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Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Plant-Based Mosquito Repellants You May Already Have in Your Garden or Home

This time of year it seems that info about natural mosquito repellants proliferate on the internet. Some natural methods don't really have any science behind them, but rely on folk information passed down from one generation to the next. Sometimes folk remedies really do work. But other times, we may have better options. 

So, when it comes to natural methods to send the pesky blood suckers elsewhere, how can we know what could work? I came across a website,, that gives honest reviews of different flowers, herbs, and spices that are thought to help repel mosquitos. What I liked about this site is that it specifically mentions whether or not a plant-based option has undergone any testing, how long repelling coverage lasts, and whether to use as live plants or essential oils.

On the list of "yes it works"

  • lavender, as both a plant (anecdotally) and essential oil. More effective as an oil when paired with cinnamon oil, tea tree oil, or citronella oil.
  • marigold, in living plant form
  • catnip, especially in living plant form and alongside other known mosquito repelllant plants
  • basil, both as an essential oil and as a leafy plant
  • lemon eucalyptus as an oil is so well-regarded as an insect repellant that it is a main ingredient in alternative bug spray formulations
  • common eucalyptus, as an oil can mask a person's natural mosquito attracting scent
  • clove, as an oil can protected users for up to 225 minutes in laboratory studies
On the list of "yes, but for a limited duration"

  • lemongrass, as an oil effective against 95% of mosquito species for up to 2.5 hours
  • peppermint, as essential oil applied topically, effective for up to 45 minutes before reapplication necessary
  • thyme, as an oil repels mosquitos for up to 80 minutes
On the list of "maybe"

  • sage is a known folk remedy for mosquitos, although there's limited research. However sage as crushed leaves or as a live plant is a known natural insect repellant.
I already use some of these essential oils. In addition, I plan on potting some of the listed plants to keep in our patio seating area. It can't hurt. The plants will add beauty and fragrance. And they just might keep the little bugs away from me.

Bonus -- while not a plant, vinegar is one of the household items recommended as a repellant on on another interesting page. Check that one out, too.

Have you used any of these natural options to repel mosquitos? Did they work?


  1. An interesting summary. I like that there's more than just anecdotal information. There's one part in the back of our yard that seems to have a lot of mosquitos I think because the previous owners behinds us often had standing water. The new owners had exterminators out who said that mosquitos stay very close to where they hatch and even though the water was gone, the mosquitos were still there. (Note: How far a mosquito travels depends on the species.) Now those neighbors have chickens whom they hope will help with the mosquitos as well as provide eggs for the family. This summer will be the true test.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I hope the mosquitos from your neighbor's property have been mitigated. I didn't realize chickens could catch mosquitos to eat them. We have bats in our area that supposedly help with mosquitos, but not nearly enough.

  2. Anything that gets rid of mosquitoes is fine by me! Good information, Lili.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I agree. I'm willing to try anything that will help, even if it doesn't work perfectly. If I can reduce the number of bites I get each summer, I'll consider that a win.


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