Discover the natural way to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay with these powerful plants native to Colorado.

Mosquito repellent
May 23, 2023

At American Turf and Tree Care, we understand that pesky mosquitoes can be a constant nuisance for anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors, especially during the warmer Colorado months. Fortunately, nature has provided us with a way to keep these biting bugs at bay without having to rely on mosquito yard spraying alone. By harnessing the power of certain plants, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the irritation and potential health risks associated with mosquito bites between treatments.

Greeley, CO: The perfect breeding ground for mosquitos 

Greeley, Colorado, is an area known for its warm, humid summers, and abundance of lakes and reservoirs, which makes it the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. The good news is that there are several plants that can help keep these pesky bugs away, many of which are grown naturally in Colorado or can be picked up at your local greenhouse or hardware store in Greeley.

Plants that repel mosquitos 

Here are some of the most effective natural mosquito-repelling plants you can include in your garden:

  • Lavender: The scent of lavender is off-putting to mosquitoes, making it an effective mosquito-repellent plant.
  • Basil: Basil plants emit a strong aroma that can mask the carbon dioxide we emit, which attracts mosquitoes.
  • Marigolds: Marigold plants give off a pungent aroma that mosquitoes do not like, making them an effective mosquito-repellent plant.
  • Rosemary: The woody scent of rosemary keeps mosquitoes away, as well as cabbage moths and carrot flies; plus, it added beautiful purple flowers to your garden!
  • Citronella grass: Citronella oil contained within the leaves of citronella grass has proven mosquito-repelling abilities.
  • Citronella plant: Citronella, a member of the geranium family, emits a citrus fragrance from its foliage. When the oil from its leaves is applied to the skin, it has a pleasant scent and may potentially discourage mosquitoes. However, the plant itself does not have long-term mosquito-repelling properties.
  • Oregano: Origanum vulgare has multiple uses, including cooking, cosmetics, and medicinal purposes, but what most people don't know is that it can be used as a natural insecticide. Additionally, oregano oil is known for its antiseptic and insect-repellent properties, which is why it made our list. Like the Citronella plant, try keeping a plant or two on your porch and rubbing the leaves.
  • Bluemink: Otherwise known as Ageatum or "floss flowers," produces coumarin, a compound commonly used in commercial mosquito repellents due to its odor that repels mosquitoes that you can take advantage of, but note, they require full sun, especially in higher elevations like in Greeley.
  • Lemon grass: Lemon grass also contains citronella oil and can be crushed and rubbed on bare skin to ward off biting bugs.
  • Sage: Sage has a fragrant scent that drives off mosquitoes, and dry sage from your garden is most effective when burned in a fire pit or other fire source.
  • Horsemint: The crushed leaves of horsemint, otherwise known as bee balm, produce a distinctive citrus or lemony aroma that is good for driving off mosquitoes.
  • Lemon Thyme: Thyme is another savory herb that repels mosquitoes, and it can be planted between stepping stones in the garden where your steps will crush some leaves and release the mosquito-repelling oils.
  • The Lemon-scented Rose Geranium: also referred to as the mosquito plant or lemon geranium, is highly effective in repelling mosquitoes but is recommended for warmer regions so it's advisable to move it indoors during cooler months in Colorado.
  • Catnip: Catnip contains nepetalactone, which is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, a common ingredient in insect repellents.
  • Peppermint: Peppermint plants have a strong scent that repels mosquitoes, and they can also be used to make a natural mosquito repellent spray; in fact, any member of the mint family would be a good choice.
  • Lantana: Lantana flowers have been shown to have mosquito-repelling properties due to their natural oils.

Caring for mosquito repellent plants 

To get the most out of your mosquito-repellent plants, it's important to care for them properly. Here are some tips to help you keep your plants healthy and effective:

  • Water regularly: Most mosquito-repellent plants need consistent moisture to thrive, so be sure to water them regularly, especially during dry spells. However, some plants like Basile require well-drained soil to flourish, so be sure not to over-water.
  • Provide proper lighting: Most of these plants required full sun to partial shade, and need at least six hours of sunlight per day to grow and produce their mosquito-repelling oils.
  • Fertilize occasionally: Adding a natural fertilizer, such as compost or fish emulsion, can help your plants grow stronger and produce more potent oils.
  • Prune regularly: Trimming back your plants can help them grow bushier and produce more leaves, which in turn will produce more mosquito-repelling oils.

Are there any plants that attract mosquitos? 

While most mosquito-repellent plants work by emitting strong scents that mosquitoes find unpleasant, there are some plants that can actually attract mosquitoes. These include:

  • Certain types of flowers, such as lilies and dahlias.
  • Fragrant herbs, such as basil and mint.
  • Stagnant water plants, such as water lilies.

Using mosquito-repellent plants indoors

Some mosquito-repellent plants can be grown indoors, near a sunny window. These plants should be watered when the soil is dry and kept away from cold drafts. Some of the most effective indoor mosquito-repellent plants include:

  • Citronella grass
  • Catnip
  • Basil
  • Lemon balm

The natural way to keep mosquitos at bay

By incorporating mosquito-repellent plants into your garden and home décor, you can keep these biting bugs at bay without exposing yourself to harmful chemicals. Not only are these plants effective, but they also add beauty and fragrance to your outdoor and indoor spaces. So why not give them a try and see the results for yourself? With the right care and attention, you can create a mosquito-free zone in your backyard, but when you can't, our mosquito control service in Greeley is only a call away.


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