Organic Ways To Repel Mosquitoes

Just Say NO To MosquitoesEveryone hates Mosquitoes, unless you’re some weirdo with a fetish for the dart-like demons… if so, you might want to stop reading now.  If you are like us, come summertime, fighting those bloodsuckers is just something you have to do.  At least if you want a comfortable place to hang out with friends on a warm summer day.  The reason we started looking for natural or organic ways to repel mosquitoes, is because of a few things.  Two reasons really.

We are always looking for a “greener” way to do things, and usually half the time that “greener” way is cheaper in the long run as a bonus.  Then the second reason being that… well, a no-brainer here – we don’t want the pests around when we have get-togethers or when we are enjoying our lives outside on the weekends.  Respectable reasons, and reasons you are likely here reading this now.

Now lets get down to it. We are early enough in the year that starting now and building a fortress around your house, can guard you and your loved ones from mosquitoes.  Not just any fortress, one that is functional, eco-friendly and affordable.  Cheap & organic… and good looking?  No way.

Yes way.

What are the easiest methods, cheapest methods and most effective methods to repel mosquitoes?

Don’t get mosquitoes in the first place. Simple as that.  Leaving that 5 gallon bucket of rainwater by the shop for 2 weeks is not being all that effective is it?  Nope.  Get rid of the things causing mosquitoes now.  Kick over buckets; put things under a roof of some kind.  Mow your grass, tame your weedy areas.  What more do you want me to say? Stop breeding mosquitoes and start enjoying your yards more often.  The more you enjoy them, the better you will keep them.  The better you keep them, the less likely you will have mosquitoes.  Go kick a bucket over already.  What are you waiting for?

Some of the easiest locations for mosquitoes to multiply:

Old tires – can you say the top of the top of mosquito friendly habitats?  Warm, wet, dark and stale… a perfect storm if you will.  Make sure to recycle your old tires as soon as they get taken off.  You aren’t going to use it… seriously.  Do something crafty with it and turn it into a tire planter or something.  Just don’t leave it out back to be a mosquito haven that will piss of your whole neighborhood.

Buckets, buckets & more buckets – you left it out while washing the car and now it has green water and a community’s worth of mosquitoes in it.  Put it up already!  At least kick it over so they can die already.  Throw some vinegar in there; kill those suckers before they get in my back yard!

Wheel barrel – most people have one, and lots of those people leave it right side up.  Meaning it turns into a swimming pool of water where mosquitoes slim laps to build strong muscles to suck your blood with.  Good work, your making Amazon strength mosquitoes.  **High 5**

High grass, weedy & overgrown areas – dudes… you’re not ever going to mow that side patch of grass by the power line?  Really…  your just going to leave it?  Thanks for providing the state with a population’s worth of mosquitoes.  How thoughtful of you.  Get in there and get it controlled, so you don’t have to worry about it!

Rain guttersclean your gutters!  You keep walking around your backyard looking for that bed of mosquitoes and it is right above your head the whole time.  Dirty gutters catch water, instead of directing it where it needs to go.  Pooling water will hatch mosquitoes… so clean them!

Swimming pool covers – why don’t you just fold it up like a normal person?  Instead you pile it over in the corner of your yard and everyone wonders why it looks like they have the measles when they leave your swimming pool party.  That thing offers a perfect environment for mosquito breeding.  Put it up and then use it when you are done with your pool… or you will get “skeeters” in there too!

Now taking care of most of these issues will cut the number of mosquitoes you will be fighting this summer down considerably.  I mean think about it… last year that bucket was breeding them, that overgrown alley… you cleaned the gutters already this year, you will be in good shape.  Make sure this is step one in your quest to repel mosquitoes organically.

What kind of plants will repel mosquitoes naturally?

Great question, even better answers.  You like a nice tomato basil soup?  You love your lemongrass tea?  Well you will enjoy them even more when you start growing them yourself and scaring off those pesky mosquitoes.  There are several natural mosquito repellants that you can grow around your yard.  Let’s break down which ones do what…

Types of natural mosquito repelling plant:

Basil fights mosquitoesBasil – we told you, basil is not just good in your pasta dish… it is good to keep those pests at bay come summertime.  Plant them in small table height planters and watch them be decorative & handy as a repellant.  With several different colors and types, it is easy to find basil that fits your theme.  These plants grow big pillow-y leaves and smell awesomely herbal.

Lemon Grass fights moquitoesLemongrass – This cheap easily grown grass is a great deterrent for mosquitoes and can be used for teas and for flavoring on different dishes.  You can’t eat your OFF!  So this is definitely a plus.  Lemongrass is a nice plant to pot and have in corners and as an accent plant to put around the patio.

Citronella fights mosquitoesCitronella Plant/Grass – We have all burned the candles, why not grow the plant? Cut out the middle man and get one of these guys growing so you can ward off mosquitoes before they start biting your guests!  Look around, they now have the “Mosquito Plants” for sale that are a form of citronella.  This is the natural version pictured to the left, however there are a few variations sold as citronella.

