16 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes Effectively

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Are you in search of the best mosquito repelling plants? Spring brings backyard camping, lounging by the pool, kids playing in the backyard along with the all-important family cookout.

There are a number of trees that repel mosquitoes, herbs that keep mosquitoes away, along with lemon balm, Lemongrass, and citronella are just a few plants that repel mosquitoes.

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If you are here that means you are struggling with your backyard staying mosquito-free and you are probably having a hard time find mosquito repellent plants for your backyard that actually work.

Mosquitoes can make spending time in your backyard unbearable because they are pesky bugs, annoying, and just downright aggravating. 

Your first question is why are mosquitos attracted to you? Well, you smell good, taste good, full of nutrition and you might even be a little too sexy for your own good.

Most insect-repelling plants do so with their natural fragrances, which keep annoying mosquitoes away and introduce wonderful scents throughout your garden.

If you don’t want to douse yourself or your garden in chemical bug sprays you can grow some of these plants to help keep mosquitoes away naturally.

Plant these plants in areas where guests will be often such as by a seating area or a doorway.

Mosquitos like the smell of the carbon dioxide emitted from our breath, sweat, and body odor.

Mosquitoes also love how warm our bodies are making us a delicious option for these pesky little critters dinner

The sprays the professional companies can be harmful to the environment because they can easily get into the atmosphere.

I suggest adding few plants that repel mosquitoes in and around your house to help rid your backyard of these blood-sucking critters.


  • Basil
  • Catnip
  • Chives
  • Cinnamon
  • Citronella Grass
  • Garlic
  • Lemon Balm
  • Marigold
  • Mint
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
  • Verbena

Mosquito Repelling plants

15 Mosquito Repelling Plants

Mosquito repelling plants not only help with keeping your backyard free of bugs but can also bring color and make your patio and outdoor living space beautiful.

The following plants below can help repel mosquitoes in your backyard


Eucalyptus is very similar to citronella and has a smell so powerful that mosquitoes hate it and the scent can make it difficult for these critters to find food.

The oil from the eucalyptus tree not only repels mosquitos but also ticks, midges, and sandflies. Plant the tree freely throughout your yard and in flower pots but the oil can be applied directly to your skin.


Basil is another mosquito repelling plant that is one of my favorite herbs for both cocktails and Italian recipes. Basil also has the very special power repelling mosquitos.

The basil plant can emit a powerful aroma that aggravates these annoying critters.

If you have a herbal garden already simply add basil to your garden and you can make your own homemade sprays from its essential oils. 

Basil is definitely a herb that keeps mosquitoes away. 


Though lavender may be a favorite scent of many people, mosquitoes would disagree. They detest the pungent scent of the purple flower and stay away at all costs.

Like most of the plants on this list, lavender can be used by extracting the oils and applying them to the skin directly or making a body spray.

You can also simply plant it in your garden. Best of all, the beautiful purple flowers are sure to liven up your landscape.


In recent years, this has become a very popular method of repelling mosquitoes.

A study in Science Daily suggests that Nepetalactone, the plant’s essential oil, is approximately ten times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes.

Therefore, much less of this oil is needed to be effective. Plant catnip in your garden as a backyard defense, or crush the leaves and rub them directly on your skin.


Sage is another herb that keeps mosquitoes away and is commonly used for spiritual cleansing in different cultures and often burned in certain rituals to cleanse your home, mind, and spirit. 

Burning sage is also a great way to keep mosquitoes away!

Throw some sage leaves in a backyard fire pit or in your fireplace to fill your home with refreshing aromas and a natural mosquito-repelling scent and one of the best mosquito repelling plants.


Chives will repel garden and household pests like ants and Japanese beetles. Chives are members of the lily family grown for their leaves and flowers, which are equally popular in the garden and in the kitchen.


Pure cinnamon oil is particularly effective at killing mosquito larvae, as well as acting as an all-purpose insect and mosquito repellent.

