If there are two things we care about most in the world, it's protecting our families and making sure they have a healthy and happy world to grow up in. So, it's no surprise that there has been a rise in the popularity of natural remedies. Parents are looking at labels and understand how many harsh lab-made chemicals go into the everyday solutions we use to solve our everyday hurts.
As we become aware, we begin to look for new solutions that maybe are not so new (and, in fact, have existed for thousands of years) but can protect us without bringing along all the side effects we hate.
Plants were used to protect humans from mosquitoes long before scientists started playing around in labs. Many of these plants are surprisingly common and easy to plant around your home for protection.
These plants grow quickly and serve double-duty: filling our favorite seating area with a peaceful fragrance and warding off pesky bugs. Can the same thing be said for mosquito repellent sprays filled with DEET?
Continue reading to find out which plants are the most beneficial to grow to protect yourself and your kids from mosquitoes. Then, discover the best insect repellents for outdoor fun for keeping mosquitoes at bay.
Why Should I Bother Repelling Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are not your friends. They may give you something in return for your blood, but it is not something you want. When you get bitten by a mosquito, it leaves some of its saliva behind. (Note that only female mosquitoes suck blood.)
This saliva contains proteins that give most humans mild reactions. Mosquito saliva gets trapped in the bite, and blood flow is a little stopped up. This process usually leaves a small bump that is sometimes a red or pinkish color.
What Can They Share?
Mosquitoes have no qualms about sharing the diseases and illnesses they carry. Most mosquitoes, especially those in North America, tend to not carry any diseases, but their bites can still cause complications such as Skeeter Syndrome.
Some of the common diseases spread by mosquitoes are Malaria, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus, and the Zika Virus.
If a mosquito tries to give you anything, reject it!
Which Plants Work?
A large variety of plants can keep our gardens safe and beautiful. We put together a list of the helpful plants that deserve a starring role in your flower boxes. These plants emit scents that mosquitoes naturally avoid.
Some plants that mosquitoes just hate include:
If these plants seem familiar, they probably are! Many of these plants are distilled and converted into essential oils that are used in a broad range of natural remedies, not just kicking bugs to the curb.
There is a wide array of plants to be chosen from, most of which are easily attainable. A few of these are even good for your yard. They can help bring in butterflies and hummingbirds and bring a dash of color to any space.
When planting pockets of these flowers, keep in mind if you need drought-resistant plants like lavender or citronella. (Citronella candles are popular but not nearly as effective).
What Can I Plant And Use At Home?
It's time to fight unpleasant bugs with pleasant scents. A lot of these natural mosquito repellent plants are available at your local garden store near you. They are safe for your kids, although a few, such as Bee Balm, can be harmful to animals if ingested.
Lavender is very safe to plant around your children. Marigolds and other flowers that have been found to repel mosquitoes are all also good choices. These effective plants are safe, non-toxic, and will help keep that mosquito population far away from any outdoor area.
Basil and mint are super easy to grow. But keep in mind that mint grows fast (even faster than our kids!). Mint can quickly overtake any yard you plant it in. Mint is best in containers, plants, or in a patio plot where it can be kept from overtaking any flowers or bushes you like in your yard.
Most plants that are natural mosquito repellents can be grown successfully in planters and other containers. Most of them could even go into your herb garden and be in the kitchen, like basil, sage, rosemary, and mint.
Which Plants Should I Avoid and Why?
It is important to cultivate with caution.
Let’s go over a general list of plants that are best to look at from afar but not to keep in your garden at home.
First off, avoid anything with thorns. Roses may be pretty, but they are impractical. Anything that has thorns, thistles, or nettle is not something you want your kids near. It is too easy for them to fall in or try to grab, leading to a painful memory. Cacti, nettle, raspberry bushes, and thistles are best kept away until your kids are a little older.
If you keep plants out of your garden that poke and prod (hey, us parents aren’t the only ones who are protective of our little sprouts!), you will probably feel better about getting your little one involved in some gardening activities.
Gardening is a great way to get kids outside, teach them a respect for nature, and also show them some practical skills. Quality “green time” has numerous benefits, including improving concentration and happiness levels. When you and your family are planting your mosquito-repelling garden, take that opportunity to tell your kids about what plants you are planting and why.
This can segue into a conversation about mosquito safety (and the wonders of our beautiful Mother Earth).
There are many pretty plants that grow naturally in areas where we live that are indeed poisonous when ingested. We know that our kids like to eat anything they can get their hands on, especially when they are young. However, it’s not just our kids that may chew on a leaf or two; we also have to keep our pets in mind.
Plants that are well-known to be toxic (to people and pets) include holly, mistletoe, and buckeye. However, a popular plant to fight mosquitoes is citronella. However, citronella candles and oils are toxic—not to our children—but to our pets. Burning these candles or rubbing these oils on our pets can be super dangerous.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do?
Plenty: There are many ways that you can better prepare yourself for fights with mosquitoes. It is easy to find safe, eco-friendly ways to protect both you and your kids.
We wanted a safe way to protect their kids from mosquitoes that did not include harmful chemicals like DEET and Picaridin, the two most common mosquito repellent ingredients. Instead, our patches are made with an effective blend of essential oils, some of which are derived from the plants listed above, to protect your children naturally.
BuzzPatches are not only powerful, but their bright colors also make them fun to wear. Even better, they feature cool emoji patterns that entice kids into wanting to wear them! One struggle with bug spray or lotion is having to get it on in our kids in the first place. There is always the fear that lotions and sprays won’t dry fast enough, and our kids will manage to get them into their eyes, mouths, or worse.
BuzzPatch is a sticker that you can stick onto your kid’s shirt or pants. It lasts for over eight hours of reliable protection. Plus, adults can just add an extra sticker or two and be just as good to go.
Never worry about having to get children bug repellent and adult repellent, forget about the whole ordeal that used to be mosquito repellent application, and enjoy the extra free time.
Fear The Bite No More
Hearing all the trouble mosquitoes bring can put a damper on outdoor fun. But there are plenty of resources to get our kids and us back onto our feet after these pests attack. MagicPatch is one such device.
MagicPatch Itch Relief is another creation from The Natural Patch Co. It is chemical-free, too. Using a scientifically tested grid pattern, the sticker helps adjust blood flow to help the bite drain properly and allow relief from the itchy sensation shared by the mosquito saliva.
Plants in Pots vs. Pests
Many plants are able to keep mosquitoes away. A lot of them also keep away other bugs like spiders, flies, and fleas. Planting flowers known to keep mosquitoes away is a good plan. Double (or triple) the protection with mosquito repellent stickers, like BuzzPatch, and anti-itch stickers, like MagicPatch.
The great outdoors are the greatest, especially when mosquitoes aren’t around.