Mosquito Repelling Bouquets

Do you often restrain yourself from buying ‘useless’ flower bouquets yet purchase citronella candles and other commercial mosquito repellents that don’t work very well?

A simple and satisfying solution is to create your own personalized mosquito repelling bouquet.  I mainly based my creations on the very helpful and readable research review published in Malaria Journal 2011 10(Suppl 1):S11.  I focused on aromatic flowers and stems/leaves from plants that could easily be grown at home, like scented geranium (Pelargonium), marigold (Tagetes), lemon balm (Melissa), mint (Mentha), lemongrass (Cymbopogon), thyme (Thymus), basil (Ocimum), and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus).

If you do not want to care for the whole or partial plants, the essential oils of most of these plants are widely available and can be used in diffusers.  Some nice combinations are lemon + basil, lemon + thyme and lemon + eucalyptus (I like lemon and mosquitoes don’t!).  I currently use rose geranium essential oil mixed with diluted Melissengeist (lemon balm ethanol extract with hints of other herbs).

Notes:

I don’t recommend adding essential oils/plants to candles.  Diffusers have been shown to work better than candles against mosquitoes.  Burning may destroy the essential oil compounds, and the carbon dioxide produced may even attract mosquitoes.

Cut flowers are better than potted plants for repelling mosquitoes, because plants generally don’t release their essential oils much until they are damaged.

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