By adding a few drops of cinnamon oil to your favorite lotion or sunscreen, you can make your own natural and safe insect repellent. Apparently, ants do not like cinnamon either and will stay away from it. 


Citronella is the most popular of the mosquito repelling plants. Citronella oil, which originates from the lemongrass plant, is commonly used in bug sprays and candles to repel mosquitos.

Citronella has a lemon or citrusy scent that bothers mosquitoes but has a pleasing scent to people.

Lemongrass can be planted on the perimeter of your yard as a beautiful but yet effective mosquito repellent plant.

Additionally, citronella oil can be applied directly on your skin or paired with other essential oils to make your own natural deterrent.

Let’s look at the grass-like plants that boast a higher concentration of citronellal.

If you are looking for a plant that repels mosquitoes effectively the Citronella plant should definitely be on your list of plants to purchase.  Purchase a few and place them strategically around your backyard.


This member of the onion family has been used for many years as an edible repellent. When consumed, garlic’s active ingredient, allicin, interferes with our natural scent and masks us from mosquitoes.

However, garlic can be used to deter mosquitoes even without eating it.

Cut garlic cloves into slivers and scatter them around your outdoor living areas, or combine them with oils and other liquid ingredients to make a repellent spray for your yard.

Furthermore, you can blend garlic with essential oils to make a mosquito repellent spray for your body. Mosquitoes won’t be able to stand the unappealing smell.


A member of the mint family, lemon balm has that strong lemon scent that mosquitoes hate.

If you are afraid of bees be warned they love lemon balm along with butterflies.

Plant this fragrant plant in small contained areas you want to deter mosquitoes or apply the crushed leaves directly to your skin for personal skin repellent.


This vibrant plant is well known for its pungent aroma. Some people find the smell overwhelming and so do mosquitoes. Plant these golden flowers in various places around your yard to keep mosquitoes at bay.

You can periodically cut the flowers off to add to vases around the house to prevent mosquitoes from migrating indoors.


Minty fragrances are unpleasant to a mosquito’s keen senses. The mere presence of peppermint plants can ward off these pesky flying insects.

You can also crush the leaves and rub them on your skin. Mosquitoes will not come anywhere near you and if you do happen to get a mosquito bite you can use the oil to relieve the itching.

While mint leaves can aid in keeping mosquitoes away and are also known as “Mosquito Repellant Plant,” you will need more than mint leaves to get of mosquitoes. 


Another great herb for repelling mosquitoes is rosemary which can be used not only as a seasoning but will help to keep your backyard free of mosquitoes.

If you are grilling place a few sprigs of rosemary on the grill to keep mosquitoes away. The scent of the rosemary will spread throughout your yard and protect you from mosquitoes.

In addition, rosemary can be infused into lotions or sprays to create simple repellents for your body.


Mosquitoes and other pests hate lemon-scented plants in general. The great thing about this herb is that it also has numerous culinary uses.

Lemon thyme is a member of the mint family and it looks just like regular thyme but has thin, small, and spear-shaped leaves.

When you smash the leaves between your fingers, you’ll notice its bright and pungent lemon scent which mosquitos hate but smell delicious to the human nose.

15. Floss Flower

Floss Flower are purple they are perfect if you are looking to add a hint of color to your backyard while thwarting off mosquitos.

The floss flower contains coumarin, and it’s a chemical that has been proven to repel mosquitoes which makes it another great mosquito repellent plant

These mosquito-repelling plants can’t protect your entire backyard alone but they can help keep mosquitoes away in conjunction with other mosquito-repelling plants and candles.

16. Eucalyptus Trees

Eucalyptus Trees have beautiful blue-green foliage and peeling bark that attracts the eye.

These trees have a sweet aroma that’s similar to mint or pine, only sweeter.

It boasts a fresh scent that repels mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas to boot.

Each leaf has a pocket filled with eucalyptol, an organic pest-repelling oil. Place a few leaves around your house, in window sills, shelves, and under your pet’s bed to keep bugs away.


