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What Are the Best Plants to Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Mosquitoes use their sense of smell to locate hosts to feed on. Therefore, strong fragrances may work as a natural deterrent to mosquitoes. Certain plants and herbs in particular can help keep mosquitoes away, but only when the leaves or stems are crushed to reach the oils within.

It’s important to not rely on plants alone to repel mosquitoes, and instead to work with a professional mosquito exterminator.

Lavender planted on porch

Mosquito-Repelling Plants

Certain oils from plants work as natural repellents against mosquitoes. For that reason, it’s smart to plant a garden with a number of varieties that can aid in creating mosquito repellents. These plants include:

  1. Citronella. Often marketed as “mosquito plants” in big-box stores, this leafy plant is simply a geranium variety. Citronella grass, on the other hand, is most useful for extracting citronella oil.
  2. Lavender. As one of the most fragrant plants, lavender oil can help deter a mosquito by blocking its sense of smell.
  3. Marigolds. Both easy to grow and beautiful, marigolds emit a scent that also helps to deter mosquitoes. They also prevent aphids, whiteflies, and other garden pests.
  4. Rosemary, basil & thyme. These fragrant herbs are just that: fragrant! Similar to other plants, the scents of these keep pests and mosquitoes at bay.

Do Mosquitoes Feed on Plants?

Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes don’t only feed on blood. In fact, the main part of the mosquito diet is nectar. Male mosquitoes in particular feed only on nectar, plantsap, and honeydew. Female mosquitoes only feed on blood in order to be able to reproduce. So, just like other insects in your garden, mosquitoes are mostly getting their nutrients from flowering plants.

What Scents Keep Mosquitoes Away?

One of the biggest attractants for mosquitoes is scent. Female mosquitoes use their keen sense of smell to locate carbon dioxide, which is breathed out by people nearby. So, scents and fragrances in any form can work to repel mosquitoes by disorienting them. Perfumes, citronella candles, and other scents can help to keep mosquitoes away from your home or garden in North Carolina.

What Are The Best Plants to Keep Mosquitoes Away? Serving Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Durham

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