After this past crazy winter, there’s nothing we’re longing for quite as much as summer and its sunshine, open windows, picnics and— mosquitos? That last one is the insect in the sweet summer ointment, but luckily there are plenty of safe, natural ways to repel the pesky blood-suckers. Check out Craftsy’s list of the six best plants to grow to make your home a green, mosquito-free haven. Though debate exists over whether you need to crush the leaves of these plants to get the full effect, there’s evidence that just having them around does the trick. Read on and tell us what you think!
Mosquitos – and flies! – just don’t appreciate the smell of this tasty herb like we lucky humans do! You can grow it in any sunny location around your home, so put some pots out near your doors, windows, patio and any open space where you want to enjoy its fragrance pest-free.
Your cat will thank you for this one, and you get to enjoy the beauty of its white and purple flowers. Add some catnip to your flower beds and enjoy gardening without fighting off bites.
3. Citronella Grass
You’ve probably heard of this inedible perennial, a main ingredient in repellants and those candles everybody puts out in summertime. You can add the grass to a sunny spot of your garden or lawn as a more natural safeguard. Just be careful— its concentrated oils can be irritating to the skin.
4. Lemon Balm
A cousin to mint, this plant grows fast and repels mosquitos with its scent. Experienced gardeners take note: it reseeds every year (though not by underground runners), so make sure you’re watching it to keep it from turning from the side of good to the side of invasive pest.
5. Lemon Thyme
Like most of the plants on this list, lemon thyme smells great to us but apparently terrible to mosquitos. It does well in sunny, dry areas like rock gardens and pathways, so line your sidewalks and garden paths with it for a fragrant, mosquito-free stroll.
Guess mosquitos don’t like feeling fresh! This human favorite is so easy-to-grow it might threaten to take over your garden, but that makes it perfect for growing in containers around the house to keep your home mosquito-free inside and out.
Lavender has a lovely, relaxing scent according to humans, but bugs (with the exception of bees) hate the smell of lavender. Whether you plant some in your garden or hang some dried lavender in your home, you’ll be doing your part to keep those pests away. And as a bonus, you’ll get to enjoy that beautiful aroma.