Mosquito Repellent Plants

Lavender mosquito repellent

Whether you are you thinking about planting mosquito repellent plants in your landscape to repel mosquitoes or to make your own mosquito repellent or essential oils, we have assembled a long list of plants for you. Some of these plants will be common to most areas of the US, others will be hard to find. You will have to check the USDA hardiness map to see which can be permanently planted outside and which will have to be annuals or come inside for the winter. In some cases, there has been published research done on the plants and its effect on mosquitoes. We tried to include some of the results when possible. What about the Citrosa plant, Pelargonium citrosum 'Van Leenii', also known as the mosquito plant? It has been proven that it has no real discernable mosquito-repelling qualities. There are a few other plants that make the “repels mosquitoes” lists such as Monarda and Painted Daisy, but we only included ones that we have found conclusive proof or concrete testimonials that they are worth your time and money to consider.

Ageratum, common name Floss flower. If you want a variety of colors to choose from, then here’s the plant for you. Ageratum make a great flower bed border plant and mosquitoes do not like the odor emitted from this flower.
Artemisia spp. A. vulgaris, common name mugwort or wormwood. Artemisia absinthium, absinth wormwood has been used to repel fleas and moths for centuries. The extracted oil from Artemisia annua showed great results when used as a 30% concentration with eucalyptus oil. For 2 hours there was not a single mosquito bite. Extracted Artemisia oil concentration of 30% with neem oil and rose oil showed only single bite in 2 hours.
Azadirachta indica, common name Neem, has been studied for all types of insect control and is commonly sold as a natural insect control. When 2% neem oil was applied topically it resulted in 56.75% protection from mosquitoes for 4 hours. When leaves were burned 76.0% protection from mosquitoes was enjoyed for 2 hours.
Citronella macronata, which is a tree that can be planted as a hedge. This serves two mosquito repellent purposes, first by exuding the scent which repels mosquitoes, and by providing a habitat and food for birds that eat mosquitoes. The Citronella plant attracts birds with berries, while also providing both nesting for them and cover from it’s own predators.
Citrus hystrix, common name Kaffir lime, was made in to an essential oil then combined with vanillin at 5% strength then applied topically provided 100% protection against An. stephensi for 8 hours, 100% protection against Ae. aegypti for 3 hours, 100% protection against C. quinquefasciatus for 1.5 hours, and 100% protection against An. dirus for 2.5 hours.
Corymbia citriodora also known as lemon eucalyptus, is a potent natural repellent extracted from the leaves of lemon eucalyptus trees. It was discovered in the 1960s during mass screenings of plants used in Chinese traditional medicine. Lemon eucalyptus essential oil, comprises 85% citronellal.
Cymbopogon spp. C. nardus, common name citronellal made in to essential oil and applied to skin resulted in 100% protection for 7-8 hours against An. Stephensi, 100% protection against Ae. aegypti for 120 min 100% protection against C. quinquefasciatus for 100 min and 100% protection against An. dirus for 70 minutes.
Cymbopogon citratus, which has lemongrass oil and citral a-pinene was applied topically as a natural ingredient and resulted in 74% protection against An. darlingi for 2.5 hours and 95% protection against Mansonia spp. for 2.5 hours. When it was made in to essential oil and combined with vanillin 5% d applied topically it resulted in100% protection against Ae. aegypti for 6.5 hours, 100% protection against C. quinquefasciatus for 8 hours, and 100% protection against An. dirus for 8 hours.
Eugenia caryophyllus and Eugenia aromatic, common name, clove. When it was made into essential oil, research showed it kept mosquitoes off skin for 12-225 minutes.
Hyptis species. When Hyptis suaveolens, common names are bushmint, wild hops, and wild spikenard, was tested the fresh leaves produced 73.2% repellency against mosquitoes for 2 hours.
Lantana camara. This is a very common plant in the South and is perennial in many states. Being perennial, this can offer year-around mosquito repellent. Research resulted in 32.4% protection against An. gambiae s.s. when it was used as a potted plant. When flower extract was mixed in coconut oil it resulted in 94.5% protection against Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus for one hour.
