As warmer weather approaches, mosquitoes will begin to grow active and start their breeding cycle. Along with repairing window screens and getting rid of standing water around your home, you can also prevent potential infestations by growing plants that mosquitoes hate in your yard or on your patio.
Add these mosquito-repelling additions to your garden this spring.
Basil’s pungent aroma that we find so enticing is precisely what wards off mosquitoes. Keep this herb in the ground or containers, and enjoy it for its insect-repellent properties as well as its delicious flavor in cocktails, appetizers, and entrees.
2. Bee Balm
A member of the mint family, bee balm is a flowering perennial that comes in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, red, and white. Its flowers attract honeybees, butterflies, and hummingbirds--all the good things you want in your garden.
Cats love it, but mosquitoes absolutely do not. Catnip (a.k.a. catmint) is another member of the mint family known for its bug-repelling “magic.” In fact, research from Iowa State University showed that catnip oil is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.
4. Geranium (scented)
Don’t have a green thumb? The geranium might just be your botanical soul mate. They’re easy to grow, come in multiple colors, and can work just as well in flowerbeds or containers. For optimum mosquito-deterring results, choose geraniums with a lemony fragrance.
While the scent of lavender may remind you of a day at the spa, its strong fragrance is far less appealing to mosquitoes, fleas, moths, and flies. In fact, you can even plant lavender as a rabbit and deer deterrent. Keep in mind: if you’d like to use your lavender for culinary purposes, experts recommend Lavandula angustifolia (or true English lavender) for the best experience.
Marigolds are no-fuss flowers that stand up to mosquito invaders as well as a wide range of growing conditions. As many gourmands will tell you, some marigold varieties are also edible. You can add the petals to herbal tea and salads or even make marigold jelly!
Mojitos, anyone? Mint is not only the star of numerous drinks, desserts, and savory dishes but also acts as a deterrent against multiple pests, including ants and flies. This herb is fantastic for container gardens if you don’t have much room to work with.
Preparing Your Garden for Mosquito Weather
Many plant varieties require well-draining soil to grow and thrive. Soggy dirt and standing water can lead to problems like fungus and root rot. Coincidentally, standing water is also extremely attractive for mosquitoes because it provides a place for them to lay eggs. When planning your garden, make sure to solve any drainage issues and adjust your soil content to keep your plants healthy and avoid attracting pests.