carlr
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What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predators?

I have a 40' diameter garden I am re-working. I'm in Michigan to give you an idea of the region.

I want to clear most of the center and add a few benches around a 3' fire pit.

Mosquito's have always been a nuisance for me, and I want to try to fix that.

I am interested mainly in plants that can either help repel mosquito's, or attract animals that eat them. I've got plans to put up a few bat houses to help with that as well.

I also need low maintenance, as I can't afford too much time in keeping things up.

Any ideas are much appreciated!

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RamonaGS
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Re: Back Yard Fire Pit Project - Plants To Help With Mosquit

One thing I know that helps with keeping away mosquitoes is to burn eucalyptus wood. Here in California, burning eucalyptus wood while camping works pretty good. Eucalyptus oil also keeps pests away, and so does cedar. I also know that chrysanthemums keep away pests, but I'm not sure how well they work on mosquitoes. I do know eating garlic keeps pests from biting you, so maybe growing garlic can keep them away. I hope this helps :)
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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digitS'
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Re: Back Yard Fire Pit Project - Plants To Help With Mosquit

Well, I had heard of this: Lemon Balm Mosquito Repellent, Mother Earth News.

The other day, I came across this: Catnip Repels Mosquitoes, Science Daily

I don't know anything about this but have both of these plants in my backyard. They are certainly low-maintenance, in fact - rather invasive. There is almost never a mosquito out there but that doesn't prove anything :wink: . Just something I'm grateful for.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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What Plants Help Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predat

Thanks Steve. I think this is an interesting topic. There is a more general discussion about mosquitoes, but this discussion is more specific. Any more ideas about plants that attract mosquito predators or plants that help keep mosquitoes away?

There's a more general thread elsewhere, so please keep responses on topic. Thanks! :)

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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

my brother could walk into a closet with a billion mosquitoes - and they would all run & hide in the corners.

otoh, if there is a mosquito anywhere in the county, it's sucking my blood.

which may explain why Plant X works or doesn't work for different people.

leading theory is the greater the carbon dioxide "aura" of a human, the more delicious the human appeals to the mosquitoes.

so it's all worth trying, but keep in mind, youse' high level co2 types are/may be just irresistible.

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RamonaGS
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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

I'm not sure what your cat situation is, but if there are many cats in your neighborhood, or you own cats, the catnip may be hard to keep. I tried growing catnip in my yard before, and the cats refused to let it live! I put bird baskets around them, but my siamese/bombay cat got it off and ATE the whole plant that was about 15 inches tall, LOL! If you plant catnip, you might have more success with the bird baskets to keep the cats from killing it, and I have no idea if it repels mosquitoes or not.

One thing I remember though, is that we had a huge Yucca tree on our property, and insect eating bats loved roosting in it. I know they eat mosquitoes.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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digitS'
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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

I enjoyed your other post about the cat and catnip, Ramona'.

Catnip grows around here just about everywhere! You know, I have hardly seen the cats bother with it. Yeah, there's some evidence that they do but they are on to other things here. Either that, or they are so stoned that it just seems that way :wink: !

It may be the way to deal with the cats - and, maybe the mosquitoes - get the catnip started most everywhere. Yeah, throw some seeds in all the neighbors' backyards! I mean, you can hardly walk 50 feet in my neighborhood without coming across at least 1 catnip plant. What I've noticed is that they seem to want to grow in kind of protected places - like, coming up between the branches of a bush. It could be that this is just where they have been left alone by the cats to complete their life-cycle. I don't know.

There aren't many mosquitoes in my neighborhood. I'd know; they leave welts on me! There also isn't much standing water anywhere nearby. Plenty of cats . . .

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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RamonaGS
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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

If catnip can get started it should do well, because it is a member of the mint family. Some people even call it catmint, so I am not surprised that it is all over your neighborhood Steve. I was hoping for the same, but Darom put a stop to THAT!