If anyone tells you that mosquito-repelling plants and herbs alone will solve your problems they are lying.

Mosquito Repellent Plants

Why Do Mosquitos Prefer Us For Dinner?

Mosquitoes really do prefer some people to others. There are an estimated 20 percent of people who are more desirable to mosquitoes, though mosquitoes don’t limit their feast to this number.

There isn’t conclusive evidence as to why 20 percent are bitten on a consistent basis.

Why Do Mosquitos Bite Your Ankles?

There are particular types of bacteria on your skin—about 400 different chemical compounds—that attract mosquitoes.

These bacteria tend to build up on the skin covering your feet and ankles, which in turn attracts mosquitoes to these areas.

How To Avoid Mosquito Bites

Mosquito bites are the absolute worse from the itchy bites to the irritating bumps have many people wondering how to repel mosquitoes in and around their home safely.

Additional Natural Mosquito Deterrents

Mosquitoes have a number of predators that can help reduce the mosquito population in and around your home.

I suggest using these in conjunction with the flowers, candles, and chemical sprays to help your backyard stay mosquito free.  

Birds that eat mosquitoes are a great way to curb the number of mosquitoes you will see around your home while creating a beautiful landscape for your yard.

Here are 4 birds and 1 insect that eat mosquitoes.

Invite these beautiful birds into your backyard and they just might help make your outdoor living space a little more livable.

1. Purple Martins

Purple Martins are one of the best natural mosquito repellents.

Purple Martins are not actually purple and they are known for stunning singing and they also eat over one thousand mosquitoes per day!

Purple Martins love people, and they live in “apartment-style” birdhouses.  These beautiful bug-eaters can be found near streams, rivers, and wet areas where mosquitoes like to breed.

The best way to attract purple Martins is to build a house for them on the perimeter of your home but not too far away.  

2. Barn Swallows

Barn Swallows are probably a distant cousin to the Purple Martin and are famous for the amount of mosquitoes they eat.

They will swoop in and catch their prey in aerial acrobatics. They will catch ten or twenty at a time and eat them right up.

Barn Swallows normally consume 60 mosquitoes per hour or 850 per day.

If you want to attract barn swallows and other insectivores, first you should stop using pesticides. Although you are trying to get rid of the bugs, you will need the bugs to initially attract the birds that eat them!

Swallows also like to perch themselves on wires and clotheslines. 

3. Songbirds

Songbirds love to eat mosquitoes as well.  If you are interested in a natural approach to get rid of mosquitoes don’t forget about songbirds.

Having birds in your backyard will not solve your entire mosquito problem, but they will help out a great deal. 

I must warn you songbirds are just that songbirds which means they are loud AF and will probably get on your nerves as they did mine.


If you live on a farm or a few acres of land – Ducks and geese congregate on the water not only to paddle but also to eat dinner.

Waterfowl eat massive amounts of mosquitoes daily so they are must-haves for farms.

They eat mosquitoes before they even hatch because they lay their larva in water; ducks will go after them before they are born and begin to cause you agony.

If you have a pond, the presence of fowl will also encourage other mosquito-eaters to congregate there, like various species of fish plus dragonflies, turtles, rigs and toads.

5. Dragonflies

Dragonflies are often referred to as “mosquito hawks.” Though they do eat mosquitoes, they do not eat enough mosquitoes to do much harm to wild populations.

One feature that favors dragonflies as mosquito predators is that in the dragonflies’ aquatic stage, most of its food consists of mosquito larvae.

Best Mosquito Repellent Bug Sprays to Try This Summer

Now that you know about all these mosquito-repelling plants, the fact still remains that planting these trees, herbs, and plants in your backyard will help deter mosquitoes but you will still need the help of bug sprays if you do not want to be eaten alive.

Mosquito repellents come in a variety of formulas and some naturally provide a bit more protection than others.

Repellents applied to the skin via spray or lotion will always be more effective. They are putting a protection layer directly on the skin from the biting mosquitoes.

