If you have a lot of mosquitoes in your yard, it just might be the plants that you’ve decided to plant there. Plants that can attract mosquitoes include bamboo water hyacinths, taro plants, water lettuce and mint.
We’re going to take a closer look at some of the plants that may be making the mosquito population in your yard grow.
Bamboo is a type of wood, and it consists of sugar, starch, and different types of carbs. This is why you should never plant bamboo in your yard if you hate mosquitoes.
All types of bugs and pests will be attracted to this plant, mainly because they are looking for their next snack or meal and the wood provides them with just what they want.
2. Water Hyacinths
Similar to water lilies, water hyacinths are beautiful flowers that have a very sweet scent. It’s this sweet scent that mosquitoes love. Water hyacinths tend to attract hordes of mosquitoes and therefore, you can expect a ton of them to be in your yard when you’re growing this plant.
Water hyacinths also attract a lot of other insects, so this is not a good plant to have around if you hate pests.
3. Taro Plants
Taro is a type of root vegetable that tends to grow in a lot of tropical areas, and mosquitoes love it, although we’re not sure why.
The plant does have a bright color and a peculiar and unique odor, so that could be the reason. Its popularity among mosquitoes could also be because it loves water-logged areas, which are areas that mosquitoes tend to love.
4. Water Lettuce
Water lettuce makes the perfect addition to any water garden, but unfortunately mosquitoes love water gardens. Water lettuce makes a great protection for the mosquitoes where they can hide and breed in the water.
Water lettuce is an attractive plant that looks like a partial head of lettuce sitting on top of the water.
Mint is one of the many plants that tends to grow where mosquitoes are thriving, so the mosquitoes are made worse because they’re there.
Mint has a pleasant but strong scent that mosquitoes love.
6. Water Lilies
Water lilies are gorgeous, but just like humans, mosquitoes love them. They are already found where mosquitoes love to be, but their very sweet aroma simply makes the problem much worse.
They also attract lots of bees, so if you’re allergic to or afraid of bees, water lilies are a plant you might want to avoid.
Many people with water gardens plant papyrus, and they are an attractive and interesting-looking plant. They also attract tons of mosquitoes, so this is not a good plant to have around if you’re trying to deter mosquitoes and other pests.
8. Monkey Grass
Officially called liriope, monkey grass is often used as borders for flower beds and lawns, as well as for ground cover.
Unfortunately, this also means that it gives mosquitoes an excellent hiding place. Any place damp and dark helps mosquitoes breed and thrive, which is why this is one type of grass you don’t want in your yard when you hate mosquitoes.
9. Jasmine Bushes
Jasmine bushes are attractive but tend to grow very large, and they can spread across your yard quickly. If you keep them under control, you likely won’t have as big of a problem, but that can be difficult to do since they spread so fast.
When they spread like this, damp and dark areas often form underneath, and mosquitoes often lay eggs in those areas. Jasmine flowers also have a very strong scent thanks to their nectar, which also attracts mosquitoes.
10. Butterfly Bushes
These bushes produce gorgeous flowers that butterflies love, but unfortunately mosquitoes love them, too. The flowers have a lot of sweet nectar in them, which makes the perfect mosquito food.
Even worse, butterfly bushes attract a species known as the Asian Tiger mosquito, which has a very aggressive bite and can carry illness such as the West Nile virus, the Zika virus, and even dengue fever.
Plants That Don’t Repel Mosquitoes
Check out these popular plants that are thought to deter mosquitoes (but really the don’t).
Rosemary smells great and grows lovely blue-and-white flowers that dress up your garden, but contrary to what many people believe, they do not repel mosquitoes.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. So if you’re growing rosemary to get rid of mosquitoes, choose another plant instead.
Garlic bulbs are pungent, which is why many people believe they can deter mosquitoes, but this is an old wives’ tale.
In reality, garlic has very little effect on mosquitoes, and in some cases they may actually be attracted to the garlic. This is one plant that’s best left in the kitchen and not used as a deterrent to mosquitoes.
3. Floss Flowers
These beautiful purple flowers do have a distinct look, and since they contain coumarin, people believe they can repel mosquitoes. Floss flowers do not contain enough coumarin to keep mosquitoes away, so this is another myth being spread around regularly.
They may occasionally repel one or two mosquitoes, but mosquitoes mostly just ignore the flowers and come to them anyway.
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are attracted to dampness and water, which is the perfect environment for them to breed. They also like flowers and plants with nectar or a sweet smell, as well as CO2, which is yet another attraction for mosquitoes.
Your choice of plants can directly affect the number of mosquitoes found in your yard, and it’s good to remember that there are plants that are known to deter these pests, including catnip, marigolds, and even lavender.
Mosquitoes are very unpopular, and there’s more than one reason for this. You might be unwittingly planting flowers and shrubs that are attracting these pests instead of repelling them, but if you know what they are, it’s easier to do something about it.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.