June 25th, 2012

3 Mosquito Repelling Plants

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Groovy Green Livin 3 Mosquito Repellent Plants

We were up in Maine this past weekend and the mosquitoes were fierce. It was difficult to go outside without getting eaten alive. Our only saving grace was when a breeze kicked in and the mosquitoes could no longer focus on our delicious ankles, arms and legs.

The first line of defense is to cover-up

It may seem counter-intuitive for the summer months, but the best way to keep the mosquitoes at bay is to cover up your skin with long sleeves, long pants and a hat. The less skin exposed the less likely you are to get numerous bites.

DEET-Free

Over the years I’ve been on a quest to find DEET- free bug repellents and thankfully there are plenty of options. Unfortunately,  I forgot to bring our Buzzawayalong on this  trip so we were breakfast lunch and dinner for the Maine mosquitoes. Last night my youngest son counted over 30 bites on one leg.

In addition to DEET-free bug repellents there are a few plants which will help keep mosquitoes away.

Pot of basil

Basil is a known mosquito repellent (it’s also known to repel flies). Planting fresh basil around your outdoor eating areas is a simple way to repel those pesky mosquitoes. If there’s no time to grow your own pick up fresh basil at your local farmers market or supermarket and place it in a vase on the table.  If mosquitoes are circling your head and buzzing in your ear while you are trying to catch some z’s place a vase of basil on your night table to keep the mosquito and the buzzing away.

Catnip

Catnip is a natural mosquito repellent . “Catnip” is the common name for a perennial herb of the mint family. It is native to Europe and is an import to the United States and other countries. The catnip plant is now a widespread weed in North America. In August 2010, entomologists at Iowa State University reported to the American Chemical Society that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET.

To grow your own catnip you’ll need a perennial herb called Nepeta cataria, which can be found at a nursery or by purchasing the seeds online. Line your yard with catnip to ward off mosquitoes. Another option is to place catnip oil directly on your skin. Note of caution to cat owners-cats might find you irresistible.

Citronella

Citronella has been a known mosquito repellent for quite some time. You can find citronella scented candles, bracelets, buckets and sprays. The scent from the citronella plant itself  is your best bet in keeping the mosquitoes away since that provides the strongest protection. Citronella’s strong smell tends to mask your scent, making it harder for mosquitoes to find you.

According to eartheasy:

Citronella is a perennial ‘clumping’ grass which grows to a height of 5 – 6 feet. It can be grown directly in the ground in climate zones where frost does not occur. If grown in the garden or near the patio, it should be planted in the ‘background’, behind small decorative flowers and shrubs. In northern climate zones citronella can be grown in a large pot or planter, ideally with casters, so it can be rolled indoors during winter.

Natural remedies for bug bites

Last night my son with the 30 bites on his leg couldn’t sleep. The intense itching was keeping him awake. We ended up putting a cold washcloth on his legs in the middle of the night and he was able to fall back asleep. HERE are a few more natural bug bite remedies.

Are you a mosquito magnet like I am? How do you keep the mosquitoes away?

Stock Photo © pz.axe #2284534

Linked up with Farmer’s Daughter.

 

 

 

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13 Responses to “3 Mosquito Repelling Plants”

  1. Seriously? I had no idea about basil or catnip. I am going to roll my family in it. My girls cannot handle any type of DEET spray with their asthma. They also have those body types that bugs seem to go after like crazy. They are sooo sweet. LOL

  2. Curious about the plants – wonder how well they really work. We are heading into the woods of Wisconsin tomorrow. The BuzzAway will be packed! I am more worried about the ticks than the mosquitoes.

  3. Wondering how the BuzzAway worked for you in the woods. We’ve been using it a lot and find that you have to reapply pretty often-but it works.

  4. We need to roll in it too Shane. The mosquitoes love us!

  5. […] Thankfully there are a quite a few bug repellents out there that are DEET-free. There are even plants that can be strategically placed around your yard that act as natural bug repellents. Our DEET-free […]

  6. Oh I love the smell of basil and that’s it, I’m going to decorate all outdoor parties with it from now on! We’ll just have to serve Italian food :)

    Thanks for joining the Homesteading Link Up!

  7. Hi Abbie, Let me know how the basil works. I need to add a few more plants around our deck.

  8. […] Thankfully there are a quite a few bug repellents out there that are DEET-free. There are even plants that can be strategically placed around your yard that act as natural bug repellents. Our DEET-free […]

  9. […] Thankfully there are a quite a few bug repellents out there that are DEET-free. There are even plants that can be strategically placed around your yard that act as natural bug repellents. Our DEET-free […]

  10. Catnip is the best mosquito repellent plant and it’s proven base with my experience. It contains nepetalactone that 10 times effective than Deet according to research. The article was great!

  11. Thanks Robert! Always good to hear from someone who’s tested out the plant.

  12. […] from Groovy Green Livin has suggestions for using plants to deter mosquitoes. Have you tried this […]

  13. […] from Groovy Green Livin has suggestions for using plants to deter mosquitoes. Have you tried this […]

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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