One of the great things about living in the Dallas region is that everything is green. You can have a beautiful lawn and a garden to match, and the climate does most of the work for you. All of that comes with a horrendous downside: mosquitoes.
Everyone hates mosquitoes, and combating them can be a tireless challenge. Fortunately, there’s an easier way. You can plant natural mosquito repellents, and you’ll win the war with hardly any effort. These five plants are all great for keeping mosquitoes away from outdoor spaces you would like to enjoy.
Marigolds are easily one of the most common anti-mosquito flowers around. They’re bold and pretty annual flowers. Perhaps more importantly, they present a strong aroma that mosquitos clearly don’t like. The drawback is that some people also don’t like the smell.
Marigolds have a chemical known as pyrethrum in them. It’s a common ingredient in insect repellants — proof that these are seriously effective.
When it comes to growing marigolds, they’re a pretty easy flower. They like full sunlight. They reseed pretty often, and they don’t need a ton of maintenance. Typically, they’re best placed at an entry point to a space you enjoy. You can plant flowers with smells you prefer closer to where you’ll be (like a patio). Lastly, keep in mind that marigolds sometimes attract wasps.
The same plant that makes cats go crazy is a great pest repellant, and it’s probably the same smell doing both things. In fact, catnip is so good at warding for mosquitos that an Iowa State experiment showed it is 10 times more effective than DEET. That’s a pretty strong case to grow some catnip.
Catnip is effectively a weed, so it will be super easy to grow. You might find it a little too easy and partially invasive. But that shouldn’t scare you too much. You can pull excess catnip without much trouble.
The real point of worry is for cat owners. If you hang out around catnip and then around your feline friends, it will affect them. Cat owners might consider an alternative mosquito repellent.
Another name for ageratum is flossflower. The smell of these flowers comes from coumarin, the key ingredient in commercial-grade mosquito repellents. Ageratum are annual flowers. They’re typically blue, but you can find variants that are pink, white, and violet. They tend to grow anywhere from 8 to 18 inches.
Ageratum prefers partial sun, and it doesn’t need particularly rich soil. It does well in rock gardens, but it’s also fine in more traditional gardens.
A warning, though. Ageratum is toxic, and direct contact with your skin can cause irritation. People and pets definitely should not eat it.
Another name for horsemint is bee balm. It’s a perennial flower and has a strong aroma that repels mosquitoes, similar to the other plants on this list. Bee balm grows fast, and it does fine with some shade. It’s also drought resistant.
The plant as a whole typically grows two to three feet in height and width. It can handle sand and salt, which means it does well in coastal areas and even West Texas. Naturally, it’ll be fine in the Dallas climate.
As the name might imply, Bee Balm is also good for attracting pollinators. The flowers that sprout come in many colors, including red, pink, lavender, white, and purple.
Citronella is one of the most common ingredients in natural mosquito repellants. It omits a strong citric aroma that is pleasant to humans and a complete turn-off to bloodsuckers.
It basically grows as a clumping grass. That makes it an easy plant to grow. It thrives in the humidity of eastern Texas because the only thing citronella really dislikes is frost. You can get it from most garden centers.
If you’re not sold on these five mosquito repellents, there are two other choices you might prefer. The first is basil. That’s right, the same thing you use to cook can keep mosquitoes at bay. That means you can grow it for both purposes and be twice as happy.
The last choice is probably the most common pest repellent around: lavender. Lavender oils are strong and great at deterring mosquitoes. Plus, the flowers are a classic beauty.
That should be enough plant options to defend your lawn or garden from the worst pests of all. If you want help finding any of these plants or getting them to thrive, you can find that help with Main Street Mowing. This is our specialty, and we’d be happy to assist you. Give us a call today.