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Natural Mosquito Repellents: Get Rid of Pesky Insects with Plants

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By Staff

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Fresh mint in white mortar.

If you’re wary of the chemicals in commercial insect repellents, and put off by electric bug zappers, try these natural mosquito repellents. You will enjoy fresh summer air over the smoke of candles and incense designed to keep insects at bay.

6 Herbs to Help Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Organic aphid control, and other pesky bug control, is possible with the use of these six herbs. Keep these herbal mosquito repellents in small containers strategically placed at intervals on your patio. With the exception of wormwood and marigold (they can cause dermatitis), you can crush the leaves of these herbs and rub them on your skin for an extra line of defense against bugs.

Catnip. If you’re looking for a DEET-free insect repellent, you’ll be glad to know that catnip has been found to be 10 times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. The only downside with catnip is that if you have a cat, they will most likely destroy the plant. It can also become invasive. Grow catnip in hanging containers to avoid both of these pitfalls.

Marigold. Control both aphids and mosquitoes with marigold. This sun-loving annual makes a great plant for low-maintenance borders. Plus, it’s easy to collect seeds for next year’s planting. Just don’t rub marigold leaves on your skin, as it can cause dermatitis.

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Potted rosemary and cilantro.

Rosemary. While it may be hard to believe, mosquitoes find the lovely fragrance of rosemary oil disgusting. This attractive shrub is a great addition to herb garden beds or containers, and requires very little water. The beneficial uses for rosemary doesn’t end on the patio: It’s a delicious addition to soups, egg dishes and meats.

Lemongrass. Mosquitoes also surprisingly hate the lemony scent of this tropical plant. Grow lemongrass from stalks sold in markets. It needs good drainage and full sun; it can’t tolerate freezing temperatures.

Wormwood. This pungent plant makes an excellent border plant, as its scent keeps mosquitoes away. Grow wormwood, a silvery perennial, in full sun in most zones. Like marigolds, do not rub wormwood on your skin, as it can cause dermatitis.

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Herbs, relaxation therapies, and tend-and-befriend coping can keep you mellow in a crazy world.

Mint. Keep a few containers filled with this aromatic, hardy herb around, as mosquitoes dislike the oil of many mints. Because of mint’s invasive nature, it’s best to grow mint in pots.

Updated on Nov 14, 2014  |  Originally Published on Jan 1, 1970

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