Mosquito Repellent Plants at Lowes and Home Depot

Mosquito plants do work.  Try citronella, catnip, marigolds, basil, lavender, peppermint, rosemary and even garlic! Lowes and Home Depot and most garden centers will carry citronella and other mosquito repellent plants.

Natural mosquito repellent plants

Citronella and lemongrass plants have been used for hundreds of years. No one likes to get bitten by mosquitoes. They are a nuisance and their bites are certain to be itchy and irritating–enough to ruin any outdoor barbecue or picnic.

When you consider the risk of the West Nile Virus that has sprung up all over the country in recent years, you can see the added precautions that are necessary each summer season. Discover mosquito repellent plants available at Lowe’s that help get rid of mosquitoes.

No matter what area of the country you are in, chances are you will have a problem with mosquitoes.  You may typically reach for a can of insect repellent.  However, most repellents carry DEET.   DEET is the active ingredient in many insect repellent products.  DEET is designed for direct application to your skin to repel insects, rather than kill them.

Using plants to keep mosquitoes and other pests away from both your home and your skin is an all-natural and safe alternative to using products that contain chemicals. There are a number of plants you can add to your garden and yard to naturally repel mosquitoes, and in some cases, you can even crush or rub plants on your skin to keep mosquitoes and bugs away.

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Facts about DEET

DEET was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946, and registered for use by the general public in 1957.   Today approximately 140 products containing DEET are currently registered with EPA by about 39 different companies. DEET generally has been shown to be of low acute toxicity-meaning a low risk of poisoning.  Some people may report irritations around the eyes, skin and mouth.

The EPA has concluded that as long as consumers follow label directions and take proper precautions, insect repellents containing DEET do not present a health concern.  However, it is still a chemical that needs to be used with caution! DEET is a registered pesticide and products containing DEET are required to carry labels which specify:

-Do not apply over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
-Do not apply to hands or near eyes and mouth.
-Do not allow young children to apply this product.
-Do not spray in enclosed areas.
-After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.

The DEET chemical name is N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. It is the active ingredient in many insect repellent products sold today. The good news is that there are natural mosquito repellent plants that can keep mosquitoes away while keeping you safe from DEET.  There are also new DEET-free mosquito repellents on the market today which offer relief in mosquito season. But there are also certain plants which are easy to grow and will have some effect in repelling mosquitoes.

 The 6 Surprising Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants

Thankfully, there are plants that repel mosquitoes. They are effective and work by simply planting them in your garden or landscape or by taking a bit of the plant and releasing some of the scent or rubbing it on your skin.

Plants that are commonly used to repel mosquitoes are citronella, catnip, horsemint, and ageratum, in addition to several others. The most common is the citronella plant which carries the fragrance of citronella.

Here Are The Best Ones We Have Found

Mosquito repellent plants are inexpensive, easily maintained, and can produce results without using chemicals.  This is important to many of us, especially gardeners, who are growing plants for their table. 

There are actually a surprising number of mosquito repellent plants.  You may already be familiar with some of them, and many of them are easily grown and cared for.  The most effective and easiest plants to grow that repel mosquitoes are:

Citronella:  This is the one most of you have heard of.  Citronella is the most popular of the mosquito repellent plants.  The aroma of Citronella masks other attractants to the mosquito.  This masking effect will basically make it more difficult for the mosquito to find you and your loved ones.

Marigolds:  Marigolds are great annual ornamental plants for your home and  flowerbeds.  Now there is more.  They also happen to be a mosquito repellent plant.   Marigolds have what some might call an offensive odor.  They also contain pyrethrum, which is commonly used in organic pest control products.

Horsemint:  Horsemint is another wonderful mosquito repellent plant.  It works similarly to citronella.  It has a strong odor and is also a good choice because it is a tough plant.  It has the ability to grow fast and is drought resistant.

Hint: Bug lights and fans do work. If you have a deck or patio, try using a yellow “Bug Light”. These lights are not repellant, but do not attract mosquitoes like other lights. Also, mosquitoes are relatively weak fliers, so placing a large fan on your deck can provide a low-tech solution to your mosquito problem.

Catnip: Catnip is another plant you may already be familiar with.  It also happens to be a terrific mosquito repellent.  Researchers report that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Catnip is not only effective, but is also easily grown.

Basil:  Basil is said to keep away flies and to be one of the few herbs that gives off its scent without someone brushing it or crushing it.  Basil is a slightly effective fly repellent when rubbed on the skin and it also helps repel mosquitoes.

Geraniums:  They repel mosquitoes, making it possible to enjoy your yard in the mornings and evenings. Geranium extract is also a popular ingredient in many natural insect repellents. The plants also repel common pests that can damage plants, such as beetles, and are often used alongside roses.

More Plants that Repel Mosquitoes

While the above plants have been shown to be the most effective, the following plants and herbs have also been used to repel mosquitoes.

  • Citronella Grass
  • Eucalyptus
  • Garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemon Grass
  • Lemon Thyme
  • Rosemary

So enjoy your summer and try out one or more of these plant ideas.  In order for these mosquito repelling plants to be most effective, plant them in potted plants around your patio area or near doorways. When you’re sitting outside and the mosquitoes are especially bad, break off a piece of your plant, crush it, and rub it on your skin.

Not all of these mosquito repellent plants grow in all climates. Most of these mosquito repellent plants are available at your local Lowes store. You can also check with your local nursery or garden center to find the plants that grow best in your area.

By Victoria Stone

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