If you’ve spent any time outdoors in the summer, chances are you know what it feels like to be swarmed by mosquitoes. It’s an unpleasant experience that can get downright painful if they happen to bite you anywhere near your eyes or mouth. Worse still, some insects can be carriers of certain diseases.
Luckily, some plants have been known for their natural repellent quality against these pesky pests. With that said, here are six indoor plants that have shown some ability to ward off mosquitoes and other biting insects:
Peppermint is one of the most well-known plants when it comes to repelling pesky bugs. The plant itself has a strong, pleasant smell that confuses insects and leaves them away from the area. Plus, peppermint’s natural oils show some ability to ward off biting insects. You can also get oil made by steam distilling the leaves of this perennial. You can also make tea from its leaves as the plant has many benefits backed by research.
Chrysanthemums are showing some promise in their effectiveness in repelling many insects, but more research needs to be done to determine how effective it is for sure. This beautiful flowering herbaceous perennial often goes by its scientific name, Pyrethrum. These plants are native to Asia and Europe but have also been cultivated in North America. The flowers of this plant are often used for ornamental purposes or commercially produced into natural repellents that can be used for your home or garden.
They also do well indoors without much sunlight, so they’re perfect for people with allergies or asthma who might not want lots of pollen in the air. Furthermore, these flowers have a strong scent that is said to repel mosquitoes. However, if your mosquito problem is beyond your control, you’ll need to reach out to mosquito control experts to bomb and find the areas where these mosquitoes hide.
Catnip is a perennial herb with white or pale purple flowers often used commercially to make natural repellents. The scent of this plant, which is known for its effect on cats, is said to be most effective against flies and other pests. Catnip has been shown to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, but there haven’t been any studies to check out how it works against harmful human-biting insects.
Geraniums are plants that are effective in repelling annoying biting insects. These plants are often grown outdoors in home gardens and yards, but you can also grow them indoors. Indoors, they don’t need a lot of sunlight because the flowering tops often provide a scent to ward off pests that can be irritating or bothering some people. The smell is said to repel mosquitoes, flies, and gnats.
Lavender is a fragrant perennial herb with many beautiful purple flowers that have been shown to have insect-repellent properties. It can grow up to four feet tall, so it’s not the best plant for small spaces or if you’re short on time for caring for plants. However, lavender is known to be effective against mosquitoes and other flies. It contains high amounts of linalool, an organic compound that can ward off these pesky insects.
Spiders plants, or Chlorophytum comosum, are succulent houseplants with the ability to repel insects. They’re often grown indoors in places where they don’t get much sun, and the leaves seem to contain some insect-repellent properties. The fragrance of these plants is said to deter bugs that can be irritating or bothersome for some people. The smell may also keep spiders away, but it’s probably best not to leave your houseplants unattended if you know harmful spiders or spider mites are lurking in the area.
Lemon balm is the other type of mint family that is available commercially. People report that this plant has proven to be effective in repelling various insects. The scent, which smells like lemon, has been shown to protect against pests that can be bothersome or irritating for some people. Lemon balm contains compounds that appear to act as natural insect repellents.
The leaves contain a lot of citronella, an oil that repels insects without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides. Plus, since it’s a plant in the mint family, it can help calm nerves and reduce tension headaches with its fragrance.
Additionally, secondary metabolites in lemon balm have been shown to have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. The plant is also used for various other ailments like depression, anxiety, nervousness, headache relief, insomnia, migraines, neuralgia (nerve pain), stress reduction, treatment of colds and flu, stomachaches or cramps, vomiting, or nausea. It’s also often brewed into teas to help treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and depression.
If you’re looking for a way to repel insects from your home naturally, several plants may be able to help. These include catnip and lemon balm, which have been shown to work against various bugs in the garden or yard. If these don’t do the trick, it’s best to call an expert to find where mosquitoes hide and eliminate these pests.