Be honest, you’re really excited that it’s almost summer. You’re looking forward to longer days, shorts-and-slops-weather and … mosquitoes. Wait, what?

Not really. But this year, you could be armed with a secret weapon. Plant these eight plants that discourage mosquitoes, without any mosquito casualties. It’s a win-win situation!

You need to know, however, that many of these plants actually need a little help from their friends (ie., you, dear reader) to repel mosquitoes: most of these plants don’t repel mosquitoes “just like that.” You have to plant them in high traffic areas where they might get in the way and be crushed, releasing their scent and oils, you need to make posies out of some, and you need to burn others. Remember, however, to read up about each individual plant first to ensure that it’s safe for you, your children and pets to touch and use.

Here are 8 plants that discourage mosquitoes:

  1. Rosemary: Plant it near the home, crush the leaves, make posies, or burn it to discourage mosquitoes.
  2. Sage: Plant near the home, crush the leaves, make posies, or burn the dried plant.
  3. Wild sage: Plant near home, crush the leaves.
  4. Thyme: Crush the leaves, or burn.
  5. Lemon thyme: Plant near your home and crush the leaves.
  6. Basil: This purportedly works as is, so plant it in or near your home, but crushing it may help.
  7. Catnip: Plant near home. Warning! Will not repel cats!
  8. Marigolds: These flowers actually repel many pests: plant them near your home and near plants that need some big sibling protection from other insects.

While we all deal with mozzies in the summer, check your home to see if there are other ways of discouraging these little bloodsuckers. Make sure that there is no stagnant water in your garden, and that all leaking pipes are fixed.

Also remember that while these plants might help somewhat in keeping mosquitoes away, they won’t create a barrier that keeps 100% of them away. If you live in or visit a malaria-risk area, remember to take all the necessary precautions to avoid getting bitten and possible exposure to the disease.

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