You're enjoying a fun backyard party, chatting with your neighbors on the patio and eating some good food, when all of a sudden you feel it – that sharp pain that means you've been bitten. Bug bites may not completely ruin a perfectly good afternoon outdoors, but they are certainly irritating, especially when they won't stop itching. Biting bugs like mosquitos and flies are drawn to some types of flowers because of their sweet scents, but did you know that there are actually a few plants that repel insects? Make your patio a bug-free oasis by keeping these plants around when you're spending time outside:
Marigolds are annuals that bloom over the spring and summer with stunning blossoms, typically in fiery orange and yellow colors. But it isn't just their beauty that makes marigolds a good addition to your patio. The flowering plant actually repels mosquitos and flies because of their strong scent.
Catnip is scientifically proven to repel mosquitos better even than DEET, an ingredient found in many bug sprays. Plus the plant blooms with tiny purple flowers during the spring, making it a pretty way to spice up your patio (and one your cats will definitely love).
If you've ever read the ingredients list on a mosquito repellent, it's very likely you saw "citronella" on the label. This type of grass is actually found in most mosquito repellents, but it works in its natural grass form too.
If you already have an herb garden, you're in luck, because many common cooking herbs double as insect repellents. One of the most notable herbs people use to keep bugs at bay is rosemary. Rosemary is amazingly easy to grow – plus, if it's grown in containers on your patio, you can easily bring it inside during the winter, where it will thrive in a warm, sunny windowsill.
Mint is another herb that people often use both for cooking and keeping away insects. The herb can be used often in any number of recipes, but it's also a great way to keep mosquitos off of your patio. In fact, many people recommend using mouthwash before heading outdoors since the smell is so repellent to insects.
More About Keeping Bugs Away
While these plants are great as natural repellents, there are some things that will draw insects no matter what you do. If you're eating outside, try to keep the food covered as much as possible and do your best to get rid of any standing water in the area to prevent mosquitos from hanging around.