This member of the mint family has white flowers and a gentle lemony scent, as well as some healing properties. It’s particularly good at keeping biting insects away, but it’s also an invasive species, so be careful when growing it.
This fragrant mint cousin contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which is both a feline attractant and a useful insect repellant.
A 2009 study showed that the essential oil from this delicious herb istoxic to mosquito larvae.
This beautiful, potent, and lovely-smelling flower not only repels mosquitoes but keeps moths and flies away. The flower’s perfume is well-known, and while it will scent the air, it’s still most effective when actually rubbed on skin.
In its concentrated form, peppermint is sometimes used as an insect repellent, and its essential oil has been shown to keep away the adults and kill the larvae of several species.
This perennial is actually marketed as “mosquito plant,” primarily due to its strong citronella-like smell. Unfortunately, though it’s the most heavily marketed, there’s some research that suggests it’s also the least effective at keeping away mosquitos. Still, there’s some benefits to be had from rubbing it on your skin, and if there’s nothing else around, it will provide some protection.
If you’re planning to gather around a fire, try burning a little sage or rosemary. The incense these plants give off when they burn not only smells good but is unpleasant enough to the little critters that it’ll keep them away—as long as you’re near the smoke.