and people often love the scent.

Mosquitoes most certainly are not attracted to lemon balm

I happen to have this herb in various places on my patio. It’s even growing up in the cement cracks. So that tells you that it is a hardy plant.

You might also like to try lemon balm leaves in tea. It is said to relieve stress.


Mosquitoes also don’t like the scent of lavender. They especially don’t like the purple flowers that bloom on lavender.

I don’t have lavender on my patio right now. I have not had luck growing it for some reason. But I intend to try again.


As you know the marigold plant has a very distinct scent, a strong one. There is a variety of marigold plants to choose from. Mosquitoes do not like the strong scent of marigolds.

Marigolds are also great companion plants. They deter beetles from melons. However don’t plant it next to beans or cabbage.

Marigolds also attract bees. But they tend to like the single bloom over the double bloom for some reason.

If you plants seeds or flowers you should choose those grown organically. If you buy from big box stores they typically contain insecticides. This is bad for both the bees and your garden.


It’s not only for your cats. It also repels mosquitoes. A study showed that this plant’s essential oil is about 10 times more effective than DEET when it comes to mosquitoes.

You can plant it in your garden or rub crushed leaves on your skin.

I need to get catnip. Ivy would probably love it.


Rosemary has many uses besides seasoning food. Mosquitoes don’t like this scent. You can put sprigs of rosemary on your outdoor barbecue grill to waft through your yard and thus deter a wider range of mosquitoes.

I am growing rosemary this year. Now if I just don’t kill it from over watering. That’s probably what I have done to lavender in the past. When I’m watering, sometimes I just hold the hose and my mind wanders. I have to make a conscious effort not to water the rosemary every time.


Eucalyptus is similar to citronella. This scent makes it difficult for mosquitoes to locate their food source by interfering with their senses. Confuses them.

I am growing eucalyptus this year, and I grew it last year as well. It is also a wonderful addition to a flower bouquet gathered from your garden when you want a bit of texture or greenery.


These are easy ways to deter mosquitoes without having to use chemicals or sprays of any variety. That kind of thing is just not allowed on my patio.

However I am lucky when it comes to mosquitoes. They don’t bite me for some reason.

I’ve read that some people produce more of certain chemicals in their skin. And a few of those chemicals, like lactic acid, attract mosquitoes. There’s also evidence that one blood type (O) attracts mosquitoes more than others (A or B)

Situate these plants near where you spend the most time. You can plant them in the ground or in pots. Pots of course would be easiest to move around your outdoor space.


You’ve probably wondered why mosquitoes drink blood in the first place? Actually only female mosquitoes drink blood, while males are strictly vegetarian. The reason why only female mosquitoes drink blood is so that they can nourish their child-bearing bodies.

Blood is full of proteins and amino acids, which makes it the perfect prenatal supplement for growing mosquito eggs. When female mosquitoes aren’t drinking blood, they eat plant nectar just like their male counterparts.


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  1. Ivy on catnip! I am curious how that turns out, should be a hoot! I love my chocolate mint , and I hope to get some lemon balm this season.

  2. My daughter has basil, mint, rosemary, lavender and citronella growing in pots in her back patio but none of those have deterred the mosquitoes. Maybe all the rain we’ve had in the DFW area of Texas is to blame.

  3. A great collection of anti-mosquito remedies, Brenda. It used to be that I rarely got bitten by mosquitoes. My blood type is O-negative, but recently, in the past 10 years or so, I have developed the tendency to get mosquito bites and an allergy that makes them develop into horrible blood blisters and then deep, deep sores. I have many scars left from them. Since I have recently been diagnosed with an immune system disorder I think that may be the cause of the severity of my bites. Needless to say I am rather paranoid about getting bitten as I love being outside gardening and digging in the dirt. Anyway, I am certainly going to utilize some of your list of suggestions for repelling those nasty little insects this summer. Thanks for posting them.

    Let us know how Ivy likes catnip if you give her some. I guess most cats do although it can make them kind of crazy if they get too much.