Lavandula, commonly called Lavender. You can make it in to essential oil and use it alone or mix it with other essential oils. lavender repels mosquitoes because mosquitoes dislike the scent lavender gives off. It can be planted in gardens and has many uses for repellent to dried flower arrangements.
Lippia spp. Commonly known as Lemon bush, provided 100% protection against Ae. aegypti for 8 hours when lemon bush plant extract applied topical.
Lippia uckambensis commonly known as fever tea has shown mosquito repelling qualities. As a potted plant and also in tests where they burned leaves it showed 33.3% protection against An. Gambiae.
Melissa officinalis, known as lemon balm, balm, common balm, or Cure-all plant. Lemon balm is used for everything from calming stomach issues to repelling mosquitos and other insects. This is a hardy plant in the mint family. Make a quick mosquito repellent, by crushing a handful of leaves and rubbing on your exposed skin.
Melaleuca, common name Tea Tree. Make some Tea Tree oil and you can use it for mosquitoes and several other insects like Lice. A few drops in shampoo will keep the lice away and spray some on you to keep the mosquitoes at bay. It has a very strong smell and is a great mosquito repellent.
Mentha spp. Mentha piperata, common name peppermint. When made in to essential oil and the oil was applied to skin, there was 100% protection against Ae. aegypti for 45 minutes. Use in combination with other essential oils from plants. You can also use it on your mosquito bites to relieve inflammation.
Nepeta cataria, commonly known as catnip, catswort, or catmint. Catnip is another common herb that contains an oil that is supposedly 10 times better at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.
Ocimum spp. O. americanum , also known as Tree basil, lime basil, African blue basil, hairy basil, produced 39.70% protection against An. gambiae with fresh plants. When combined with O. suave then the leaves were bruised and applied to skin, it resulted in 50% protection against An. gambiae. When Ocimum was made in to essential oil and combined with 5% vanillin and applied to skin there was 100% protection against Ae. aegypti for 6.5 hours, 100% protection against C. quinquefasciatus for 8 hours 100% protection against An. dirus for 8 hours.
Ocimum suave resulted in 71.5 % repellent protection from An. arabiensis 79.7% protection from An. Pharaoensis when its leaves were burned.
Ocimum basilicum resulted in 73.1 % protection from An. arabiensis 70.0% protection from An. Pharaoensis when the leaves were burned. When made in to essential oil and applied topically, it resulted in 100% protection for 70 minutes. Basil also repels house flies, carrot flies, asparagus beetles and whiteflies.
Pogostemon spp., common name Patchouli. When made in to essential oil and applied to skin, it resulted in 100% protection against Ae. aegypti for 120 min.
Rosmarinus officinalis, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves. You can make it into an essential oil or rub the plants on your skin.
Tagetes minuta, common name Khaki weed, southern cone marigold, stinking roger or black mint, Mexican marigold, was studied and when applied topically resulted in 86.4% protection against 3 types of mosquitoes for 6 hours. Marigolds in general are great at keeping insects away. They are known as a “companion plant” in gardening, a plant to plant alongside insect attracting vegetables to keep insects away.
Thymus spp. Thymus Vulgaris, common name thyme. When made into an essential oil and applied topically it provided 100% protection against An. albimanus for 105 minutes and Ae. aegypti for 135 minutes in a laboratory study. When burning leaves were tested, they resulted in 85-09% protection for 60-90 minutes. Lemon thyme works great, just rub lightly over the leaves of the thyme and then rub the lemon scent onto your arms and neck and ears.
These mosquito repellent plants offer the chance for you to protect your landscape and family from mosquitoes with all natural ingredients. If you have other plants you would like to add, please leave us a comment.

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Diane

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