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Welcome to My Little Garden
Welcome to My Little Garden

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
Gardening is part of my life and I want to share that portion of my zeal and joy with you. These are my thoughts, my experiences and life work. I hope it enrich and add value to you too.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mosquito Repellent Ideas

I have come across many gardeners who had stopped gardening for the fear of mosquito's. Though it sound like a laughing matter but not so funny when someone in family dies having a denggi fever.

The war with these mosquito's are real, not to mentioned few of the other deadly species of this kind. And so, what can you do to combat with them - these are some of the tips, mostly had worked for me - to date, none of the mosquito's had ever invaded my home (regardless how jungle-like my garden may appear to be) but somehow my neighbours seemed to be having series of mosquito attacks. (Somehow, they have not planted any plants nor believe in a garden)

1) Plant Strong Fragrant Foliage plants.
Mosquito's are attracted to CO2 breathed in the air, that's how they find their prey. One of the ways to repel them is to knock out their sense of smell. These are some of the tropical plants that you can plant in your garden to deter them:

a) Wormwood (Artemisia capillaris)
b) Marigold
c) Indian Borage
d) Lantana
e) Any Mint family plants (Peppermint, Spearmint, etc)
g) Lemongrass
h) Neem plant
i) Garlic / Onion plant.
j) Holy Basil (Thulasi)
k) Common Rue

Many of these do not work to the full effect unless the leaves or flowers are damaged somehow, and no one wants to hurt their plants. Occasionally you can rip a leaf off and crush it up and that should do the trick. I would also recommend that when you go to trim your plant, or if you need to remove any drying out leaves, etc., remove them and place them back into the pot with the plant. Not only will this biodegrade and be good for the plant, but the oils released from the crushed leaves will repel them.
Alternatively place these plants where there is a strong wind as the fragrance will linger around your garden.

2) Aquatic Garden & Plants
These are the remedy for those who are in love with your aquatic plants but fear of having mosquito's breeding in your water garden:

a) Copper Coins: Place as many copper coins as possible in the water pond - the copper coins apparently give out some leached chemical that kills the mosquito larvae.
This is one of the ways of destroying mosquito breeding grounds.

b) Breed Frogs & Fish in your aquatic garden. These will deter the mosquito from laying eggs and also control those flying menace becoming food for the jumping friend. Also include Spiders as their webs are very much helpful to trap them too.

e) If you have a very big garden, do find the means to breed dragonflies, bats and swift & swallows - they all eat mosquito's. Its may be difficult and challenging to house these in the garden but if you have the creativity to keep them - its sure a task worth introducing in gardens.

f) Aquatic Plants: Bladderwort
Also introduce bladderwort in your aquatic garden as they are carnivorous plant and may feed on mosquito larvae.

g) Avoid plants that hold water.
There are some plants that just attracts mosquito's. I had discovered that mosquito's just love to sit and buzz around plants that hold water and these are mostly aquatic plants.
Unless you are diligent & constantly check whenever it rains and that mosquito doesn't breed on them, I recommend that you don't introduce them in your garden.
Plants that hold water:
a) Bromeliad (check the central crown)
b) Heliconia & Banana (sections of the leaves)
c) Ginger (some species hold water in their flowers)

I'm sure there are a lot more to add about mosquito as more and more discoveries have been made. A lot more of speculations made where real scientific study is yet to be verified. I'm sure for now for those who are seeking for mosquito free garden - this information may help.

Finally, these are my Wormwood plant (Artemisia capillaris) in my garden.
(For those who are wondering how wormwood looks like)


  1. Thanks for the tips. I have fish with all my aquatic plants. No plants in my house hold water and I'm growing marigold now.

  2. I have lemon grass and lantana and used to grow marigolds until it died back. Now I looking forward to grow more of the plants you mentioned as a deterrent to mosquitoes. Some spiders and dragonflies also eat mosquitoes.

  3. Wonderful and informative post, James! I found it an interesting read. I never knew Holy Basil and Lantana and even Indian Borage were mosquito deterrents! Now I know why don't get many mosquitoes in the garden space except for some during the winter!

  4. Really good post. I need to get down to where my standing water is. I have tons of mosquitos. My girls and I are very sensitive to the bites too - swell up and don't go away for days. For me, it must be the little odds and ends that are breeding grounds - little toys that are overturned, plastic bowls the little one's been playing with, etc. I need to be more diligent. Nothing has helped.

    My father however, has that 6 acre pond - but probably has the best ecosystem going. He's got some good plants, fish, bats, the whole deal.

  5. Thanks James for listing down the plants :-D What an interesting and informative post!

    I didn't realise scented foliage has effect on mosquitoes. Sadly I have both kind of foliage.

    Breed frogs? That's the last thing I will do... errr... maybe copper coin or fish are better choices ha ha...

  6. we have scottish ones here though they don't carry disease but they sure do bite. So some of your plants mentioned here would probably work for me too. If I don't keep the waterfall running in my pond they start breeding in there.

  7. If I eat TONS OF garlic and onions will that deter the mosquitoes?

  8. i've tried the copper coins..does not work that well.
    got myself an electronic mossie zapper instead!!!

    jen KL

  9. I've got a new water bowl this year. It has only plants. No fish or tadpoles. I will try the copper coin trick. Thank you!

  10. Thank you all for your nice thoughtful comments, appreciate it very much.

  11. hi im from indonesia...
    im looking for some answer..
    is mother in law tongue or sanseveria a mosquito repellent to?

  12. Thanks Milzam for your comment.
    I really don't think mother in law tongue may able to repel mosquito - though they are very good in cleaning toxicity around the indoor area.

  13. As well, if you do have a natural source of water on your property, a little vegetable oil on the surface keeps the larvae from hatching. So any standing water, just add oil and you have half the battle. To give you an idea a water barrel would need about one tablespoon or so. I have a natural occuring pond out back (about 20' x 15') and we use a super soaker water gun to get the oil out to the middle so we get a decent spread and use about 1 cup. Remember to top up after rainfall.

  14. Great tip about the oil. Thanks.

  15. is pandan a good mosquito repellent?

  16. Much thanks for the wonderful tips above, James. I've lots of Lemon Grass... now I know what to do with the leaves! Take care and God bless.

  17. Wow, never thought about oil. Thanks !


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