This time of year, if you’re like me, you’re probably getting eaten up by mosquitoes any time you walk out the door. You have bug spray in most places you frequent (home, car, office) and have tried a lot of different remedies and sprays to get rid of those pesky little bugs. What if I told you that you could deter mosquitoes from your backyard with plants? Less chemicals, less mess, and an extra safeguard in keeping them away.
As a landscaping company in the metro St. Louis area, mosquitoes are something we frequently encounter and are always looking for ways to help our clients get rid of. Let’s be real, no one can enjoy their outdoor space with mosquitoes around. With all of the rain we’ve been having in particular, it is the perfect breeding ground for these biting bugs. There are always “quick fixes” when you Google how to get rid of these mosquitoes but nothing is one size fits all. Let our landscape designers help you get the most out of your backyard and help you decide where to plant some of these plants to get the most out of your outdoor space. We’ve even seen some great planter designs if you want them on a space that is hardscaped and can be brought indoors in order to survive our winters. Here are a few of the mosquito repelling plants:
Marigolds: These are annuals and are not only good at repelling mosquitoes but they also keep other pests at bay.
Citronella Grass: This is lemon scented and is the most common natural ingredient in mosquito repellents. This does best in large planters so it can be taken indoors (it cannot withstand frost).
Peppermint: On top of mosquitoes, most bugs actually hate the smell and the taste of peppermint so this plant is a great way to deter them. In addition, if you do get a bug bite, peppermint leaves (when rubbed directly on the skin) provide a great bite relief treatment.
Catnip or Catmint: Catnip is a type of Catmint and is great, unless you have neighborhood cats as it will drive them crazy. This might be when Catmint is better (varieties such as ‘Little Titch’ or ‘6 Hills Giant’), while still having a bit of an effect on cats, that is not what it’s known for. It is very easy to take care of (although it can become invasive) and it has been found to be several times for effective at repelling mosquitos than DEET.
Basil: This herb can keep both flies and mosquitoes at bay. It likes to be kept damp, needs good drainage, and enjoys lots of sun. This would also be good for containers but can also be planted in a garden or landscape. All types of Basil work as mosquito repellents.
Rosemary: Yes, the herb. There are several varieties of Rosemary and they vary in growing characteristics and size. This herb has a woody scent and can thrive in containers.
Rose-Scented Monarda: This is a very colorful perennial that has a scent that is similar to roses (hence, the name). The essential oil within the plant is actually used in some mosquito repellants that are produced commercially.
Lavender: If you like the smell of lavender then this is a good option for you. There’s a lovely fragrance that comes from the plant’s essential oils. Lavender is tough and drought-resistant once established but needs full sun and good drainage.
Using these plants in your landscaping or planters may give you some relief from mosquitos. Additionally, make sure that you eliminate any standing water and excessively wet areas as these are excellent breeding grounds for mosquitoes. There are many more plants that will deter mosquitoes but these are a good place to start. As with all things, always do your research or consult an expert before putting things in your backyard. This is especially important if you have children or pets as some plants may be toxic if ingested. If you are looking for landscaping in the St. Louis metro area, feel free to give Lindsey, our office manager, a call at 618-307-6677 to set up an appointment with one of our landscape designers! We’d love to hear from you!