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As temperatures rise in summer, so does mosquito activity in our outdoor areas. If you’re looking for natural ways to keep them away, the solution may lie in the power of scent.

Some scents naturally repel mosquitoes and are found in certain plants and essential oils. Incorporating these into your surroundings can effectively deter mosquitoes.

Here are 18 scents that can help keep mosquitoes away this summer.


rosemary plant
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Rosemary is a popular culinary herb that is great for cooking meals and has mosquito-repelling power. The strong fragrance of rosemary is a natural deterrent, keeping mosquitoes away from your garden. 

Rosemary might be most effective when burned on a fire pit or grill, but you can also rub a few pieces against your skin for added protection.

How to Propagate and Grow Rosemary from Cuttings


Roasted coffee whole and ground beans in bowl isolated close up on brown grunge background
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Mosquitoes dislike the scent of coffee grounds. Spreading used coffee grounds in your garden or burning them in a firepit or grill can help deter mosquitoes.

14 Incredible Ways to Repurpose Used Coffee Grounds


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While sage is a great herb to keep on hand to add flavor to homemade dishes, it is also perfect for keeping mosquitoes at bay—especially when the leaves are burned.


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Well-known for its mosquito-repellent properties, citronella’s strong citrus scent masks smells that attract mosquitoes.


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Grown for its culinary and medicinal use, garlic is an essential perennial vegetable to grow in your homestead garden. The mere scent of garlic will keep the mosquitoes away.

How to Grow Garlic: A Year’s Supply


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While many use peppermint for their morning tea or evening mojito cocktail, it is believed to have mosquito-repelling effects. Its powerful, refreshing scent is disliked by mosquitoes.

The strong scent may mask the mosquito’s ability to locate its targets, making it harder for them to find and bite you.


small glass jars with oil and Frangipani Plumeria patchouli flowers for spa treatments on a black background, selective focus
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The strong, distinct scent of patchouli oil is believed to be unpleasant to mosquitoes, making it a good option for natural repellent products. The scent can help hide the human smells that usually attract mosquitoes, helping to prevent bites. When used in lotions, oils, or diffusers, patchouli can help keep mosquitoes at a distance.


Fresh lemongrass (citronella) on wooden background - Spice for health.
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Lemongrass is known for its high citral content, which makes it an effective ingredient in mosquito repellants. Lemongrass is perfect for planting around patios or seating areas.


potted thyme plants with green leaves
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The oil released from crushed thyme leaves is effective in repelling mosquitoes.

How to Dry Fresh Thyme – 5 Methods


Clove oil in a bottle close-up on the table. horizontal, rustic style
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Mosquitoes dislike the scent of clove oil and can be used in natural repellent blends.

Lemon Balm

detail of lemon balm in the garden
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Its lemony fragrance is pleasant to us but repulsive to mosquitoes. Plant it in containers to avoid it taking over your herb garden


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Lavender has a beautiful, rich purple color with a comforting scent. Not only does lavender add beauty and fragrance to your garden, but it also acts as a natural mosquito repellent.

The strong scent of lavender is highly disliked by mosquitoes and gnats, making it an effective deterrent. Lavender are common garden plants that thrive in a sunny spot and can be grown in pots. 


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Marigold plants are bountiful, rich, colorful flowers that can repel mosquitoes. These hardy flowers are easy to grow and require full sun to bloom.

Incorporating these flowers into your garden bed will beautify your space and help keep mosquitoes away. 


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Eucalyptus plants have some of the most amazing scents, medicinal uses, and the ability to repel mosquitoes.


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Geraniums are colorful flowering plants that add beauty to your garden and help repel mosquitoes. These plants produce a unique scent that mosquitoes find unpleasant, making them an effective natural deterrent. Geraniums are easy to care for and grow well in pots or in the garden. 

Geraniums are most effective when crushed or rubbed against the skin as the geranium leaves emit chemical compounds that mosquitoes despise.


Woman rubbing a catnip leaf with her finger
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While attractive to cats and can be quite invasive in the garden, catnip is known for keeping mosquitoes away.


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Like rosemary, basil plants are not only the perfect herb for cooking but also efficient at repelling mosquitoes. Place this mosquito-repelling plant near the patio, deck, or any other outdoor space where you spend the most time.

Basil also harms mosquito larvae, so you can place it near stagnant water to deter mosquitoes from laying their eggs.

Bee Balm

Tall red flowers of Monard bee balm in the summer garden
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Bee balm, not to be confused with lemon balm, is a member of the mint family. This plant leaves behind a scent that mosquitoes loathe. Like Lemon Balm, it is a perennial herb that helps deter mosquitoes.

While it is great for discouraging mosquitoes, it is equally effective at attracting pollinators like butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to your garden.

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cinnamon on houseplant
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Gnats are more than just a minor annoyance; these tiny pests buzz around with a persistence that’s hard to ignore. Here are ten effective ways to keep gnats away from your house plants.

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oversized planters
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Improving your home’s curb appeal not only presents well but can also boost your home’s value. Here are 28 to give your front yard the attention it deserves and transform it into a beautiful and inviting space you can be proud of.

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With a little creativity and some elbow grease, you can turn your backyard into a haven for relaxation and enjoyment with these backyard entertainment ideas. Here are 25 Fun Backyard Entertainment Ideas.

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How to Start a Herb Garden from Scratch

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Growing something as simple as our own herbs is a huge step towards sustainability. You can begin the process in a small space in the kitchen or backyard with some of your favorite herbs. Here are some simple but practical steps to get you started on your own herb garden.

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