Rosemary fights mosquitoes.Rosemary – Everyone has used rosemary at one time or another in the kitchen, but to repel mosquitoes… you must be crazy.  Think again.  This handy herb can put some zing in a pork chop and take the sting out of the summer by running of mosquitoes.  Not only that, it looks great while doing it!  See the picture to the right and you will notice some rosemary trimmed into decorative bushes.

Catnip fights mosquitoesCatnip – It isn’t just for cat toys anymore.  This plant, we are finding out… is more powerful at repelling mosquitoes than DEET!  Be sure to plant some in and around your patio or pool area to keep those biting bugs away.  Of course if you keep some of this handy and dry it out, you can give it to your kitties when you need to occupy them for about a MILLION HOURS!

Marigolds fight moquitoesMarigolds – These plants have a smell that tends to chase off anyone and anything for that matter.  Used to keep some bugs away from gardens, this flower will do the same for your mosquito problem.  Plant them around and enjoy their blooms as well.  They look beautiful in pots, so stick these in corners and around your patio for a hint of color.

Garlic fights mosquitoesGarlic – Garlic has been used to repel tons of varieties of pests for years, so it is no surprise that it ends up on our list.  This plant is not only useful to keep those stingers at bay… but you can also pop it out of the ground, let it dry and use it in the kitchen!  Garlic is a great companion plant for some problem plants, so check to see where you can grow this to not only benefit your patio area or backyard, but also to benefit your other plants!

Tansies fight mosquitoes.Tansies – These flowers, often called “mums” are beautiful to spread around a patio or garden area – but not only do they provide color (pink, yellow, red just to name a few); these guys will keep you from slapping yourself all weekend while at the pool.  Use tansies here and there to add color to your patio area.  Remember you can use these in vases when they are in bloom to spruce up your house as well.

You never had a clue there were that many plants that you see and use on a daily basis that you can use to fight mosquitoes in your patio or garden this summer… did you?  Nope.  You were going to go grab a OFF! fogger and hit the yard a few times and then next weekend do the same thing… until finally you give up and they ‘skeeters’ have their way with you and your party guests.

Not cool.

What ways can you incorporate plants into your patio or backyard that repel mosquitoes?

Simple.  The same way you incorporate plants that don’t.  Pots, hanging baskets, planters… you name it.  Treat them no different than any other plant you would plant around your patio.  Make it festive by adding some colorful tansies or just keep it simple and green with all the grass and long bladed goodies that are listed above.  A lot of these plants bloom and so working them in is a breeze.

We have planned to use basil in small pots or planters in and around our patio.  Basil is a great way to give a boring table a nice pick me up, not to mention they have a nice herb-a-licious smell that some people will die for.  Then when you make your next pot of tomato basil soup, run out and pick fresh basil from those same pots!  Easy & convenient!

This summer when you are fighting the fight for mosquitoes, be sure to take preventative measures this spring by tipping over buckets, recycling old tires and other simple methods.  This will keep your backyard parties… well it will keep them as parties, instead of them turning into a mosquito bloodbath.  Also, by planting a few plants – you can be sure that the mosquitoes will join your neighbors party instead of yours.  The art of repelling mosquitoes doesn’t have to be ugly, with these tips you can make it functional and beautiful.

Be sure to share this with your friends, no one should be suffering this Summer due to mosquitoes – and you can email this in about 1/2 a minute.  Also feel free to Digg this article, Mixx this article, StumbleUpon this article and any other methods you find useful to sharing information.

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Also, if you are looking for organic ways to treat ants and ant mounds, look no further – Double Danger has you covered.  Read our 10 Organic Ways to Control Ants article today!


20 thoughts on “Organic Ways To Repel Mosquitoes”

  • 1
    Musicgoat on May 16, 2008

    Cool post. Very helpful up here on the Mississippi River.

    Just an idea….Repelling ants could be a good topic too. My wife and i were kind of thinking about the other day after finding a few.

  • 2
    Cat on May 16, 2008

    Here in the UK tghe only mossies we find are round the dogs water bowl! Thank goodness they are not like over in the US. We have little annoying flying fly things that are called ‘midges’ that normally come out at sun down. They don’t bite, just REALLY annoy you! Cat x

  • 3
    James on May 16, 2008

    @Musicgoat – we already have a post on organic ant control as well. Feel free to check it out: 10 Ways To Control Ants Organically

  • 4
    James on May 16, 2008

    @Cat – I have heard of ‘midges’ – they seem to be as annoying (minus the disease and biting) as mosquitoes. It is always neat to hear from people in other lands and what they deal with!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • 5
    deb on May 16, 2008

    great post. I use a garlic tea concoction to repell the little monsters in the summer. It works pretty good.

  • 6
    Daryl Auclair on May 16, 2008

    Great article! I really do not like mosquitoes, but this helps so much! I like hanging out outside at night, barbecuing and smoking cigars so I am looking forward to trying this out!

