According to the CDC, there are over 200 different species of mosquitoes in the United States. Twelve of those species will spread diseases such as Zika, Dengue, and West Nile Virus. Two of those twelve are known mosquitoes in Kansas City, the Yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). Mosquitoes primarily use smell to find their meal, and some people seem to be more attractive to mosquitoes. For the most part, it is unknown why. However, we have determined that there are scents from perfumes, colognes, and shampoos that attract mosquitoes to bite. Yearly many households deal with mosquito infestations using candles, ultrasonic noise plug-ins, and many other gimmick items. Some plants that you can grow at home that look good and help keep those mosquitoes away naturally.
What Plants Will Keep Mosquitoes Away?
Widely known for its pungent smell. Lavender is, for the most part, used for Lotions, Candles, and body washes. There are a few different ways to use lavender to repel mosquitoes. Growing on your own is simple; you will need well-drained soil and sunlight. The humid climate of Kansas City is perfect for annual growth. Lavender oil is another way you can use this plant; utilizing it as a topical will keep mosquitoes when you’re on the move.
Garlic is another way for someone to keep mosquitoes away naturally. There are endless DIY ways to use garlic as a mosquito repellant. One way is to cut it up and sprinkle it around outdoor living areas. You can easily make a spray from dish soap, water, and a couple of garlic cloves. Chop the garlic cloves up and blend the cloves in water. Mix in the dish soap and drain any chunks. You will want about a third of the bottle filled with the blend you made and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Or combine it with aromatic oils for body spray repellant.
Basil doesn’t need much work other than planting it. No need to make a spray which is an option, but its strong aroma is enough alone. Basil is perfect for growing around any areas that tend to stand water as it is toxic to mosquito larvae. Mosquito eggs and larvae need standing water to develop, and planting near it will kill the larvae and deter mosquitoes from laying eggs near.
Marigolds are another one that is easy to grow at home and goes by the nickname nature’s insecticide. Marigolds contain pyrethrum, which is common in most repellents. On top of mosquitoes, it’s known to repel rabbits; for at-home gardeners, marigold could serve more than one purpose.
Peppermint can be tricky, requiring a bit of maintenance so that it doesn’t overgrow and invade the rest of your garden. Many recommended that it is kept separate in its pot. Peppermint oil is a great mosquito repellant due to its strong aroma. On top of just growing, peppermint can be made into DIY repellants for around the home as well, not just for outside.
The strong, “woody” scent that rosemary emits will push away mosquitoes, moths, and flies. It is also effective in fires, so if you are having a bonfire or hanging out in the backyard, keeping some on the fire will keep bugs off your arms. Another plus is when you use it in lotions or oils, it is not only good for your skin but will also help against mosquito bites.
If you enjoy more flowers around your home instead of herbs, geraniums are a great option. These flowers are lemon-scented, which causes most pests to stay away. One of the contributors to Geraniums that repel mosquitoes is citronella oil, which has other uses such as controlling muscle spasms, increased appetite, and direct skin applications to repel bug bites.
One of the best mosquito repellants is pennyroyal. It is most effective when pennyroyal leaves get crushed thoroughly. From there, people keep a little in pockets for personal protection, leave it in a bowl in the kitchen, or sprinkle it around outdoor areas. There is a big downside, as some have proved that pennyroyal can be toxic to infants and pregnant women, so although effective, it has a downside.
Eucalyptus uses its powerful smell to repel mosquitoes as it disrupts their senses. Eucalyptus is another repellant that is diverse in the ways you can use it. You can make a simple spray with lemon eucalyptus oil (10ml) and olive or coconut oil (90ml). Using eucalyptus as a mulch is effective due to the oil in it. On top of mosquitoes, ants are another pest that does not like the scent of eucalyptus.
Using these plants or other tips alone cannot remove mosquitoes from around your home entirely. Other things are imperative in controlling the population of mosquitoes. First, no standing water, water bowls, drip pans, birdbaths, and sitting rainwater are ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes, and if those don’t get cleaned, a mosquito problem will be coming your way. The second is keeping the law and other shrubs trimmed and clean. If you leave those unkempt, adult mosquitoes will use those as hiding places to rest before they are ready for their next meal.