In the summertime, everyone tries to prevent those awful mosquito bites. Not only are they uncomfortable and itchy, but they also have the potential to carry a plethora of extremely dangerous diseases. Malaria, Zika, and Dengue Fever are just a few of the many diseases that these little insects spread.
But coating yourself in uncomfortable bug spray is not always the best option. It's bad for your skin, hard to get off, and usually pretty smelly. Instead, try one of these three mosquito-repelling plants for a layer of natural protection.
The classic mosquito bite solution, citronella is everywhere. You can buy it in the form of candles, sprays, oils, and so much more. But what most people don't consider is just placing citronella directly in their garden! This is actually more effective, and it won't cost you the extra money of constantly replacing your candles and sprays. Plus, you'll be much more comfortable when you can just sit in your garden and not worry about reapplying your spray or monitoring your candle.
Citronella is such a powerful repellent because of its scent. The lemony fragrance is crippling to mosquitoes and similar insects. If you live in an area where citronella is not accessible, there are several other "imitation" plants that can also work, including scented geraniums.
This plant's secret mosquito-repelling weapon is its fragrance. The smell is so sweet and rich that scientists think that mosquitoes may actually lose their sense of smell when in the presence of lavender; it's that overpowering.
The best part about lavender is that it's extremely drought-resistant. In the middle of summer, when the water supply is scarce and there isn't much rain, you won't have to worry about your lavender plants dying and leaving you unprotected from the dangerous insects.
To take advantage of lavender, you have a few options. First and foremost, you can plant it in your garden around the areas where you will spend most of your time outside. Or, if you want a more portable solution, you can grow it in advance then cut it down to make it into a spray or mist.
Finally, rosemary is a lesser-known solution to the mosquito problem, but it's actually quite effective. Like citronella, its scent is the agent that deters mosquitoes. But unlike citronella, rosemary's scent is wooden and natural, not a sharp lemony flavor like most other plants on the mosquito repellent market. This makes a great solution for people who don't prefer the lemony smell of citronella and related plants, or can't be around it for health reasons.
It's also a great summer plant because it grows well in hot and dry locations. During the times of the year when mosquitoes are most prevalent, this will most likely be the climate, and rosemary is one of the few plants that will be able to survive it. It's also easy to prune rosemary to make it visually appealing, or you can cut it up and put it in your cooking for a tasty addition to any recipe.
When you look at all of these natural options, it seems silly to keep re-applying that sticky, uncomfortable bug spray. Planting these natural alternatives will save you money, time, and discomfort, compared to the traditional repellents on the marketplace. In fact, many of them come with extra benefits like having a great scent or being a tasty ingredient.