1.Deet Spray

The best way to repel mosquitoes is to use a spray containing DEET, such as this one from Repel via Amazon.

This chemical has been found to be the very best mosquito repellent. If DEET’s not your thing, use the natural citronella spray but apply it often as it evaporates fairly quickly.

2. Bens Deet Wipes

Looking for a mess-free mosquito repellent you can store in your pocket? These water-based, fragrance-free wipes are individually wrapped and gentle on the skin.

Plus, the 30% DEET formula is super effective. “DEET is used as the active ingredient in many insect repellents and offers the best protection against mosquito bites.

3. Coleman Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

You’ll get six hours of protection from mosquitoes with this oil-based formula that also happens to have a cool, refreshing scent. “Oil of lemon is remarkably close in effectiveness to DEET.

4. Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard

Looking for a mosquito repellent that will last you hours on end?

The light spray fends off mosquitoes, gnats, deer ticks, and other pests with the help of picaridin.

Just make sure you’re always looking at a repellent’s concentration before deciding which one is best for you.

The higher the concentration, the longer the spray is effective. So if people are planning to be outside for a longer period, choose a higher concentration spray. 

5.Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion

The time-release technology in this lotion repels mosquitoes, ticks, and gnats for up to 12 hours.

Plus, the 34.34% DEET formula is splash and sweat-resistant.

Just don’t forget to apply it a while before heading outside.

Products formulated as lotions generally take about 20 minutes after application to become effective. Sprays are immediately effective but lose their effectiveness quicker.

Best Mosquito Repellent Candles

1. Cutter CitroGuard Candle

This triple-wick candle is designed to stay lit even when a light breeze blows by.

The metal rim provides wind protection while allowing oxygen to fuel the flame. It has other smart design features, including a rubber rim on the base to reduce the risk of rust on patio furniture, wood, or other outdoor surfaces.

A lid seals the candle when not in use, and a carrying handle allows you to tote it wherever you go.

2. Repel Citronella Candle 

This 10-ounce candle in a canister is made with real citronella extract.  Plenty of people find this inexpensive citronella candle to be an effective way to keep flying insects away.

Adding to its value, the candle is rated for 20 hours of use, but some people have found that it lasts close to 30 hours. A few extra hours of burn time makes it an even better deal.

3. Murphy’s Mosquito Candle

This candle is made with 5 percent active ingredients, which is on the high side for an insect repelling candle.

The candle is poured with a blend of citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary oils.

The addition of lemongrass and rosemary ups the potency of the candle.

It also provides an aromatic blend of scents that’s a nice change for frequent citronella candle users.

4. Mosquito Guard Repellent Candle

This mosquito repellent candle is made with Natural Plant-Based Ingredients – Citronella, Peppermint, Rosemary, Cedarwood, and Lemongrass Oil.

The Mosquito Guard repellent candle is completely DEET FREE.

Conclusion of Best Mosquito Repellent Plants & Herbs That Keep Mosquitoes away

If you were wondering if mosquito plants really work by now you should know the answer is yes!

You just need to know what types of plants repel mosquitoes and I have provided you with my favorite list of mosquito repelling plants so you can enjoy your backyard. 

It is a good idea to visit the EPA website for more guidance on skin repellents. They also have an excellent search tool for finding the one that is right for you.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which includes using a variety of pest management solutions in and around the home. For mosquito control, this would include:

  • Getting rid of standing water to prevent breeding and kill larvae
  • Using plants in your garden or on patios that repel mosquitoes
  • Using mosquito-repellant sprays or lotions that contain DEET to prevent mosquito bites

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Hopefully, my list of mosquito repelling plants will help your backyard stay bug-free and you can enjoy your backyard without fear of being eaten alive by these little critters. 

Mosquito repellent plants are a great way to add to your list of ways to fight these backyard pests. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on my list of mosquito plants so leave me a comment on FacebookTwitteror Instagram.

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