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Citronella plants in pots.

Ah, summer—the days are longer, the weather is warm, the smell of bonfire fills the air… life is good! But what’s that? Summer isn’t perfect? This splendiferous season also brings buzzing, blood-sucking, bombarding, bugs that can easily ruin a backyard barbeque.

However, saving the barbeque with bug spray isn’t always the most pleasant solution either! That’s where mosquito repellent plants come in. It turns out, plants are among the best natural mosquito repellents (other than Plunkett’s eco-friendly mosquito control services that is). Ready to save the summer with citronella? Let’s get started.

Do Plants Really Repel Mosquitoes? 

Yes and no. The plants themselves don’t repel mosquitoes, the oils inside them do. For example, rosemary: the plant will release its oils when crushed. We’ll go through the plants (or their oils, rather) that repel mosquitoes and how you can get them to work in your favor.

What Plants Naturally Repel Mosquitoes? 

If you’re looking to make it through mosquito season deet-free, the following plants will be a staple in and around your home:

1. Rosemary


How does rosemary keep bugs away?

There are several ways you can use rosemary to keep mosquitoes away, including:

  • Burn it. Inviting friends over for a bonfire? Throw some rosemary into the fire. The fragrance will keep mosquitoes away.
  • Make your own bug spray. Add 1 cup of rosemary to a quart of water and boil it for about 30 minutes. In another container, add a quart of cool water. Strain the rosemary into the container with the cool water. Add the mixture into spray bottles and use as bug spray! Be sure to keep your rosemary bug spray in the refrigerator.

2. Mint


Because mint is such a fragrant herb, using it to keep mosquitoes away is quite simple. If you’re headed out to a buggy area, simply pull off a few leaves and rub them against your skin. Plus, you can always drop some into your after-work cocktail on the porch for a delicious way to keep mosquitoes away.

3. Basil


Basil, like mint, is extremely pungent and another great option for a natural mosquito repellent. Here are a few ways you can utilize basil:

  • Shred it. You can simply shred basil and spread it around the area you’d like to keep mosquitoes away from.
  • Burn it. You can burn it as incense or in your bonfire.
  • Apply it to your skin.
    • Put 6 ounces of basil leaves into a jar
    • Pour 4 ounces of boiling water on top
    • Cover the jar. Let it sit for about four hours.
    • Strain liquid into a spray bottle.
    • Once your concoction is in a spray bottle, add half a cup of vodka.
      • For more strength, add 25 drops of basil essential oil.
    • Use directly on skin.

4. Catmint


The oils from catmint are extremely effective in warding off mosquitoes. Some studies show that it may be 10 times more potent than Diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET). Simply rub some catmint between your hands and apply the scent to your skin.

5. Lemon Grass (Citronella Plant)


There’s a good chance that when you think of mosquito-control plants, citronella pops into your head. This is because citronella grass (or lemon grass) is the most commonly used natural ingredient in most mosquito repellents.

Boil water and lemongrass in a pot until the water turns yellow. Remove from heat and let it sit overnight. The next day, add mixture to a spray bottle and spray the areas that are bustling with mosquitoes.

6. Lavender


Why is lavender a bug repellent?

Lavender essential oil has a compound called linalool. Although linalool is pleasant to humans, it is repellent for mosquitoes. It is overwhelming to the mosquito’s olfactory organs and has repelling properties similar to DEET.

To use lavender to repel mosquitoes, simply dilute lavender essential oil with water and apply directly to skin.

When the Mosquitoes Won’t Quit, Plunkett’s is the Right Fit

If you’ve tried essential oils and lemon grass and crushed basil but the mosquitoes are still causing problems, give Plunkett’s a call. We get it, sometimes plants just don’t do the trick and you need the ultimate protection from mosquitoes. That’s why we offer eco-friendly pest control services so you and your family stay safe, healthy, and happy (but the mosquitoes, not so much). Get in touch today to keep the bloodsuckers at bay!


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