Mosquitoes are a nuisance! Consider planting some of the plants listed below in or around your outdoor living areas. Some repel mosquitoes naturally while the oils of others can be used to make body or garden sprays. For your convenience, the USDA Zones are listed at the end of each plant description. If the plant is not listed as cold hardy in your zone it can be grown as an annual.


Note: Do your research before using any type of plant oil topically on the skin. It's best to test plant oils on small areas of the skin before using on larger areas of the body.


Lime Basil - Ocimum americanum has essential oils that can be extracted and used as a spray to repel mosquitoes. The plant itself is also an effective repellent when grown near outdoor living areas. Annual in all zones

Bee Balm - Monarda attracts hummingbirds however is also effective to repel mosquitoes when the fragrant leaves are crushed. Look for mildew resistant varieties such as 'Raspberry Wine' and 'Jacob Cline'. Hardy in USDA Zones 4a-9b

Cadaga Tree - Eucalyptus torelliana repel mosquitoes in the area wherever it is growing. Hardy in USDA Zones 9a-11

Catmint - Nepeta faassenii is a very effective mosquito repellent. Cut off the flowers and boil them to make a solution that can be used as a spray. It actually works better than mosquito repellents on the market. 'Walker's Low' is my favorite variety. Hardy in USDA Zones 3a-8b

Catnip - Nepeta cataria was found in a recent study to be 10 times stronger than DEET. It is a good non-toxic alternative to traditional chemical sprays. Hardy in USDA Zones 3a-9b

Arborvitae - Thuja species produce a "cedar" oil that is found in many repellent products on the market. There are many attractive cultivars available at nurseries. Hardy in USDA Zones ranging from 3a-8b

Citronella Grass - Cymbopogon nardus is releases mosquito repelling oils when the leaves are crushed. This oil can be placed directly on the skin or mixed with other oils to make repellents. Hardy in USDA Zones 10a-11

Clove - Syzygium aromaticum can be planted around outdoor living areas to repel mosquitoes. The oil can also be used in homemade repellents. Hardy in USDA Zones 10b-11

Floss Flower - Ageratum conyzoides secretes a substance called Coumarin, which is used extensively in the manufacture of mosquito repellents. Annual in all zones

Garlic - Allium sativum produces bulbs that can cut cut up and sprinkled around your outdoor living areas to repel mosquitoes. Garlic can also be mixed with other natural aromatic oils in order to create a mosquito repelling body spray. Annual in all zones

LavenderLavandula angustifolia can be planted near outdoor living areas to repel mosquitoes. Lavender oil can be applied to skin as a mosquito repellent. Hardy in USDA Zones: 5a-9b

Lemon Balm - Melissa officinalis is a mint family herb that has many culinary uses, however also works as a mosquito repellent. Crush a few leaves and rub the oil on your skin before venturing out into mosquito infested areas. You'll smell like a sweet lemon! Hardy in USDA 4a-9b

Lemon Grass - Cymbopogon citrates is a ornamental grass which contains citronella, a natural oil that repels mosquitoes. Lemon grass is used in Southeast Asia to flavor things such as chicken. Its wonderful aroma is often used in perfumes and other toiletries. Hardy in USDA ZOnes 9b-11

Lemon Scented Geranium - Pelargonium crispum emits a strong lemony scent when the leaves are crushed. Spread the crushed leaves around your outdoor living area to repel mosquitoes. Hardy in USDA Zones 9b-11

Lemon Thyme - Thymus citriodorus has a citrusy smell mosquitoes hate. Crush a few parts of this plant and rub on the body to keep mosquitoes away. Make sure that your skin can tolerate the oil before applying to larger areas of the body. Hardy in USDA Zones 3b-11

Lemon Verbena - Aloysia triphylla has a freshg lemon scent that repels mosquitoes. The oil from the plant can be applied to the skin. Hardy in USDA Zones 8a-10b

Mexican Mint Marigold - Tagetes lucida produces a scent that is not only offensive to most humans but to mosquitoes as well. Simply plant it around outdoor living areas to ward off mosquitoes. Hardy in USDA Zones 8a-11

Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus cinerea produces a natural oil that repels many insects such as mosquitoes, sandflies, ticks, stable flies and more. Formulas are made to be gentle to the skin. Hardy in USDA Zones 8b-11

Nodding Onion - Allium cernuum produces a juice that is highly proficient in repelling mosquitoes and can be directly applied on to the skin. The allium cernuum is not an irritant and is not known for any sort of reaction. Hardy in USDA Zones 3a-9b

Mint - Mentha is a perennial herb usually used to flavor tea. All species contain aromatic properties that repel mosquitoes. You can also make your own repellent with the oil from leaves. Hardy in USDA Zones ranging from 4a-11

Pitcher Plant - Nepenthes alata is a carnivorous tropical plant that actually eats mosquitoes and other insects! Most folks grow this one in hanging baskets or pots elevated above the ground. Annual in all zones

Wormwood - Artemisia is a perennial herb that can be planted around outdoor living areas to repel mosquitoes. Crush the leaves up and distribute them around your outdoor living areas. 'Powis Castle' Artemisia is a personal favorite of mine. Hardy in USDA Zones 5b-9b

Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis is an evergreen perennial shrub that does a good job repelling mosquitoes. It can also be mixed into various formulas and lotions to act as a mosquito repellent for the body. 'Salem' and 'Arp' are a couple personal favorites. Hardy in USDA Zones 8a-11

Snowbush - Ceonothus velutinus is spreading evergreen shrub you plant around outdoor living areas to keep mosquitoes away. Hardy in USDA Zones 7-10

Sweet-fern - Comptonia peregrina leaves can be thrown into a fire to keep mosquitoes out of the area or used as an essential oil spray. Hardy in USDA Zones 3a-7b

Tansy - Tanacetum vulgare is an exceptionally hardy perennial that is a very effective natural mosquito and fly repellent in your yard. It can also be used in essential oil bug repellents. 'Isla Gold' is an exceptionally attractive variety. Hardy in USDA Zones 3a-9b

Tea Tree - Melaleuca alterifolia has long been used to make Tea Tree oil used on our animals or ourselves as an anti-fungal or antibacterial medicine. The scent is too strong for any bugs to get near, and it also does wonders on bug bites. from bugs or the environment. Hardy in USDA Zones 8b-11