We’re in the midst of summer’s most unwanted pest, mosquito season, which tends to haunt your alfresco evenings and afternoons in the garden.
And while knowing how to get rid of mosquitoes is important for preventing annoying itches (or sometimes worse), the process rarely feels like a joy. Some of the most effective prevention methods include tedious pruning routines and pesticide sprays. one of the less pleasant aspects of summer. However, not all mosquito prevention tactics have to feel like a chore.
Instead, experts recommend investing in scented flowers and oils that will ward off pests in your home and garden, while filling the space with sweet scents and (in some cases) vibrant color. These are five mosquito repellent plants, oils, and foods that make swatting more pleasant.
5 scents that repel mosquitoes – for a fragrant, healing space
You know about colors that attract or repel mosquitoes, but what about the effects of scent?
‘Mosquitoes do not like certain scents such as lavender, citronella or eucalyptus. These scents deter mosquitoes because they release chemicals that mosquitoes don’t like, specifically linalool and geraniol, says National Pest Control Specialist Melanie Rose. That’s why you’ll often find these scents in soaps and candles used to keep bugs out of your home.
The best fragrances to invest in this summer.
“Grapefruit is a refreshing summer food rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. But when it comes to killing mosquitoes, a compound called nootkatone is the hero,” explains Scot Hodges, vice president of professional development for Arrow Exterminators. (opens in new tab).
You can use nookathon on your grapefruit to keep the bugs out of your home or garden, but it’s more than just a pest. “You can use grapefruit oil not only on your skin,” adds Scot.
2. Lemon grass
Lemongrass contains citronella oil – perhaps the most well-known of all mosquito repellent scents. But how can you incorporate this plant into your scheme? You can start by learning how to grow lemongrass in your garden, or bring in the kitchen for a tasty solution.
“Swap your summer glass of lemonade for an iced glass of lemongrass tea, or gently apply lemongrass oil to your skin for quick mosquito protection,” says Scott.
Lavender is one of the most well-known mosquito repellents, but it’s easy to see its appeal. Melanie explains that while pests don’t like its particular scent, the same scent has a calming effect on humans, which is why it’s used as an essential oil for aromatherapy and meditation.
Knowing how to grow lavender in your yard or placing it in a vase is one way to keep mosquitoes at bay. Alternatively, you can choose one of the best candles on the market, many of which are infused with this powerful scent.
4. Pine oil
With its pleasant woody aroma, it’s hard not to enjoy pine oil. However, even though this scent is always among the best-selling essential oils, it should have an equal place among your summer decor ideas.
Zachary DeAngelis of Pest Pointers LLC (opens in new tab) explains that the scent of pine oil “overwhelms and confuses the mosquito’s senses, limiting its ability to detect you” and preventing bites.
“One of the best ways to use pine oil to repel mosquitoes is to place pine oil and rags on the outside of windows, porches, or doors,” says an expert. “You’ll have to replace the cloths every few days, but you can use this method for days when there are a lot of mosquitoes.”
5. Chili pepper
If you can tolerate the spice in healthy amounts, chili should be included in your diet, especially during summer when mosquito activity is high. “These peppers are known to repel mosquitoes thanks to capsaicin, a compound that causes heat that flies don’t like,” says Scott.
So while this kitchen idea may not suit every palette, you should consider adding a step to your dishes to keep pests at bay.
What smells do mosquitoes hate?
Mosquitoes hate the scent of lavender, citronella, cloves, peppermint, basil, cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass, and rosemary.