  4. Brenda I just wanted to stop by and thank you. You have the kindest heart and I truly appreciate the time you take to read my posts and let me know you’re keeping me in your prayers. This means so much to me.
    I’ve enjoyed reading over your posts, You’re such a wonderful writer and your words exude a calmness that I appreciate.. I especially like your blog appearance and notice it’s WordPress. For awhile I toyed with switching from Blogger and my son Patrick even opened a wordpress blog for me but there it sits, someplace in the cyber world, uncompleted. Especially now it seems to hard to learn how to navigate. Did you have trouble moving over? Just curious. Patrick was my techie helper and I feel lost without him. I’m sorry we live so far I see your name in my comment section and I wish I could give you a big hug.
    thank you dear one for your support during these difficult times.
    Leslie aka Gwen Moss

  5. Brenda, thank you for this list! I’m starting to purchase plants and definitely want those that repel mosquitoes. I’m usually a banquet for them and anything I can do to deter those beasts works for me! Love and hugs!

  6. My son and I are type A blood and rarely get bitten. My daughter and husband are type O and get eaten up. We’ve always thought there was something to that. Love the ideas about repelling mosquitoes with plants. By the way, I also love everything you post on this blog. Please never change!

  7. Great ideas; didn’t know catnip deters mosquitos. I planted it one year and had a crowd of feral cats and kittens on my back porch when I went to let my dog out. I had to call animal control when the kittens got their little claws stuck in my wood fence. I was worried the pit bull next door would get the kittens; luckily they left before animal control arrived. I pulled the catnip up so they wouldn’t come back. XX00

  8. A timely post! I live in northeast Florida along the coast and took my dog for a walk this morning along the marsh. The mosquitoes are alive and biting! I will remember to rub a leaf of basil on my arms/legs tomorrow morning before I take the dog for a walk. Lemon balm, peppermint, and catnip are definitely on my list of plants to buy when I go to the nursery tomorrow. I am looking forward to the smell of lemon balm and the peppermint — I forget to purchase these plants because I am usually focused on the new flowers that are displayed at the nursery. Should be fun to watch my cats with the catnip! Thanks for this listing; my legs will most certainly be grateful!

    Have a wonderful Thursday.

    1. Herbs are usually cheaper than the flowers too. At my nursery a small pot of annuals is $4.99. But you can get the same size in herbs for about half that.

  9. Wow, great tips, Brenda!! My sweetie grows catnip for his kitty cat Lucy and he brings her one fresh leaf at a time and she goes nuts for it!!! I’d love to see Miss Ivy Lou all doped up on Catnip, ha ha!! Maybe it will calm her down!

  10. We have catnip plants in our backyard that just come up every year; we didn’t plant them. Our cat loves it and I give her just a little at a time because she will eat it. Makes her breath smell good! So I am sure Ivy would love catnip. I like the smell of it, too.

  11. thanks for all the info. I’m definitely outside a lot now at the new house. I haven’t seen any around here, but I want to be proactive. Interesting about the catnip plant as a deterrent.

  12. What an informative post. I’ll be planting some of the herbs mentioned here, especially the peppermint. When we are out on our deck in the evenings, we light the torches. We have several spaced around our deck and fill them with the “Tiki Bug Fighter” torch fuel. It comes in a green bottle and absolutely works! You can buy it at Lowe’s or Wal Mart, etc. The mosquitos do not like it. I think I’ll try planting some catnip also. Thanks for the ideas!

  13. excellent post!
    some of this information i already knew.
    I am a Type O Positive and mosquitos, ticks and fleas adore me.!
    My sis, a Type A is not vulnerable in any way to any biters!
    thanks again!

  14. Brenda, I have lemon balm in a container on my deck, as well as rosemary. I bought a new plant this year called cat mint. It is tall and has lavender flowers. Are you familiar with it? I have an old bicycle that I painted aqua and I filled the basket with the cat mint, dusty miller and pink flowers that resemble daisies. It looks so pretty parked under a tree at the edge of my deck. More than one way to garden when the soil is rocky like here on the river. I so enjoy your gardening posts.

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