  • 7
    Dee on July 2, 2008

    great website- awesome ideas for those pesky sketters! We get plenty of them in Tucson so I will definitely get planting some sketter-unfriendly plants!

  • 8
    Tamie on August 21, 2008

    We have a horrible time with mossies here..and my children are mildly allergic so they have to stay in the house a lot…humph! I just ordered seeds for everything on this list to plant in the spring in hopes the yard will be “playable”

  • 9
    etele on October 3, 2008

    you have made my dreams brigther. now i can stand bold and tell the people more about natural controls of those ever close vampires. the niger delta of nigeria will soon be free of them all.

  • 10
    Nicole on February 16, 2009

    Garlic, garlic, garlic, garlic. The best mosquito repellent. You can plant a lot of garlic bulbs (pretty flowers), there are garlic granules you can spread on your lawn (works great, no scent after a couple of hours), or spread garlic powder (bulk containers in Sam’s/BJ’s/Costco), but your yard will smell like a seasoned salad. We have woods in the back of our yard and get a lot of mosquitoes, and have had lots of success with the garden garlic granules, as well as with garlic plants inter planted in vegetable and flower beds.

  • 11
    Atlas on June 3, 2009

    I’m surprised it hasn’t been said yet. Perhaps it doesn’t work as well for others as it does for me. But I wouldn’t bother planting tons of garlic or other plants. Instead you should eat tons of garlic, or even better, take a gel-tab of garlic 20 minutes before you plan to go outside. The mosquitoes can smell the garlic in your blood and will refrain from biting you. A single tablet is enough to protect you for 3-4 hours! It requires no spraying, no nasty chemicals, no planting, no watering, and it follows you wherever you go :).

    I plan to plant some of these options anyway, (I want to test their effectiveness,) but ever since I was a whitewater raft guide I had to find a solution to these buzz-ball terrorists. Because of the neoprene wet suits bug spray was out of the question (DEET corrodes neoprene), we were on rafts with moderate wind so candles or other ‘Off’ brand devices were ineffective, the very color of our rafts (blue) attracts mosquitoes. No kidding, if it weren’t for this single tactic, those blood-thirsty hell-raisers would have driven me completely insane. I was stuck on the raft for 6 hours everyday; nowhere to hide and a very limited supply of my precious O negative. I feel a little PTSD just thinking about it. Finally I found the solution, garlic supplements! Just like Dracula himself these little vampires didn’t have the stomach for some fine cuisine and believe me, a little garlic goes a long way. Once I perfected the timing those winged leeches had taken their last sip of Bloody Mary at my expense.

    Just a single drawback; be prepared for others mention your pungent perfume. Even the supplements can linger from your pores enough for your comrades to condemn your hygiene. However, it is my understanding that a variation is now available that resolves this reproach; a non-pungent supplement that will still prevent this pest. Besides that it is all positive baby! Garlic is good for your heart and blood pressure, its been implicated as an antibiotic, and who-knows, if you’re like me it could save you a ton of scratching and Hydrocortisone cream. Good Luck!

  • 12
    Sonia on June 19, 2009

    I never thought about growing plants that can repel mosquitos. I’m allergic to mosquitos and I typically use non-toxic mosquito repellent wristbands. Seems to work well.

    Sonia

  • 13
    Hidn on July 9, 2009

    so, wait, if I eat basil, rosemary, and/or garlic, then the bugs will leave me alone? awesome! I’m going to OA ordeal in a couple of weeks, and I don’t think they let you use bug spray. Thanks!!

  • 14
    Nancy on July 10, 2009

    Great Advice for Mosquitoes, what about Fleas….how to get them off your dogs without using Frontline or Advantage, which is so dangerous for animals.

  • 15
    Amy on July 26, 2009

    Nancy, I didn’t know those were bad for pets…. but Dawn dishwashing soap will also get rid of fleas if you bathe your pet with it. Also, comb the pet with a fine-tooth comb and put the fleas you comb out into a bowl of soapy water, then flush the water.

  • 16
    Cheryl on July 29, 2009

    Thanks for this great article. I plan to try some of the plant suggestions, but I’ve read that garlic can be harmful for dogs in larger quantities. I’ll have to research the others to make sure they are safe if my dog eats them.

    I also tried Atlas’ suggestion of taking garlic and it worked splendidly. I am a mosquito magnet and last night was prime mosquito weather. I took two no-odor garlic pills 20 minutes before I went outside and the mosquitos would get close but would not bite. Apparently they can still sense the garlic even if we can’t smell it.

  • 17
    Salli on February 11, 2010

    I heard that having the plants is not enough, that you also have to routinly crush the leaves. Is this the case or will just planting the plants really help?

  • 18
    cody on March 12, 2010

    Have anything to control ticks on people/pets? Hate ’em!!!
    Also, if you spray yourself with a basil/ lemongrass tea, will it repel mosquitos? Thanks!!!

  • 19
    Lindy on April 13, 2010

    Is there something I could put by my screen door to keep them away? I would also like to keep the wasps away from my porch any ideas?

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