Due to the warm nature of Texas, we’re lucky to have the good fortune of spending lots of time outdoors close to three seasons out of the year.
But one of the downfalls of the heat, heavy rainfalls in some areas and the density of our forested landscapes is the mass breeding of mosquitoes.
If you love to spend time in your own yard during these warm months, these herbs will help keep mosquitoes out of your yard and off your skin. You can also grow these mosquito repellent plants and make a concoction to spray on your skin that is safe enough for even young children to use.
1. Lemon Balm
This herb, a member of the mint family, is versatile in many areas of your life due to its healing properties. Lemon balm is said to fight depression when added to smoothies or hot tea, but these plants are also great mosquito repellent plants.
You can simply grab a few leaves of it, crush them in your hand, and wipe it around your ankles, backs of legs, arms and neck for a fast, natural, mosquito repellant. Grown in areas where you spend time outdoors, it will also deter bugs due to it’s strong astringent scent.
This wonderful and bushy grass not only looks great on a patio or in the ground in your yard, but it also makes an excellent natural deterrent of mosquitoes.
Citronella, the oil and main ingredient found in natural candles that repel mosquitoes, is found inside lemongrass. However, the real plant itself is more successful in deterring the insects than the extracted oils.
When grown in the ground, expect your lemongrass to grow as high as 4 feet tall with adequate sun and water, so plant it in an area where it can spread its wings.
For a small porch hangout, they make a great addition to pots.
If bit by a misquito, snap off a piece of lemongrass toward the base of the plant and wipe the juices on your bites. The natural healing properties of lemongrass are an excellent anti-inflammatory, which is why lemongrass also makes a great herbal tea.
This herb is a beautiful addition to any herb garden or patio pot and produces the iconic purple stem flowers we are all familiar with. If you do plant it in the ground be sure not to plant in a low lying area. Lavender tends to suffer when sitting in water and will quickly die if unable to dry out fast enough.
The leaves are loaded with this rich oil, which can be enjoyed by simply plucking a few leaves and rubbing it between your fingers. While we love the smell, mosquitoes don’t.
The best way to use your growing lavender to make a mosquito spray is to first take a few springs, wrap it with string and hang it in a dry place to completely dry out.
Once the leaves are dry, add 4-5 tablespoons of the leaves to a bowl and pour over with boiling water. You’ll then want to strain the leaves from the lavender tea mix, and add in 1 cup of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. Allow it to completely cool down before transferring to a spray bottle.
Mint is an herb that can grow in an area of your yard that doesn’t receive too much sunlight, making it a great shade plant that repels mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes love to lurk and breed in dark, densely shaded backyards, so make sure to include mint if your yard is designed like this.
Using it to ward off mosquitoes is easy. Just like lemon balm, you can grab a few leaves, crush them in your hands and wipe the juices on the areas that need protection. You can also dry the mint leaves and follow the exact recipe above that we used with lavender to make a natural bug spray.
You can also grow mint as indoor mosquito repellent plants. Place some mint in your kitchen on a window sill that receives a few hours of sun a day.
Cats love catnip because of it’s odor, which also makes it incredibly effective in repelling mosquitoes.
Grow it in pots on your patio or place it outside in the ground near where you tend to hang out the most. Grab a handful of the leaves and allow the oils to be released around where you are sitting.
You can also cut a spring of the herb and place it inside your hat to repel mosquitoes from your neck, chest, and face.
Make a spray with catnip by cutting stems and leaves and filling a very clean jar with it. You’ll then want to fill the jar with 100-proof vodka, put the lid on, and shake the jar. Set it aside for 3-6 weeks for the oil in the leaves to infuse into the alcohol. If you shake the jar every few days, you’ll help in releasing those magical oils.
We would also like to add that these effective and natural mosquito repellent plants are safe enough for your furry friends, too!