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What Are the Best Plants for Keeping Mosquitoes Away?

We know citronella and other strong-smelling essential oils can provide some protection against mosquitoes, but what about in plant form?

Mosquitoes use their sense of smell to locate hosts to feed on. Strong fragrances may work as a natural deterrent to mosquitoes. The problem is that these plants themselves don’t have a strong enough scent to offer any protection. Only when the leaves or stems are crushed and the oils are extracted can these plants achieve their insect-repellent properties.

Marigolds in Tennessee | Plants that Deter Mosquitoes | The Bug Man

What are Some "Mosquito-Repelling" Plants

Certain plants are regarded as having natural mosquito-repelling properties, but we’ll leave it up to you to decide how effective they are. These plants that supposedly repel mosquitoes include:

  1. Citronella: Often marketed as “mosquito plants” in big-box stores, this leafy plant is simply a geranium variety. If you do want to extract your own citronella oil, citronella grass is a better choice.
  2. Lavender: As one of the most fragrant plants, it’s said that lavender oil can help deter a mosquito by blocking its sense of smell.
  3. Marigolds: Easy to grow and beautiful, marigolds emit a scent that supposedly deters mosquitoes. They are also used in gardens to prevent aphids, whiteflies, and other pests.
  4. Rosemary, Basil & Thyme. They might not keep the mosquitoes at bay for too long, but at least you’ll love a lovely-smelling garden to enjoy all year long.

Do Mosquitoes Feed on Plants Too — or just Blood?

Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes don’t only feed on blood. In fact, the main part of the mosquito diet is nectar. Male mosquitoes don’t feed on blood at all. It’s true – their diet consists of nectar, plantsap, and honeydew. Female mosquitoes only feed on blood in order to reproduce. The problem is they reproduce a lot.

What Scents Can Keep Mosquitoes Away?

When looking for a blood meal, female mosquitoes use their highly attuned senses of smell to locate humans. They can smell our sweat and the carbon dioxide we breathe out.

When certain scents repel mosquitoes, they’re not actually repelling them. They’re masking your scent and disorienting mosquitoes so they can’t find you. It’s not that mosquitoes hate the smell of citronella – it’s that citronella is a very strong smell to them, and they lose the ability to find you.

Certain other fragrances and perfumes can achieve this effect, but citronella is the most widely available and effective.

It’s important to keep in mind that plants alone will not effectively eliminate mosquitoes from your property. Professional mosquito control treatments are the best way to repel mosquitoes.

What Are The Best Plants to Keep Mosquitoes Away in Central Tennessee

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