Nobody crashes a party like mosquitoes. They arrive uninvited. They stay late. They rarely bring a dish to pass. And to top it all off, they sink their bloodthirsty needle-like mouths into you. Some even spread diseases.
But spray repellents aren’t the only way to banish the boorish biters.
Your garden can play a part, if you choose the right plants. Here’s a look at the best plants to keep mosquitos away from your deck and patio this summer. And we’ll toss in a few other tips, too.
8 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
Most of these plants don’t just repel mosquitoes — they serve other great purposes in your garden, too. You can cook with them, add them to bouquets, plop them into a glass of frosty iced tea. All while they say, “bug off.”
Chances are, you’ve heard of this one. You may even have a citronella candle or two on your deck already. Did you know it’s a plant?
Citronella is a perennial grass that emits a strong aroma. That aroma masks the other scents that lure mosquitoes. Grow citronella in pots around your porch or patio that way you can move the pots to wherever you’re relaxing or entertaining. Or, plant it directly in the garden near your deck or porch.
Mosquitoes don’t like lemon-scented plants, so consider lemon thyme or lemon basil as well.
Lemon Balm is hardy, resists drought and grows fast. Consider planting it in a pot so it doesn’t take over your garden. Then tote it along wherever you’re relaxing.
The mosquitoes will hate you, but your cat will love you if you plant catnip. This mosquito deterrent is easy to grow, but don’t plant it among other flowers or vegetables if you have an outdoor cat. They can’t resist rolling around in it.
Marigolds contain pyrethrum, an ingredient found in many insect repellents. Most bugs, including mosquitoes, think they stink. Avid gardeners often plant them as a border around other plants they don’t want bugs to munch.
Most bugs hate the smell and taste of peppermint. But a sprig is great in lemonade and iced tea, making it a great porch companion.
Bonus tip: If you do get a bite, rub peppermint leaves on your skin for cooling relief.
A cook’s favorite, basil makes fantastic pesto and bruschetta — and mosquitoes hate it. It’s easy to grow and does great in containers, so you can plant a pot right next to your lounge chair.
Fragrant lavender calms us humans, but it repels mosquitoes — making you even calmer.
Rosemary is another kitchen favorite that keeps mosquitoes away from your patio.
Bonus tip: toss a few stalks on the hot coals of your grill to give off a mosquito-repelling aroma.
3 More Ways To Repel Mosquitoes In Your Yard
Once you’ve planted a forest of mosquito-repelling plants around your deck or patio, move on to some other trusty ways to banish the bugs.
DEET vs. Picaridin — New Info on Mosquito Repellent
Bug spray’s a no-brainer, right? But there’s updated info in the world of mosquito repellent. For more than 50 years, DEET, a synthetic chemical, has reigned as the king of insect repellents but there’s a new arrival on the market: picaridin.
Both DEET and picaridin are proven to be effective at fending off mosquitoes, but they’re distinctly different. DEET leaves a greasy feel on the skin and has an unpleasant odor. It dissolves certain plastics and some synthetic materials, including rayon, spandex, and vinyl.
Picaridin is a synthetic compound developed from the same plant genus that produces table pepper. As with DEET, the EPA has concluded that the normal use of picaridin doesn’t pose a health concern. Picaridin is odorless, non-greasy, and doesn’t dissolve plastics or other synthetics. A growing number of repellents contain picaridin.
Get Rid Of Standing Water
Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, so patrol your yard for any lurking pools.
Empty the kiddie pool, rain gutters and bird baths. Even small amounts of water are breeding grounds, so empty rainwater that is accumulated in empty flower pots or kids’ toys.
Break Out The Fans
Mosquitoes may be great biters, but they’re weak fliers. Strategically placed floor fans providing a breeze across your deck are enough to mess up their navigation.
Experiment with speeds and placement until you have the right combination.
Neave Can Send Your Mosquitoes Packing
Planning a party but you don’t want to serve the mosquitoes a buffet? Neave Lawn Care offers event protection so you and your guests can enjoy yourselves, mosquito free.
We’re fully licensed, insured and certified in the New York area to apply products that can help control insects and other pests.
It’s a perfect service for event planners (who might also want to check out the stunning decor rentals available from our sister division, Neave Decor).
Give Us A Call
Need the plant pros at Neave Landscaping to help you choose mosquito-repelling plants as part of your landscape plan? Or the bug-zapping skills of Neave Lawn Care’s event protection service?
Either way, we’d love to hear from you.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.