Mosquitoes are pests that carry and transmit disease. Mosquitoes can transmit encephalitis and the Nile virus, both of which can be fatal. The best way to fight these insects and the diseases they carry is by removing all sources of standing water that provide a breeding ground. Some plants can help repel the mosquitoes when they are placed in strategic locations throughout your property. Plant-based repellents are a good way to fight off mosquitoes without using dangerous chemicals.
Catnip is an herb that contains essential oils that attract cats, and those same essential oils will repel mosquitoes. Dilute catnip oil with water and use it as a spray on the skin. It is much less dangerous than the insecticide sprays. You can crush catnip leaves or purchase the essential oils at most health food stores.
Citronella is a tropical plant that prefers warm weather and partial shade. The oil in citronella plants is an ingredient in many of the insect repellents that you might purchase at a store. Citronella is most commonly used in candles and oil and is also used as coils that you burn. Mosquitoes do not like the smell of the citronella and will stay away.
Vanilla leaf is a wild plant that naturally repels mosquitoes. The plant is native to Japan and is dried and hung in bunches, usually by the front door of homes in Japan to help repel mosquitoes. The plant grows in moist, shady areas. The leaves can be rubbed directly onto the skin to help repel mosquitoes.
Sagebush is in the same family as wormwood and mugwort. All three are said to have properties that repel mosquitoes. These plants grow in the wild in drier locations such as the desert plains and mountains. Just like vanilla leaf, the leaves of the sagebrush can be crushed and rubbed directly on the skin to repel mosquitoes.
Tea tree oil is said to be a miracle natural oil. It is a natural mosquito repellent. Tea tree oil is safe enough for children and pets. Simply spray or rub the oil directly onto the skin. If you have been bitten by mosquitoes, rub tea tree oil on the bites to relieve itching and inflammation. Tea tree oil can cause a reaction to the skin for some people, so it's best to test and area of your skin before you spray too much on.