Warmer days are here and we are busy looking for ways to enjoy life outside: brunching on patios, splashing around in pools and firing up the grill. However, rather than running to the backyard, we sometimes find ourselves running for cover from those pesky mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are attracted to and repelled by certain smells. Unfortunately, humans give off the sweetest of smells to this pest. Carbon dioxide is the key component for mosquitoes while identifying potential food sources. As we breathe, we are exhaling carbon dioxide. These molecules are carried on wind currents and picked up by the mosquitoes, who can use this scent to “track us down”. As we spend more time outside, humans become mosquitoes’ favorite snack.
Some plants can act as a natural repellent to mosquitoes. Citronella, garlic oil, cedar oil and eucalyptus, for example, have powerful and pungent scents that interfere with a mosquito’s ability to use its senses to detect prey. Other plants, like garlic, repel mosquitoes when consumed because the scent leaves through the pores.
Instead of loading up on garlic to repel mosquitoes (and potentially your friends), you can plant a few of our favorite mosquito-repelling herbs in your garden.
Citronella is most commonly known for repelling mosquitoes in candle form. Its natural scent is perfect for masking your presence from mosquitoes on the hunt. Citronella is a low maintenance plant that won’t require a lot of work from you, once planted.
Did you know? You can also use citronella as a kitchen cleaner due to its strong antifungal/antibacterial properties. As an oil, it can be used to help clean your kitchen, bathroom and hard surfaces in your house.
Basil is not just a prized possession in your kitchen, but also in your garden as a mosquito repellent. Its natural aroma keeps mosquitoes and flies at bay. This plant is also toxic to mosquito larvae. If you leave uncrushed basil near standing water, it can deter mothering mosquitoes from laying eggs.
Did you know? Basil is a great ingredient in bath bombs. You can create an essential oil version first or use dried basil to make a garden fresh soap, sugar scrub or bath bomb (learn the basics here).
You may be familiar with lavender for its relaxing qualities, which is why it’s commonly found in lotions and bath products. Lavender also has the surprise effect of repelling mosquitoes, moths, fleas, flies and even spiders. Keeping these unwanted pests away will help attract butterflies and bees to your yard.
Did you know? Lavender extract can be used to flavor ice cream. Try it out by adding lavender essential oils into your favorite ice cream recipe. This white chocolate lavender-infused ice cream recipe will have you reaching for your biggest spoon (recreate your own version here).
While these plants can play a role in driving mosquitoes away from the small radius where they are planted, mosquitoes still need to be eradicated by a professional exterminator.
TruGreen is offering initial treatments of Mosquito Defense for $39.95 and for best results, TruGreen recommends monthly treatments. For more information about mosquito service offerings at TruGreen and how to prevent mosquitoes from ruining your time outside, click here or call 866-688-6722.