There is nothing I love more than sitting out in the garden at night around the fire pit enjoying a cocktail or a S’more with my family and talking about the day. It’s a simple and small activity that makes a weeknight feel like a vacation. We sit around roasting marshmallows enjoying our time together until we start slapping and swatting our legs, arms and necks from pesky mosquitos.
In recent years we’ve taken a few simple steps to help keep mosquitos at bay without spraying. I like to keep my garden and yard as spray free as possible so that my bee’s get the best benefits and that means researching all natural deterrents.
I use companion planting in my garden which means planting things together that have benefits that help their neighboring plant out. Ex. Planting rosemary next to cucumbers. The common bugs and beetles that snack on cucumbers hate the smell of rosemary so I plant my rosemary close to the cucumber trellis. While companion planting is great for the garden, planting specific plants in the garden will help naturally deter some mosquitos from swarming in and ruining your great outdoors.
These plants take a little bit to work because it’s the oils on the plant that deters the bugs. I love to run my hands over some of the plants because the scents are so fragrant but also deters mosquitos even more. Some of these herbs can be made into oils but I typically just sit close to my planters. If you don’t want to spend the time making your own mosquito oil I have been having great luck with the Wondercide tick and mosquito spray. The Wondercide spray smells great and thus far have not had a single tick on me since using it.
To help keep mosquitos away in our high traffic areas I planted the following;
Around the fire pit in the garden I added citronella and geranium plants.
Around the pool area I added lavender and citronella in the planters to help deter mosquitos.
There are dozens of different plants that will naturally deter mosquitos but some of my most used are;
- marigolds, also great for deterring rabbits
- mint, also awesome for cocktails 😉
- citronella, Looks pretty mixed in with dahlias and sweet potato vine
- thyme, perennial to Michigan
The most effective way to get these plants to work for you and keep mosquitos away is to keep them in an area that is easy to reach. The more these plants and herbs are touched and brushed up against the more they release their potent oils that mosquitos hate.
I also heard that you can create an herb smoke by tossing some of the dried herbs listed above into your campfire to help spread the scent around and keep mosquitos away.
In addition to planting herbs and flowers that naturally deter bugs it is good practice to monitor the standing water in your yard and garden. If you have a bird bath make sure you are changing out the water every week or use a small solar fountain to keep the water circulating. Standing water is the ideal spot for mosquito eggs.
A few simple plant additions to your landscape will help to keep mosquitos at bay. It’s important to wear protection when you are in a high mosquito populated area to keep yourself safe from disease carrying mosquitos.
Have you mixed any of these into your planters or landscape? What are your favorites for keeping mosquitos away?