The Best Mosquito Repellent Plants

...And more DIY strategies to keep mosquitoes away this summer.

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Mosquito repellent plants - marigolds
Yotwarit maliwong /

Grow mosquito repellent plants in your yard

Flowers can do more than just provide a splash of colour in your yard. Investing in mosquito repellent plants can help ensure your backyard barbecue isn’t gatecrashed by unwanted (not to mention thirsty!) flying pests. Three of the best mosquito repellent plants are marigolds (above), citronella and calendula, while herbs like rosemary, mint and lemongrass can also help keep biting insects from your patch of the great outdoors. Plant them near your patio or deck for the best benefit.

Check out the medicinal plants you can grow at home.

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Mosquito repellent citronella candle
faithie /

Repelling mosquitoes with citronella candles

No green thumb? No problem! You can still tap the mosquito repelling power of citronella (while creating the perfect ambiance) with citronella candles. Pro tip: It’s best to use citronella after everybody’s done eating.

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mosquito repellent plants - cedar oil
Photo: Shutterstock

Spray with mosquito repellent cedar oil

A mixture of cedar oil diluted with water can be sprayed on your lawn and shrubs to repel insects like fleas and mosquitoes. Not only does it keep pests away, but it can nix their eggs, too. Use it at night and by the morning, the yard will be ready for the whole family to enjoy, from pets to parents.

Discover more home remedies that have science to back them up.

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Tray and pans in outdoors stores stagnant water and breeding ground for mosquito
Photo: ThamKC/Shutterstock

Reduce stagnant water to keep mosquitoes away

Mosquitoes will lay eggs in any stagnant, non-chlorinated water, whether it’s in an inflatable pool or a flower pot. Drain any stagnant water you find to reduce the risk of guests getting bitten while grilling burgers. But don’t worry unduly about whether or not your neighbour is doing the same: Mosquitoes tend not to fly very far, so cleaning up your property should do the trick.

Keep these gardening tips in mind all summer long.

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Residential backyard with gazebo, deck, stone patio and swimming pool
Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock

Invest in a tent

For a touch of glamour and a foolproof way to keep out mosquitoes and flies, set up a tent in your backyard to surround the dining area where guests will be eating. If you don’t have the extra room, you can buy mosquito nets to hang from your outdoor umbrellas.

Find out other ways you can boost your home’s curb appeal.

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Friends dining al fresco
AYA images /

Prep the patio

Insects like flies can thrive off even small amounts of leftover food. Be sure to wipe up any spilled liquid or crumbs after eating outside to help prevent against pests. As a bonus, it means your dining area will be in perfect shape for when your guests come over.

Discover other surprising ways you’re attracting mosquitoes to your home.

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Decorative outdoor string lights hanging on tree in the garden at night time
Photo: funkyteddy/Shutterstock

Change your outdoor lighting

Certain lights can attract bugs, so opt for yellow lights instead of your traditional white bulbs. The golden glow can also make for a more pleasant outdoor experience. Turn off your outdoor lights before going to bed, as well.

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Spray bottle spraying
prasit2512 /

Use diluted hydrogen peroxide

Mix this common household staple with water—a mixture of 1/3 hydrogen peroxide, 2/3 water—and spray it over your patio and its perimeter, especially in places where guests will be sitting and eating. Opt for a 3% hydrogen peroxide to keep plants safe.

Next, find out how to get rid of fungus gnats for good.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home

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