Plants That Repel Mosquitoes – An Expert Guide To Organic Pest Control 

As more and more people become interested in organic gardening and pest control, the idea that plants can help repel certain pests has been rising in popularity.

But does companion planting and adding plants that repel mosquitoes to your garden really work? And what if you want to keep these annoying and disease-carrying insects away from your porch, hot tub, playground or outdoor patio table?

By using plants that repel mosquitoes properly, you can do all this and more. In today’s article, we’re talking about how to keep pests at bay using nothing but fragrant, beautiful plants.

Let’s get started!

Do Plants That Repel Mosquitoes Really Work?

1 a mosquitoe on a green leaf
Not all plants repel mosquitoes, but some can be an effective form of natural pest control. 

Some people might be skeptical about using plants that repel mosquitoes over using traditional pest control methods. Of course, companion planting isn’t for everyone, but the truth is there is some evidence to support the idea behind it.

Just like there are certain plants that can attract pests like mosquitoes, there are also plants that can repel them.

The best way to use plants that repel mosquitoes properly is to do your research, plant these plants strategically, and go about using other methods of prevention and control at the same time.

But how do plants that repel mosquitoes work? Experts speculate that these plants work by emitting certain smells that are repellent to pests, much in the same way essential oils would repel insects.

Plants produce natural oils in small globules, and some plants produce stronger smelling oils than others. Certain herbs are especially effective against pests, as are some flowers.

But plants that repel mosquitoes don’t only work on mosquitoes. In fact, many of the below plants on our list also repel a plethora of other pests including aphids, ants, fleas, flies, moths and sometimes even wasps.

Of course, like most forms of pest control, there are pros and cons to using plants that repel mosquitoes, and this form of pest prevention may not be ideal for you.

So, before you do all that hard work in your garden and around your home companion planting, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of using plants that repel mosquitoes.

Best Plants That Repel Mosquitoes – Pros and Cons

2 a backyard garden
Companion planting the below plants can not only add to your garden, but they can also help keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay. 

According to experts, there is a long list of plants that repel mosquitoes. These plants include but are not limited to:

  • Marigolds
  • Lavender
  • Catnip
  • Citronella
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Bee Balm
  • Scented Geraniums
  • Sage
  • Rosemary
  • And Chives

This video goes into more detail about how to use plants that repel mosquitoes and which types of plants work best.

As we previously mentioned, there are some pros and cons you should consider when considering planting pest-repellent foliage in your yard and garden. Remember, not all plants that repel mosquitoes are safe for children and pets. Others can behave as weeds and may take over your garden, while some may not be conducive to the region in which you live.

Let’s take a look now at some of the most common pros and cons you might contend with when considering companion planting to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Pros of Using Plants That Repel Mosquitoes 

  • Using plants that repel mosquitoes can be a chemical-free form of pest control
  • Plants add beauty and color to your garden and yard
  • Many of these plants that repel mosquitoes are easy to care for
  • Some plants that repel mosquitoes can be added to vegetable gardens
  • Many pest repellent plants repel more than mosquitoes
  • You can use potted plants to repel pests in a variety of locations around your yard
  • Plants that repel mosquitoes may be a safer alternative to using DEET
  • Most plants that repel pests are easy to come by and affordable to grow

Cons of Using Plants That Repel Mosquitoes 

  • Some plants that repel mosquitoes can be toxic to children and pets
  • Some plants may take over your yard or garden if you’re not careful
  • Plants that repel mosquitoes are not 100% effective
  • All plants require upkeep and care in order to thrive
  • Using plants as a pest repellent requires commitment and time
  • Not all plants that repel mosquitoes will grow in certain regions

What To Consider Before Planting Plants That Repel Mosquitoes 

While it is considered safer and more environmentally friendly to use plants as a form of pest control than chemical methods, remember that not all plants are safe to use around children and pets. When consumed, some of the plants that repel mosquitoes below can be toxic or cause allergies or irritation when handled.

Before deciding if using plants to repel mosquitoes is right for you, consider your lifestyle, whether or not you have children or pets that play often in your garden, and how committed you will be when it comes to caring and raising these plants.

Like all vegetation, most plants that repel mosquitoes require plenty of care, sunlight, and nurturing in order to thrive and work properly to repel pests.

So, with all that noted, let’s now take this time to talk about which types of plants work best when it comes to keeping mosquitoes at bay.


3 orange marigolds
Marigolds are beautiful and fragrant. They can help repel a number of pests, not just mosquitoes. 

