February 25, 2022
Marigolds may be more than just a symbol of warmth and positive energy.
Anyone who has been around Marigolds knows two things: they are beautiful and they have a musky smell.
If marigolds don’t smell good, can they at least repel mosquitoes?
Do Marigolds Repel Mosquitoes?
Get ready to break out your spade and head down to your local greenhouse because marigolds do repel mosquitoes.
They contain certain oils that give them their pungent scent and ability to effectively repel mosquitoes — specifically, pyrethrum.
Pyrethrum is found in dozens of plants that repel mosquitoes, such as daisies, and is commonly used as a pesticide.
A study from the 1990s discovered the insect-killing abilities of compounds within the Marigold plant. It was considered an important discovery, especially because these compounds killed the types of mosquitoes that carry yellow fever and malaria.
It’s not just a mosquito repellent – it’s also toxic, and can kill mosquitoes if they come in contact with Marigolds. So, if mosquitoes absorb any through their mouth or feet, they will most likely die not long after.
How Can You Use Marigolds to Repel Mosquitoes?
The best way to use Marigolds to keep mosquitoes away is to take advantage of the beautiful plant in its full form. Plant them around your backyard, in pots inside a porch or patio, or even right outside your doors and windows.
While marigolds do repel mosquitoes, they tend to only do so within a couple feet of the plant. Having marigolds planted near outdoor seating would be a great way to keep mosquitoes out of your yard.
How to Make a Marigold Mosquito Repellent
The simplest and most effective way to make a mosquito repellent spray with marigolds is to use essential oil. The essential oil from marigolds is called calendula oil, which comes from marigolds’ Latin name, Calendula Officinalis.
Unlike other essential oils used to repel mosquitoes, calendula oil is safe to put directly on your skin. Because of this, heavy dilution isn’t necessary before spraying it on yourself or fabric. However, we still recommend diluting for better coverage.
For a consistent mix, you should combine the calendula oil with another oil or lotion. Since it’s going on your skin, it would be beneficial to use lotion or skin-safe oil. Some excellent options include olive oil, coconut oil, or chamomile oil.
Since calendula oil poses little risk of skin irritation, there isn’t a set dilution ratio. It’s up to you to create a solution to your scent preference.
This solution is less effective than the one listed above, but you won’t have to worry about oil stains on your fabrics.
Since there is no carrier oil for the pyrethrum to stick to, your final product will require you to shake it before every use. You will also need to reapply the solution more frequently due to the water evaporating.
What You’ll Need:
- Cooking Pot
- Heat Safe Bowl or Cup
- 1.5-2 Ounces of Marigold Flowers
- 8 Ounces of Distilled Water
- Cheesecloth or Coffee Filter
- Spray Bottle
- Crush flowers into your heat-safe dish
- Bring water to a boil in the cooking pot
- Pour water over the flowers in your heat-safe dish
- Let solution steep for 10-20 minutes
- Strain mixture with the cheesecloth so only liquid is left
- Pour into the spray bottle
- Spray solution on your skin to be protected
Can You Use Marigolds to Kill Mosquitoes?
Technically, marigolds can kill mosquitoes, but it’s not likely to happen naturally. The pyrethrum repels them, so they usually won’t get close enough to ingest any lethal amount.
However, you can pour calendula oil into standing water to kill mosquito larvae. For this to work, you must add enough oil so that the entire surface is coated with a film. It will smother the mosquitoes before they have a chance to mature and leave the water.
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