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Five plants that actually work against mosquitoes


Mosquitoes like me. And when I see the bumps on my ankles, I know it is that time of the year, the time of the hungry mosquitos. I always thought that only DEET works against mosquitoes. But there appears to be real plants that scare away mosquitoes as efficiently as the horrible spray. In this article I list the five most mentioned plants as an alternative to DEET

A buzzing mosquito that keeps you from your sleep in the middle of the night. I frequently suffer from it. I’ve seen and heard all tips already: Vitamin B pills, outlet mosquito repellents, the proven (but awkward) mosquito net…

Mosquitos buzzing in your ear are not only annoying, but still the biggest killer of people in developing countries. For decades already  they are working on a cure for malaria. Mosquito nets and eradication programs notwithstanding, there is still no good solution against these pests. Up to now, it appears that only the synthetic DEET – in percentages from 12% to 15% – are good, reliable and long-lasting, under all conditions. So: in the jungle, heat, sweat, rain and mud.

But DEET does not seem very healthy. It is not recommended for long term use, small children and pregnant and therefore the plants below can be a very good alternative. In some countries, that should be no problem. But of course, to make a bit nuance, I would not use them, however, as a natural replacement of DEET in malaria areas.


You can cook great dishes with it, but mosquitoes don’t like this herb. A nice combination and therefore a good reason to plant rosemary in your herb garden. This plant comes from a warmer climate and loves heat and sun. Ensure good dry soil and drainage and do not give too much water. Cut the plant off regularly, because rosemary is a shrub and will become very large if you don’t.

Marigold calendula

You should not plant them because of the somewhat distinctive scent of marigolds. But use them because of the dislike mosquitoes have against it. Marigolds are available in many color varieties, big and small, gold, yellow, red and orange. The cute plant does it very well on balconies for a bit of color and needs very little care. Normally with other repellent plants, you can rub the plants and the sap on your skin against mosquitoes, but don’t do that with gold flowers.

Lemongrass (cymbopogon flexosus)

The fresh scent of lemongrass is good for people and obviously annoying for mosquitoes. You can grow lemongrass yourself from seeds, but more convenient (if you want to buy a plant) is to buy fresh lemongrass in the shop or supermarket. Cut the upper bits and other dead bits of the stems and place the stems close to the window in the sun in a jar with water. Within a few weeks, roots will appear and then you can move them to a sunny jar.


Cats love it. Scientific research has shown that catnip is 10 times as effective against mosquitoes as DEET. Make sure you keep this plant little because it can be invasive. The best thing is you put him in a pot , instead of a container or open ground with other plants. Catnip is safe and nontoxic. Bruise the leaves and apply the juice on your skin. Catnip oil is also for sale in commercial or bio-shops


Mint grows quickly and is easy to keep and maintain. It is not entirely clear to me why mosquitoes do not like it, but try it. Rub some leaves on your skin and you immediately smell fresh. Nice bonus is that the mint does very well in cocktails such as Mojitos and other drinks for the summer celebration on your balcony with friends and family…


Geranium, who doesn’t know this plant. It comes in many colors and can withstand the sun. Keep this plant close to the door or window, in order to keep flying insects from coming in.

Take advantage of leaves from plants that repel mosquitoes. Tip – Make your own ‘Autan’. Put a handful of leaves from the above mentioned insect-resistant plants in a mortar and crush them to release the plant oils. Add a dash of vodka to it (works very well against mosquitoes!), Leave to infuse for 12 hours, strain it and put it in a spray bottle.

Mosquitoes love standing water, so empty buckets, clogged gutters and watering cans, change bird baths regularly and keep the lid on the barrel. Provide a (oxygen) pump in the pond and mow the grass regularly.

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