Pests That This Plant Repels: Mosquitoes, White Flies, Aphids, Mexican Bean Beetles, Tomato Hornworms and Squash Bugs

Care Requirements: Easy

Growing Zones: 2 – 11

Sunlight: 6 Plus Hours A Day

Marigold Overview:

Marigolds are easy to grow and simple to care for. Plus, they are one of the best plants that repel mosquitoes. They thrive in gardens when planted next to other plants that need a good amount of sun each day, and they will help especially repel mosquitoes when placed around the border of your home.

However, marigold flowers can cause gastrointestinal upset to curious pets if they accidentally ingest them, especially dogs. Be sure to monitor pets when they are playing outside near marigold plants.


4 lavender
Lavender is not only a calming and soothing flower, it also keeps biting bugs at bay. 

Pests That This Plant Repels: Mosquitoes, scorpions, spiders and flies

Care Requirements: Easy

Growing Zones: 5 – 10

Sunlight: 6 plus hours

Lavender Overview:

Lavender is famous for its soothing aroma, but it’s also one of our most effective plants that repels mosquitoes. Lavender works by emitting a powerful fragrance that people love and pests hate.

Best of all, lavender is simple to grow and requires very little maintenance. You can plant lavender in individual pots and flower beds or even companion-plant this flower in gardens. Not only will lavender keep mosquitoes at bay, it will also repel other pests like flies and scorpions.

Lavender is also highly attractive to honeybees, who are very docile and will help ensure your garden is gorgeous and flourishing.


5 Catnip
Nepeta Cataria, or Catnip, is a flowering plant that repels a variety of pests while also providing your cat with some fun. 

Pests That This Plant Repels: Mosquitoes, aphids, ants, beetles, weevils and roaches

Care Requirements: Moderate

Growing Zones: 3 – 9

Sunlight: 3 to 6 hours a day

Catnip Overview:

Your cat’s favorite plant is also one of our plants that repels mosquitoes! In fact, one study even suggests that catnip may be 10 times more powerful than DEET. This means it’s not only safer to use in place of chemical bug spray, but also more effective.

The only downfall of catnip is that it’s considered an invasive species of plant. So while it is one of the plants that repel mosquitoes, it may also try and take over your garden if you’re not careful. Watch where you plant this plant and monitor it carefully.

Citronella Grass

6 Citronella grass
Citronella grass can help prevent mosquitoes when planted along the border of your yard. 

Pests That This Plant Repels: Mosquitoes, leeches, stable flies and gnats

Care Requirements: Moderate

Growing Zones: 4 – 11

Sunlight: 3 to 6 Hours A Day

Citronella Grass Overview:

Citronella oil is often used in candles and tiki torches to repel mosquitoes and other pests, so it’s no surprise that citronella grass is on our list of plants that repel mosquitoes as well. In fact, this might just be one of the most popular plants that repel mosquitoes.

The only downside is that citronella grass can be a little bit tougher to grow than some of our other plants. Plus, it’s a grass, so it clumps and grows quite heavily when it does thrive.

That said, it makes an excellent border protection plant and can even be potted and placed around tables and outdoor patios to protect against pests.


7 Basil
Not only does basil smell good to humans, it also tastes good. This is an excellent addition to your garden and can help with organic pest control.

Pests That This Plant Repels: Mosquitoes, asparagus beetles, white flies, carrot flies

Care Requirements: Moderate to Difficult

Growing Zones: 10 Plus

Sunlight: Six plus hours per day

Basil Overview:

Many people love to grow basil in their gardens and even in their homes. It’s a wonderful ingredient to a number of delicious dishes, and it’s also one of the best plants that repel mosquitoes. 

That said, basil can be a challenge to grow. It is super sensitive to extreme temperatures and will die quickly in the cold. It can be grown indoors, but it requires full sunlight during the day in order to thrive.

However, if you can get basil to grow, you’ll be thrilled to know it not only repels mosquitoes but a number of other nasty pests as well.


8 mint
Mint has a lovely, fresh smell that people love and pests hate.

Pests That This Plant Repels: Mosquitoes, fleas, ants, beetles, aphids, cabbage loopers, flies, squash bugs and moths.

Care Requirements: Easy

Growing Zones: 3 – 11

Sunlight: 3 to six hours per day

Mint Overview:

Mint is a hardy little plant that has a number of wonderful qualities. Not only does it repel pests like mosquitoes, fleas and ants, but it also adds a delicious flavor to drinks and food. Mint has even been known to have a number of medicinal properties.

