Keep Bugs Away: Scents That Mosquitoes Hate

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Mosquitoes: they’re one of nature’s most annoying pests and with good reason. The last thing you want is bugs everywhere while you’re outside, spending time with friends and family. Fortunately, mosquitoes, in addition to many of their more annoying qualities, also have a great sense of smell–and by taking advantage of that sense of smell, you can help repel them and keep them away from your home and family.

1. Peppermint

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You might enjoy sniffing peppermint oil or enjoying peppermint tea or candies, but mosquitoes don’t have the same appreciation for this great holiday scent. Like lemongrass, peppermint plants help automatically repel mosquitoes in the area. You can also use the essential oil directly on your skin, both to repel them in the first place and to create a cooling sensation when you do suffer from mosquito bites.

2. Eucalyptus

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If you’re looking for a plant that will help keep a wide range of flying pests out of your yard, eucalyptus is a great choice. The strong, minty scent of this familiar plant can help keep out many of the biggest pests nature offers, including mosquitoes, ticks, and flies. Plant it in the yard or use it as a balm on your skin to help keep those pests at bay.


3. Garlic

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It’s not just a repellent for vampires! Garlic can also put mosquitoes off. If you eat it on a regular basis, you may discover that mosquitoes want to have less to do with you. Try rubbing some on your skin, planting it in your garden, or preparing garlic-rich dishes when you want to keep mosquitoes away from your outdoor meal.

4. Catnip

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While catnip will help keep mosquitoes out of your yard, you might have a whole new intruder problem as all the cats in the neighborhood come to visit! Fortunately, however, cats are a much furrier companion than mosquitoes and will likely bring you pleasure, not frustration. Planting catnip among your other herbs can help keep mosquitoes at bay.


5. Basil

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If you’re putting together a garden designed to help repel mosquitoes, don’t forget to include basil. This flavorful herb, which is amazing in soups, on chicken, or on breads, doesn’t just add a tempting aroma to humans. It will also help send those little flying pests running.

6. Marigolds

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As a human, you might not notice much smell from the beautiful golden marigolds blooming in your yard, but mosquitoes certainly will. Plant a few marigolds around your yard to issue a Keep Out notice to the mosquitoes in the area.


7. Citronella

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Citronella is one of the best-known mosquito repellents–with good reason. The citrus-like scent of citronella irritates mosquitos, leading them to fly quickly away from the area. Try planting lemongrass around your home to help keep mosquitoes away or, if you’re going to be away from home, consider putting a few drops of the essential oil in your deodorant, lotion, or body spray.

8. Rosemary

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Time to keep building up that herb garden! Rosemary, another flavorful and aromatic herb, can also help encourage mosquitoes to stay out of your garden. As an added bonus, fresh rosemary makes a great addition to a wide range of dishes, including meats, soups, and stews.


9. Lemon Balm

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Want to repel the insects you don’t like while inviting the ones you do enjoy straight into your yard? Lemon balm acts as a repellent for mosquitoes and other pests while sending out an open invitation to bees and butterflies–the “good” bugs that you’ll be glad to see hanging out around the garden. With its strong citrus scent, lemon balm is often pleasing to people, as well.

10. Lavender

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If you’ve been stressing about keeping flying pests out of your yard, you might already have considered turning to lavender for a little relaxation. Even better, however, lavender can help keep mosquitoes away to begin with: unlike humans, they certainly don’t find it relaxing. Lavender-scented lotions (made with the real essential oil), using lavender on your skin directly, or adding lavender to your garden can all help repel mosquitoes.

If you’re tired of mosquitoes in the yard, it’s time to get planting! With their sensitive senses of smell, mosquitoes will quickly be repelled by these familiar plants in your yard, many of which require little maintenance in order to continue growing and spreading their mosquito-repelling powers.

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