Spring is here and, unfortunately, so are the mosquitoes. As the weather warms up, more and more of these buzzing, blood-sucking pests will find their way onto your property and maybe even into your home. Mosquitoes are notorious for causing itchy bumps, allergic reactions, and for spreading diseases like West Nile virus, zika, malaria, and more. With so many around, it seems like the chances of getting bitten are high. As a result, you’ve probably been searching for an effective method to repel mosquitoes without making your yard look like a mosquito-repelling war zone.
Good news, there are lots of ways you can repel mosquitoes by simply using nature against them. You can have your cake and eat it too by planting certain flowers and herbs that mosquitoes tend to avoid which makes your yard more welcoming for you and beneficial bugs and birds. Read on to learn more about how to turn your property into a haven that is both beautiful and strategic for repelling mosquitoes.
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
Before we can dive in to repelling mosquitoes it’s important to understand just what attracts them to create a comprehensive strategy to eradicate them from your yard.
- Water — Mosquitoes use water mainly as a breeding ground. Standing water in shady areas is especially appealing to them. Whether large or small, the amount of water does not matter, if they can use it, they will.
- Heat & Humidity — Once temperatures start to increase above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, mosquitoes will emerge from overwintering or begin to hatch. Mosquitoes need warm, humid weather to thrive, so be watchful once spring arrives with this weather.
- Carbon Dioxide — Mosquitoes can detect the scent of carbon dioxide that humans and animals exhale as they breathe. While we can’t smell this scent, mosquitoes can, and they find it irresistible. This helps the females, the only mosquito that bites, track their prey. Click here to see how DynaTrap uses this information to help control mosquito problems.
- Shelter — The hottest part of the day is usually the driest. Since mosquitoes need moisture to survive, they tend to take shelter in plants or in wooded areas during the hottest part of the day.
- Lactic Acid — Lactic acid is naturally produced by the human body as a result of exercise and sometimes digestion. This scent is odorless to humans, but it is another method mosquitoes use to track their next victim.
Beautify While You Repel
Repelling mosquitoes doesn’t have to make your property ugly. There are so many plants that add an aesthetically pleasing aspect to your garden, so no one ever has to know you’re battling hordes of blood-sucking mosquitoes. While plants can play a major role in repelling insects, they aren’t your only options. Landscaping and mosquito traps can also help you beautify your yard and prevent flying insects from ruining your time outdoors.
Plants don’t have a 100% success rate in repelling mosquitoes and other flying insects, but they can help. Some species of plants are more effective than others, so we’ve limited the list below to plants that consistently help repel mosquitoes. These gorgeous plants will combat mosquitoes while adding beauty to your property.
Citronella, commonly called the mosquito plant, is probably the most well-known plant when it comes to repelling mosquitoes. They do contain citronella oils but are not used in the commercial production of the substance. Citronella geraniums produce lavender-colored flowers that can add a pop of bright color to flower beds, decks, or along property lines and their scent keeps most mosquitoes at bay.
If you want a more dramatic burst of color for your yard, alliums produce large balls of purple, blue, yellow, or pink flowers. Most species of alliums bloom in the spring, just in time to start repelling mosquitoes coming out of hibernation. Not only do they repel mosquitoes but are also effective at repelling aphids, slugs, and cabbage worms.
Mums, short for chrysanthemums, are long-blooming and easy-to-care-for flowers that provide a natural remedy for mosquitoes. These plants can grow up to 3 feet tall and produce daisy-like blooms in yellow, pink, red and white, or even two-toned petals. Mums are hardy plants that bloom in spring and can last through the first frosts. In addition to mosquitoes, mums can repel ants, silverfish, ticks, fleas, and spider mites.
There’s no doubt marigolds are pretty, but they have a strong scent a lot of people find unpleasant. That being said, mosquitoes find them unpleasant as well, so it might be worth planting them on your property. These bright yellow, red, or orange blooms repel mosquitoes, aphids, rabbits, and root nematodes.
Also known as ageratum, floss flowers are gorgeous additions to your garden that come in nearly every color imaginable for a flower. Floss flowers bloom from spring through frost, making them an ideal choice to battle mosquitoes.
Herbs serve many beneficial purposes, from spicing up meals, treating ailments, helping new gardeners learn how to grow plants, and also serve to keep mosquitoes away. The following herbs are your best defenses against mosquitoes that can also be used in a variety of other ways in your home.
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon thyme
- Lemon grass
Each of these herbs gives off a strong scent that naturally repels mosquitoes as well as other common insect pests. Be sure to keep some herbs in your garden when harvesting them for meals to ensure you never lose protection.
If all other plants fail, it’s time to break out the big defenses. Carnivorous plants are a unique option to rid your property of many types of flying insects. While repelling insects with plants is beneficial, you can get rid of quite a few insects for good with plants that actively eat these pests.
These plants attract and eat mosquitoes to use them as nutrients to continue to grow. Pitcher plants are often grown in baskets or hanging pots to allow you to display these unique-looking plants and position them in optimal areas for catching the most insects.
Drosera plants use scents to attract insects towards themselves. Once the mosquitoes, flies, and other flying insects land on their flowers, the plant uses an acid to dissolve them for nutrients.
Venus Fly Traps
By far the most notorious carnivorous plant, the Venus Fly Trap attracts and kills flies, mosquitoes, and virtually any other flying insect that lands between its jaw-like petals. Be sure to keep these insects inside to liven up your indoor decor, as they can only tolerate warmer temperatures.
Landscaping to Prevent Mosquitoes
Simply placing or planting herbs and the above-stated plants anywhere you please can have positive effects, However, taking a more strategic approach will maximize your results. Instead of placing plants haphazardly around your property, use them to create a barrier against mosquitoes. Place flower beds and mosquito traps in a ring around an area you wish to protect to ensure there are no gaps in your protection.
Making your property as unappealing to mosquitoes as possible is simple and effective when used in tandem with plants and traps. Landscape your lawn to ensure no puddles remain for days on end, giving mosquitoes a chance to breed. Turn over or dispose of any container that could hold any amount of water. These will not only help to reduce mosquito breeding grounds, but it will make your yard much more visually pleasing.
Placing potted plants near doors and windows will also help decrease the chances of mosquitoes flying inside with you. Herb gardens will provide another layer of protection for windows as well. By placing herbs in windowsills you can prevent mosquitoes from venturing through any holes in screens.
Decorative Mosquito Traps
Plants provide an effective barrier, but they cannot protect your entire yard. For the best results, you need a combination approach that utilizes both plants and mosquito traps. Don’t want an ugly mosquito trap? DynaTrap provides as much style in the design of their traps as they do mosquito trapping power. DynaTrap Outdoor Insect Traps can provide up to 1 acre of coverage against a variety of flying insect pests, not just mosquitoes.
Which Plants Will You Try?
There are so many different plants in this article that it can be hard to choose which ones you will like the most. Experiment with different kinds until you find some that suit your taste in decor. Once you’ve got your garden planted and defenses set up, share your pictures on our Facebook page! If you’re looking for exclusive deals, new product alerts, or updates in general, consider signing up for our e-newsletter.