6 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes and Flies (Australian Guide)

The increasing amount of rain that we’ve been experiencing recently has created the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Luckily, there are numerous plants that can be effective in repelling mosquitoes and flies. We can plant these around our gardens and close to our outdoor living areas.

Many of these plants are also ideal for growing in pots that we can place near our front and back doors to keep those pests out of our homes.

Here’s a selection of fairly easy-to-grow plants that are effective in repelling flying pests.

Catnip (Nepata cataria)

Catnip | Pest control

If you’re a cat owner, you’ll know how much your cat loves this delightful herb. What you might not be aware of is that catnip is one of the best plants for repelling mosquitoes. It’s a member of the mint family and surprisingly easy to grow.

You can either plant it in the garden or in a big pot. It’s a vigorous grower and prefers a sunny spot. Catnip also has attractive purple flowers in summer and autumn.

The oils can be activated by crushing the leaves and stems of the plant to release a fragrance that mosquitoes hate. So, make sure that you brush against the plant often for the most effective mosquito control.

You can also take a few sprigs of the catnip and crush them in your hands. This will release the natural oils and these can be applied to your skin. 

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary 5 | Pest control

Rosemary is another lovely herb that is effective in repelling mosquitoes and flies.

It’s easy to grow in your garden or even in a pot near your front door. I like to plant rosemary around my veggie garden because it’s also useful in attracting bees.

Rosemary prefers a sunny spot and well-drained soil. It can be pruned to maintain a nice shape and can even be used for a low-growing hedge.

If you have a fire pit in your garden, you can burn a few sprigs of rosemary and the resultant smoke makes a nice, natural mosquito repellant. Additionally, if you steep some dried rosemary in boiling water for around 30 minutes, you can make your own mosquito repellant spray.

Just add this mixture to an equal amount of cool water after straining it and pour it into a spray bottle.


Basil | Pest control

Almost everyone loves to grow basil in their summer veggie patch near their tomatoes. This aromatic herb is said to make tomatoes taste sweeter and is also a great accompaniment to tomato-based dishes that you prepare in the kitchen.

As an added bonus, basil is also great for repelling mosquitoes as well as houseflies and whiteflies. Basil likes to grow in a sunny position and will do equally well in a pot or in the garden.

You don’t even have to crush the leaves for basil to keep those pesky mosquitoes away. However, if you’re anything like me, you’ll love the spicy fragrance when you brush past this plant.

Better still, basil is actually toxic to mosquito larvae so it’s perfect for planting around ponds and other water receptacles because it will stop the mosquitoes from laying their eggs.

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Lavender 2 | Pest control

Another of my garden favourites for planting near the veggie patch is lavender. It’s also great for attracting bees to your garden and the sweet fragrance will deter all sorts of other flying insects such as mosquitoes, flies, and moths. 

Lavender is easy to grow as long as you plant it in a sunny spot in well-drained soil. It’s also perfect for growing in pots. You can even cut sprigs of lavender and put them in your drawers to keep moths away.

Or, hang a few sprigs bundled together around your outdoor entertaining area. Another good tip is to crush some lavender flowers and rub them onto your skin. This not only helps to deter mosquitoes but will also soothe the skin if you’ve been bitten.


Lemongrass | Pest control

Lemongrass is another great herb that repels mosquitoes. The citronella oil that is derived from the lemongrass plant is commonly found in commercially available mosquito repellants and candles. However, you can also grow this plant around your garden or in large pots to keep the pests away.

The citrusy scent of lemongrass is irritating to mosquitoes and will help to keep them away. Grow lemongrass in a couple of large pots near your outdoor areas or your front door and you’ll hopefully never be bothered by mosquitoes again.


Marigolds | Pest control

Marigold flowers give off a strong scent when grown in a sunny spot in the garden that mosquitoes don’t like. They are also popular for growing around veggie gardens because they will keep other pests away as well.

You can even cut a few of the flowers and put these in a vase on your outdoor table to help protect you from any annoying mosquitoes. Make sure you crush them a little to help release their strong scent.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


1 thought on “6 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes and Flies (Australian Guide)”

  1. I have a small Australian native bush which has a very messy web on some of it’s branches. I have hosed them off quite a few times but thet keep coming back. Are they Spider mites and how do I get rid of them. Thank you


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