Italian Plants That Attract Appetites and Repel Mosquitoes

There's a way that you can get closer to your roots while keeping the bugs at a distance.

By: Rachel Vadaj, ISDA Editor

Do you like mosquitoes? Of course you don’t.

But every Italian American loves the herbs and plants that are native to the Old Country!

Unfortunately, summer and the pesky insects go together like spaghetti and meatballs.

However, there is a way that you can get closer to your roots while keeping the bugs at a distance.

An assortment Italian of plants double as fantastic natural mosquito repellents.

While we may love their strong scent, the mosquitos can’t stand it.

Just place these Italian plants near your favorite outdoor spot, porch and patio to enjoy a big-bite free summer breeze:


Dried basil is a world’s difference from fresh, so enjoy it any way you can for as long as possible. A refreshing caprese salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes picked from the vine lightly drizzled with balsamic dressing allows you to truly appreciate the basil without it being muted by other ingredients.

Lemon Basil

Lemon basil is just what it sounds like: traditional basil with a citrus zest. Bake it over chicken with lemon, garlic and pepper to give your poultry a punch. This herb may be the most repelling to mosquitoes because of its citrus component.


A little rosemary goes a long way. My favorite dish to put this herb on is over gnocchi. The way the rosemary compliments the potato dumpling as simply delicious.


Thyme is an excellent herb to bring out the flavors in a red meat. Throw a couple sprigs over the beef or lamb in virtually any dish, including steaks, meatballs, a meatloaf, lamp chops or even pork chops. Unify the meal by sprinkling this Italian herb over roasted carrots as well.


While lavender is not an herb, it still has a lovely taste. Add a teaspoon of lavender buds along with a teaspoon of honey to your vanilla latte to calmly awaken your senses.


Geraniums aren’t meant to be eaten… But, at least you will have a splendid sight when the buds bloom as you enjoy the rest of the plants on this list that can be enjoyed while keeping the mosquitoes away! Plant the geraniums in your garden or in a hanging container to let the colorful blooms cascade down to create a bug repellant curtain.

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