The Q&A Archives: Mosquito Resistant Plants?

Question: Hi,
I am a landscape designer in Merced, California. I have a client, who's daughter is allergic to mosquitos. Would you be able to share a plant list with me,I could work from.
Bunnie Becker
Landscape Designs by Bunnie

Answer: Mosquitoes bother most everyone I know! They breed in puddles of water, so the first bit of advice to give your clients is to keep the yard clean of debris so water doesn't collect. If you eliminate the breeding places, you'll go a long way in reducing their populations. Mosquitoes are attracted by fragrances and body heat, and they're most active during early morning and early evening hours. Avoid using perfumes, and try not to be outdoors during the hours they're most active will also offer some protection. Finally, try watering early in the day so moisture evaporates quickly and will not hang in the afternoon or evening air to attract mosquitoes.

In terms of what plants might repel mosquitoes, there's been some discussion, but there's nothing that's absolute. Several herbal oils repel mosquitoes, including citronella, wormwood, and pennyroyal. Generally these oils or lotions made with them are applied directly to the skin or clothing. It is possilble that, if planted directly in the garden, these plants might have a repellent effect. However, I would imagine you would need to injure the plant in some way--by crushing the leaves or even mowing--to release the oils and aroma.

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