Six Common Garden Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

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If you're like most people who live in areas where mosquitoes are a common pest that frequently make relaxing and recreation in the backyard miserable, you probably already know about methods designed to minimize the populations of this pest. For instance, you are probably aware that avoiding having even small amounts of standing water in your yard reduces mosquito habitat and that burning citronella candles helps keep them at bay. You may not be aware, however, that there are certain plants that repel mosquitoes. Following are six of them. 

Citrosa Geranium

‚ÄčAlso known as the mosquito plant, Citrosa gives off a scent that repels mosquitoes but is considered pleasant by humans. This plant thrives in a variety of garden environments and is attractive enough to be featured in containers on outdoor patios or decks. It features fernlike foliage and small, lavender colored flowers that bloom all summer long. The plants can be moved indoors to a sunny location during winter if desired.

Eucalyptus Trees

These trees reach up to 80 feet in height and give off a pleasant scent that helps keep backyard mosquitoes at bay. They need full sun in order to thrive, and when planted in the right place, they make an excellent backyard shade tree. They are so effective at repelling mosquitoes that you can press the oil from the foliage and use it as a topical mosquito deterrent.

Mint

By now, you may have guessed that one of the things that mosquito repelling plants have in common is a strong scent. Mint is another pungent plant that helps keep mosquitoes from ruining outdoor festivities during summer. Mint grows profusely in almost any conditions, so in order to avoid allowing it to take over your yard, keep it contained in pots around your outdoor living space. Any type of mint will do, including catmint and apple mint, but use stronger-smelling varieties such as spearmint and peppermint where mosquito populations are fierce. 

Lemon Balm 

Lemon balm is an excellent all-purpose herb with a strong lemon aroma that lets mosquitoes know they aren't welcome in your yard. Like mint, it grows in most soils and exposures, but because it's not invasive, it can be planted right into the ground. Like mint, it can also be used as a culinary herb and to make teas. Gently bruising its leaves on warm summer evenings helps release the scent that drives the mosquitoes away. 

Marigolds

Marigolds are an old garden standby when it comes to natural mosquito repellent. Be sure to buy the old fashioned kind that are heavily scented instead of their more modern hybrid counterparts. All you have to do to tell the difference is hold them to your nose -- even if they haven't started blooming yet, the foliage will have a rich aroma. You can expect marigolds to bloom from spring until the first hard frost, and because they seed profusely in the fall, you'll be able to collect enough seed to grow your own marigolds the next spring. 

Basil

Loaded with essential oils, basil is another herb with culinary uses that does double duty by keeping mosquitoes away. It grows well both in pots and in the garden, so grow lots of it -- keep in mind that it dies back after even a mild freeze, so be sure to pick it before then (it can easily be sealed and frozen to use later). It's small enough so that it can be placed in pots and put on outdoor tables as centerpieces -- an excellent way to keep mosquitoes from crashing outdoor dinner parties.  Most homeowners rely on several of the plants listed above as a part of their summer mosquito strategy. Please feel free to contact a company like Bug Busters Inc for more advice on enjoying a pest-free outdoor experience this year.   

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