12 Plants and Herbs That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes

 Because a lavender plant smells a whole lot nicer than a bottle of bug spray. But keep in mind: To achieve the maximum benefits of these plants, in most cases, the leaves need to be crushed up and rubbed on your skin!Because a lavender plant smells a whole lot nicer than a bottle of bug spray. But keep in mind: To achieve the maximum benefits of these plants, in most cases, the leaves need to be crushed up and rubbed on your skin!

Citronella Geranium

Not all geraniums will repel mosquitoes, but this particular kind (formally known as Pelargonium citrosum), which produces and smells like a citronella oil, can ward off bugs.

 Floss Flower

While they're not the most powerful repellent, these purple beauties (Ageratum houstounianum) produce an aroma mosquitoes aren't fond of, according to SFGate. Butterflies and hummingbirds, however, love their fragrant blooms.


 Citronella

Originally used as a perfume, essential oils and extracts from Cintronella plants are so effective at keeping mosquitos away that they're now a go-to ingredient for many commercial repellents.



 Peppermint


This member of the mint family boasts health benefits, a lovely smell, and its oils can eliminate any pests lurking around.

 Lemon Balm


The strong lemon scent of this plant contains high levels of the bug-repelling compound—but in a more appetizing way. (It's an invasive species, however, so be careful when growing it.)

 Lavender


It may sound hard to believe since the scent is so heavenly to us humans, but mosquitoes can't stand the smell of this herb. Keep bugs at bay by planting the lavandin variety, which has a high concentration of camphor. Bonus: It also keeps moths and flies away!

 Catnip


Cats may love it, but mosquitoes hate catnip. Related to mint, it contains a chemical called nepetalactone, that's both a feline attractant and an insect repellant.

 Basil


Placing a pot of basil on your picnic table is helpful for giving your food a flavorful update—but it will also keep the bugs away, since it's one of the few plants that offer a strong bug-repelling scent without having to crush the leaves. A 2009 study showed that basil essential oil is toxic to mosquito larvae.

 Mint


Mint leaves can aid in keeping mosquitoes away. Bonus: Mint essential oils can also help soothe bug bites.

 Citrosum


Also known as "Mosquito Repellant Plant," this perennial is heavily marketed as a useful insect repellant. While some research suggests that this plant may not be so great at keeping biting insects away, it can't hurt to plant some near your porch, right?

 Sage


Gathering around the bonfire to roast some s'mores? You might want to toss a little sage into the fire—the scented smoke will keep those pesky critters away. (Rosemary works, too.)

 Marigolds


Not only do they look pretty, these colorful and heady flowers also repel insects, since they contain pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents.


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