Mosquitos have headlined the news for months due to the Zika virus outbreak. While there are shelves full of chemicals to repel those pesky insects, there are also many plants we can add to our gardens to detract mosquitos. Using citronella as a mosquito deterrent is common knowledge, but did you know that these six plants repel mosquitos too?
It's one of the most common herbs found in our kitchens and it's also great for deterring insects. Basil (especially the lemon basil variety) is one natural way to send mosquitos elsewhere. And while the dried, crushed basil we find at the grocery store is great, there's nothing like fresh basil from your garden!
Otherwise known as bee balm, lemon balm is an easy-care plant from the mint family that grows in both sun and shade. As it's name suggests, this herb smells super lemony. So while you're keeping those mosquitos away, add a few leaves to your tea for a refreshing spring pick-me-up.
Lavender is known for it's relaxing qualities. The essential oils from lavender help us catch up on our zzzz's. We find it in sprays, lotions and all types of beauty products that aim to help us decompress but live lavender is the perfect way to relax even further because it deters mosquitos from the yard while adding hues of pastel purple to the garden.
It's great in garden party mojitos and as toothpaste flavoring but did you know peppermint has another use? Mosquitos can't stand that minty, fresh scent that we love so much. So sow a few peppermint plants in your herb garden to repel mosquitos from your yard. And if you still get bit, never fear! Rubbing mint leaves on an insect bite is a great natural bite relief treatment.
Your cats will love you for adding this plant to your garden and you'll soon be thanking yourself for this garden addition too. A study from 2010 found catnip to be ten times more effect at repelling mosquitos than DEET!
You can visit your local pharmacy to look for mosquito repellant or you can stop by Garden Supply Co and pickup a few six-packs of marigolds. These spring garden staples actually contain one of the same ingredients you'll find in those insect repellant sprays called pyrethrum. Plant marigolds around your vegetable garden to help keep pests off of your prized veggies too!