If you’re looking for plants that repel mosquitoes and a plant you can add to your vegetable and herb garden, then this might be it. Mint is super simple to care for and grow, and can be potted individually or planted in your garden.

However, like catnip, mint is an invasive plant. Monitor it carefully to ensure it does it’s job without taking over.


9 Garlic
Garlic is another gorgeous addition to any garden or yard. Plus, it repels mosquitoes!

Pests That This Plant Repels: Root maggots, slugs, aphids, and mosquitoes

Care Requirements: Easy

Growing Zones: 0 – 10

Sunlight: 3 to six hours per day

Garlic Overview:

Garlic just might be one of our favorite plants that repel mosquitoes. Not only does it make everything taste better, but it’s also full of vitamins and nutrients that are good for you. Of course, if you’re not into the culinary arts and are more interested in keeping pests away with garlic, you’ll be happy to know that garlic not only works against mosquitoes but also slugs, aphids, maggots and more.

Garlic is also super easy to grow, and thrives in a variety of climates and conditions. In fact, garlic even does well when grown in Alaska!

Although garlic is easier to grow than many plants that repel mosquitoes, it does best when planted in late fall. This way, the roots have a chance to take hold during the winter so the plant can continue to thrive.

We should note that if you’re planning on using garlic as one of your plants that repel mosquitoes, it is considered toxic to pets if ingested. Dogs are especially vulnerable to suffering from gastric upset if they ingest garlic, so be sure you monitor pets around this plant.

Scented Geraniums

10 a red geranium
Not all geraniums are scented, so be sure you pick out scented geraniums if your goal is to repel mosquitoes. 

Pests That This Plant Repels: Mosquitoes, leafhoppers, white flies, and earworms

Care Requirements: Easy to Moderate

Growing Zones: 10 to 11 (Unless grown as an annual)


Sunlight: Six plus hours of sun per day

Scented Geraniums Overview:

Scented Geraniums are beautiful and smell delightful, though they don’t do well as year-round plants in every region. Scented geraniums thrive best in warmer temperatures and can work to repel a number of pests from mesquite to white flies to earworms.

Scented geraniums are also a favorite for flower beds and potted plants, though you can plant them directly into your garden as well to use as plants that repel mosquitoes.

When picking out the right geraniums for your yard, remember that not all geraniums are scented. Since scented plants are the plants that repel mosquitoes best, it’s important to ensure you get scented geraniums as opposed to true geraniums.


11 a woman planting sage
Sage has a long list of uses, but one of our favorites is to keep mosquitoes and other pests away.

Pests That This Plant Repels: Mosquitoes, cabbage moths, snails, carrot flies, flea beetles, and beetles

Care Requirements: Easy

Growing Zones: 5 to 8

Sunlight: 3 to six hours per day

Sage Overview:

Sage is one of the easiest plants that repel mosquitoes to grow on this list. It can be grown both indoors and out and is safe to grow around pets as well. However, sage works best as a pest repellent when it’s dried and burned, though it can work when planted in close proximity to you.

If you want to use sage as one of your plants that repel mosquitoes, we recommend planting it in smaller pots and keeping it nearby, like on window ledges, on your patio, or making a perimeter of sage around your yard.

You can also collect the sage you grow and let it dry out, then burn a bit of it before outdoor BBQ’s or get-togethers to repel pests.


12 rosemary
Rosemary is a popular spice used to add a dash of flavor to foods. But it’s scent is also potent enough to repel pests. 

Pests That This Plant Repels: Cabbage loopers, mosquitoes, carrot flies, Mexican bean beetles

Care Requirements: Moderate

Growing Zones: 8 – 10

Sunlight: 6 plus hours a day

Rosemary Overview:

Rosemary comes in two variations including an herb variation and a land shrub. While both types can work as plants that repel mosquitoes, the most effective is going to be the fragrant herb variety of rosemary.

When growing rosemary, we should note that this plant requires a lot of sunlight and can be difficult to grow in colder, more humid environments. However, if you live in a dryer, hotter climate, rosemary would be an excellent plant to add to your garden when looking for plants that repel mosquitoes.

And, like many of the other plants that repel mosquitoes on this list, rosemary can be grown both inside and out.


13 chives
Chives are another plant you can add to your veggie or herb garden. Not only are chives delicious, they also repel mosquitoes! 

