“I love mosquitos!” —Said no one ever. If you’re anything like us and dread that awful buzz in your ear followed by those itchy red bites, then you’re in the right place.
In this post, we’re talking all about mosquitos and the best plants to kick them to the curb. So grab your cup of coffee and get comfortable because we’re about to dive in!
But First, Why Are Mosquitoes So Obsessed With Humans In the First Place?
Mosquitoes are a real pain in the derriere — and anywhere else, they bite you. And if they are showing up in droves, they can quickly ruin a backyard bbq or make it nearly impossible to tend to your garden.
With that being said, why are these pesky bloodsuckers so obsessed with humans? And why is it that some lucky individuals seem to never get bitten while other unfortunate souls are essentially “Mosquito magnets?”
Well, believe it or not, mosquito bites only come from females. Yep, it’s true — as much as we all get eaten alive each summer by mosquitoes, we’re only facing the wrath of the females. So, what do these hungry females want with us, you ask? Simply put, they are looking for blood that will provide them with the nutrients they need to produce eggs (aka, more mosquitos!).
They look for a few things:
- Blood: Here’s a crazy fact — research has found that those with Type O blood are found to be almost twice as tantalizing to mosquitoes than those with Type A blood. A person’s metabolism also plays a role, as well as body temperature.
- Heat and Sweat: Mosquitos can sniff down their next victims through ammonia, lactic acid, and other compounds emitted in sweat. They also are highly attracted to those who run warmer, meaning a hot, sweaty individual enjoying the summer heat is quite delicious to them — couch potatoes rejoice!
- Breath: When we exhale, we produce carbon dioxide, which mosquitoes happen to love. They have odor-sensing palps that seek out the yummy scent and can detect high concentrations of CO2 from almost 200 feet away, alerting them to potential food sources. Bon appetit!
Why Is It Important To Get Rid of Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes aren’t just super annoying; they spread killer diseases, as well. In fact, they are often called one of the most dangerous animals on the planet.
Hold up — more dangerous than lions, tigers, and bears? (oh, my!)
Yep, 100%. Illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes kill more than a million people each year and infect more than a billion, causing brain damage, debilitating pain, blindness, and many other serious effects.
Two of the most common and potentially dangerous illnesses caused by these pesky critters include the:
- West Nile Virus: While some people experience no ill effects, others can take weeks or even months to recover from this illness. Common symptoms include fever, headaches, body aches, and GI issues. In severe cases, it can result in inflammation of the spinal cord or brain.
- Zika Virus: Discovered in 1974, this awful virus can cause fever, joint pain, and rashes which can last for weeks. Once a person catches the Zika Virus, they can quickly spread it to others, which is why it’s extremely dangerous. What’s more, the virus can result in birth defects, putting mommies-to-be at increased risk.
Other diseases that are known to be spread through icky mosquitos include malaria and yellow fever.
The Best Plants That Naturally Repel Mosquitoes
Now that you understand why it’s so important to eliminate mosquitoes from your backyard, let’s talk about some of the best plants that naturally repel these blood-sucking creepy crawlies, shall we?
Here are six plants that are definitely worth having in your yard to help give you the upper hand on the war against bug bites:
Citronella has a very pungent, distinctive odor that’s strong enough to cover the scent of mosquito-tempting targets like scrumdiddlyumptious human or pet skin.
Originating from the lemongrass plant, citronella is the most popular of all the mosquito repelling plants and is commonly used in bug sprays and candles to ward off these pesky intruders.
Here at The Natural Patch Co., we also use citronella along with other essential oils in our safe and natural mosquito repellent patch to create a virtual shield, almost camouflaging you and your little ones from the icky bloodsuckers. Unlike topical sprays, BuzzPatch is not only easy to apply but environment-friendly! What’s not to love?
With citronella plants in your backyard and a BuzzPatch sticker on your arm, mosquitoes won’t even stand a chance.
Rosemary is a popular seasoning herb used in many tasty dishes — it’s also highly effective in keeping insects and mosquitoes away from you and your kiddos. Plus, the fragrance is amazing, so it’s a great addition to any garden.
- Pro Tip: the next time you and your pals are around the fire pit and are getting attacked by mosquitoes, toss some rosemary into the fire and let it burn. The smell should cause the mosquitoes to fly far, far away.
Most of us love the smell of lavender, but only a few of us know about its mosquito-fighting powers. Lavender has a natural scent that mosquitos find repulsive. In fact, the smell is so irritating to these pests that it’s thought to even hinder their strong sense of smell.
So go on and plant these beautiful purple plants —your garden might need a splash of color anyways!
Peppermint is another super popular option in the battle against mosquito bites. Like other members of the mint family, peppermint grows like wildfire and needs to be kept in check. But don’t worry, if it gets a little out of control, at least you’ll be able to keep mosquitos far away!
That being said, not only do mosquitoes dislike the minty aroma, but if you do get bitten, you can quickly swat the bug away and immediately soothe the itch by crushing a peppermint leaf and rubbing it directly onto the bite.
As a bonus, peppermint is toxic to mosquito larvae and also happens to repel spiders. Pop a few sprigs of fresh peppermint at doorways, walkways, and/or on a windowsill pot to keep both mosquitos and spiders at bay.
Also known as stinkbush and bitter boss, sage is another popular mosquito repellent, with many people using it for burning or making incense out of it. The pungent scent tends to hang in the air, naturally warding off mosquitos looking for a cheap meal at Restaurant You.
Last but certainly not least: marigolds. Not only are these colorful and heady flowers undeniably pretty, but they contain pyrethrum, an ingredient commonly found in many insect repellents. Plus, not only are they great for repelling mosquitoes, but marigolds are a natural insecticide to prey on tomato plants.
So if you want to protect your beloved tomatoes and yourself from falling victim to these icky pests, plant a few marigolds around your backyard: A beautiful and effective mosquito repellent.
Nothing can put a bigger damper on your day than getting attacked by mosquitos. From itchy bites to the risk of catching a life-threatening illness, keeping these blood-sucking critters at bay is of the utmost importance. However, to combat mosquitoes, the use of dangerous toxins and harsh chemicals are typically used...until now.
Here at The Natural Patch Co., we use the most effective but safe essential oil combo designed to confuse mosquitoes and hide your little ones from their strong senses. Unlike topical sprays, which contain harmful Picaridin or DEET, BuzzPatch is not only extremely easy to apply but environment-friendly!
Safe for kids, 100% natural ingredients, and made with absolutely no chemicals — with BuzzPatch and any of the six plants listed above, you and your loved ones can enjoy the great outdoors without the worry of getting attacked by pesky mosquitoes.