So Carl, have you found anything to plant that repels mosquitoes? You might look into the birds in your area that eat bugs. I only am sure of the ones in my area, lol
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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!potatoes!
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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

fyi, they can kinda be lumped together, but catnip and catmint are different plants (though closely related). catnip (Nepeta cataria) is frequently more irresistable to cats (as ramona found) and more upright, catmint (N. mussinii) is frequently lower-growing/tends to mound, and has more intense flowers. either one, once established, should be nearly impossible for a cat to kill. both are perennials, and will come back from the roots if mowed/eaten/mauled.

i know, this doesn't help the mosquito issue.

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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

Scented geraniums are supposed to help repel mosquitos, especially those with lemon or citranella aroma.

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RamonaGS
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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

!potatoes! wrote:fyi, they can kinda be lumped together, but catnip and catmint are different plants (though closely related). catnip (Nepeta cataria) is frequently more irresistable to cats (as ramona found) and more upright, catmint (N. mussinii) is frequently lower-growing/tends to mound, and has more intense flowers. either one, once established, should be nearly impossible for a cat to kill. both are perennials, and will come back from the roots if mowed/eaten/mauled.

i know, this doesn't help the mosquito issue.
I didn't realize catnip and catmint were 2 different plants. I was told by other gardeners that they were the same plant, but what you said makes sense. I wonder if one is better for repelling mosquitos than the other.
~~Ramona mother of fur babies~~

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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

Geckos, mosquito fish (guppies), dragon flies and bats eat mosquitoes, but the best bet to control mosquitoes is to break their breeding cycle. That means eliminating low spots where water puddles. Put some mosquito fish or dunks in water barrels, or ponds and emptying out saucers, tires, bucket, pots that may be collecting water.

Make some bat houses and plant cattails and bulrushes to attract dragonflies.

If you can find the citronella plant, not citrossa, it does not really work that well. The citronella plant is related to lemon grass. Lemon thyme, horse mint, lemon scented marigolds, ageratum, and catnip are the other plants on the short list.

Citrossa or the mosquito plant has great propaganda, but I read a study somewhere that said it really did not work. You would have to crush the leaves and either rub it on you or stay within a few feet of the plant.

Other things that do work although it is not a plant is to burn the citronella candle, burn short pieces of tightly wound rope, or mosquito punks. Bug lites can zap a few of them.
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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

There are a number of plants (many mentioned already) whose essential oils repel mosquitos. The essential oils can be used in candles, diffused, etc. Or you can crush the leaves a bit and rub it on your skin or spray on essential oils. There are some nice geraniol based mosquito repellant sprays. I think it is pretty much a myth that there is any plant you can just grow and just by being there it will keep mosquitos away. The little bit of scent they give off just being there is not enough to deter mosquitos who can just fly over them.

The other part of the question, that hasn't really been addressed is attracting mosquito predators. The best are bats. You can put up a bat house to try to attract bats to your property. But bats are very sensitive to human smell, so once you have handled the bat house, it make take a year or so for it to weather enough for the bats to occupy it.

Lots of birds eat mosquitos, so having some bird feeders around will help.

And as already said, be sure not to leave standing water around for the larvae to grow in. Even a little pocket of standing water, will produce tons of new mosquitos. If you want to have a bird bath, look for a water wiggler

https://www.birdbaths.com/bird-bath-acce ... iggler.cfm

they come in battery and solar powered versions. It just keeps the water a little agitated, which the birds prefer and keeps the mosquito larvae out.

But mosquitos in summer in humid climates are pretty much a fact of life and mainly you have to protect yourself.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

PS, when you think about bird feeders, be sure to include hummingbird feeders. Hummingbirds eat a lot of mosquitos.
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Re: What Plants Repel Mosquitoes or Attract Mosquito Predato

Hummingbirds eat a lot of mosquitos.
Yes! Excellent suggestion. :)

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