Pests That This Plant Repels: Mosquitoes, aphids, carrot flies, slugs, ants, fleas, Japanese beetles

Care Requirements: Easy

Growing Zones: 3 – 10

Sunlight: 3 to over six hours per day

Chives Overview:

When it comes to plants that repel mosquitoes, chives are one of the most popular. That said, and while we do like it for a mosquito repellent, it should also be noted that this plant works best when crushed or within close proximity to where you and your family will be congregating.

Chives are easy to grow and can be potted and grown indoors or companion-planted and grown outside. They are tough plants that produce beautiful purple buds as well, which not only adds protection from pests but also color and beautify to your garden.

Other Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes

14 a woman enjoying a mosquitoe net
Along with using plants to repel pests, you can also invest in natural sprays and candles that repel mosquitoes. 

Using plants that repel mosquitoes is not the only way you can go about protecting yourself and your loved ones from these nasty pests. There are several other natural methods you can use to keep mosquitoes and even other biting insects away without the use of chemicals or insecticides.

Take a look.

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are often used for medicinal purposes or relaxation, but did you know you can also use them as a form of natural pest control? Essential oils repel mosquitoes using smell, which is exactly how plants that repel mosquitoes work.

But essential oils don’t only work for mosquitoes – they also work for other pests like rodents, fleas, ticks, spiders, roaches and ants.

The best essential oils that work against mosquitoes and other pests include:

  • Peppermint Oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Lavender Oil
  • Lemongrass Oil
  • Citronella Oil
  • And Clove Oil

You can use oil to repel pests in a number of ways, from dabbing some diluted oil onto your skin and clothing before going outside, to making your own essential oil spray.

To make your own DIY pest control spray using essential oils, simply combine 10 to 15 drops of the essential oil of your choice into two cups of water. Mix the solution into a spray bottle and spray it around the area you will be congregating.

Remove Excess Water Sources Around Your Home

Mosquitoes are highly attracted to excess water sources because they congregate, mate and lay their eggs in there. Excess water sources could include overturned buckets, stagnant kiddie pools, bird fountains, ponds, overwatered grass or lawns, drainage pipes, and gutters.

To keep mosquitoes at bay and to reduce your needs for having to use an insecticide or chemical spray, we recommend getting rid of any excess water around your home. It’s also a good idea to refrain from overwatering your yard and garden, as this could also lead to an uptick in mosquitoes, eggs and larvae.

Use Citronella Candles 

Citronella candles are another excellent alternative to using a chemical insecticide to repel mosquitoes. You can use citronella candles in conjunction with plants that repel mosquitoes for the ultimate effect.

We have listed one of our favorite citronella candle brands below for you to consider.

Organic Airvibe Citronella Candles

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We are big fans of the Airvibe Citronella Candles above because they are 100% organic and not only add a bit of delightful ambiance to your yard, but also some aromatherapy.

These candles are soy-based and use 100% cottonwood oil to help repel pests like mosquitoes, gnats and fleas. They burn for up to 80 hours and come in adorably decorative little mason jars.

Invite The Predators

Mosquitoes have a number of natural predators including bats, birds and larger insects. If you want to keep mosquitoes at bay naturally, why not consider inviting some of their natural enemies to dinner?

Use A Natural Pest Control Spray 

Last, consider using a pest control spray made of natural, plant-based ingredients. While plants that repel mosquitoes can be effective, they will work best if you use them in conjunction with other pest control methods like sprays and routine home maintenance.

If you’re not sure where to look for the best all natural yard sprays for mosquito and pest repellent, we have a few examples of some good options below.

Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray

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Wondercide is one of our favorite outdoor pest control sprays because it uses essential oils and other plant-based ingredients to repel pests. This makes it ideal for anyone interested in organic gardening and natural pest control.

The product is a barrier spray designed to provide long-lasting protection on your property from pests like mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, roaches, spiders, ants and more. Best of all, it will not harm the environment or beneficial insects, and it’s perfectly safe to use around children and pets.

Colton’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent

No products found.

We also like Colton’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Concentrate. This product is specifically made with natural ingredients like cedarwood oil and garlic juice to repel pests like mosquitoes and other biting and flying insects. Again, it is an all natural product that is safe for the environment, plants, animals, pets and children.

When used alongside plants that repel mosquitoes, it should help to provide long-lasting protection and relief from these pests so you can enjoy your yard again.

And there you have it – everything you need to know about plants that repel mosquitoes! We hope this has been a helpful guide and that your garden will soon be a little brighter, a little more fragrant, and a lot more mosquito free.

Best of luck and thanks for reading!

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