Plants That Naturally Repel Ticks & Mosquitoes

Author: Mosquito Squad

Mosquitoes have been around since the time of dinosaurs. While they might be ancient, they have their likes and dislikes, similar to any other living creature. As a result, there are some plants that could help repel mosquitoes and ticks.

Since mosquito and tick species can vary from region to region, we always recommend asking your local greenhouse or landscaper which plants work best for repelling mosquitoes and ticks in your area. However, there are some generally accepted plants that help keep most pests at bay.

If you have pets, please note that some plants might be very effective at repelling insects, but also could be toxic to pets if eaten. For example, while Citronella can repel mosquitoes, it can also prove deadly to dogs if enough is ingested. Make sure to also ask your local nursery about geraniums, certain varieties of marigolds, and garlic plants as potentially harmful for pets if eaten. These are all great plants that are natural pest repellents, but should be used with caution around pets.

Plants that Keep Mosquitoes Away

These plants are like your secret weapon: beautiful, fragrant, and repulsive to mosquitoes and ticks. One shopping trip at the local nursery could save you time and money on candles while giving you the most powerful weapon you have: Mother Nature! The plants listed below could repel insects indoors, outdoors, or both, depending on where you live. If you have a problem with mosquitoes getting into your home, make sure to place some plants by doorways and windows to keep them from congregating there and slipping inside!

Here are some of the most effective insect repellant houseplants:

  • Camphor: This tree species originated in China, but is commonplace in the Southeastern United States.
  • Lemon balm: This ancient plant has been used throughout the centuries for a variety of culinary and medical uses.
  • Rosemary: This plant is especially useful as a mosquito repellent when burned, so consider it during your next barbeque!
  • Catnip: Named for its extreme appeal with cats and birds, this plant is also a strong mosquito repellent.
  • Holy basil: Native to India, this herb has been used as an insect repellent for centuries.
  • Mosquito plant: This is actually a collection of several species, but perhaps the most popular being the citronella plant, a citrus-scented geranium. Check with your local nursery to see which species might be most effective in your area.
  • Chives: Related to garlic, some of the same mosquito-repelling chemistry is going on within the chive plant.
  • Marigolds: This flower has a distinct smell that repels mosquitoes and they deter insects that prey on tomato plants—an added bonus for gardeners.
  • Common mint and lavender plants are also well-known for their general insect-repelling qualities. Other mosquito repelling plants include tansy, cedar, eucalyptus, ageratum, onions, and garlic. You can place these plants outside or even in window boxes or around doors to discourage the mosquitoes from flying inside.

You can also read more tips about how to fight the bite around the house in our Household Mosquito Hacks blog post!

Plants to Avoid to Keep Ticks Away

Thinking about plants might seem counter-intuitive when it comes to ticks, since they’re not flying and hovering around you, but they can make a big impact. Since deer are the main vehicle for ticks, think about ridding your yard of plants that attract deer. Deer eat almost everything, but especially stay away from the below plants.

These plants are like a five-star buffet for tick carriers:

  • Hostas
  • Daylilies
  • Roses
  • Arborvitae
  • Pansies
  • Tulips

If you find some landscaping changes aren’t getting the results you need for your home and yard, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Get started on your free quote today for mosquito and tick control.