PhotoDespite not receiving an invitation, mosquitoes are often the first guests to show up to a backyard party or gathering. And they sure have a knack for making other guests feel uncomfortable.

Bug sprays and citronella candles may help make people a less attractive target to mosquitoes, but there are other ways to keep pests at bay. In fact, your entire yard can join the fight against mosquitoes. All you have to do is select the right plants.

Certain plants produce a natural mosquito repellent that works as a defense against deer and other hungry animals. But plants aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this natural repellent. People, too, can see the effects of mosquito-repelling plants.

So, what are some of the most popular mosquito repelling plants?

Natural mosquito deterrents 

  • Citronella grass. There’s a good reason that citronella is the most commonly used natural ingredient in mosquito repellents -- it works. However, it works even better in plant form. Experts recommend planting citronella in large planters. But if you live in a warmer climate, citronella will do well planted in-ground in a sunny area.
  • Lavender. This purple-tipped plant may smell heavenly to humans, but its scent isn’t so pleasant to bugs. Planting lavender near seating areas can help send the message to bugs that they’re not welcome. Lavender also offers another bonus: its leaves can be used to make an all-natural insect spray. Recipe here.
  • Marigolds. These sunset-colored beauties use their distinct smell to help stave off insects. Tap into the mosquito-deterring powers of this annual by planting them in containers near bug entry points, such as doorways or windows.
  • Catnip. Your cat might adore this easy-to-grow plant, but mosquitoes certainly do not. One study actually found that catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET.
  • Horsemint. Also known as Beebalm, horsemint uses its unique odor to mask the usual qualities that attract mosquitoes. This shade-tolerant perennial does best in Midwest and Eastern growing zones and thrives in dry, sandy soil, such as that of coastal areas.

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