There are plenty of challenges associated with gardening, but perhaps the most exasperating are persistent pests – specifically, mosquitoes. Not only do you not want mosquitoes near your precious plants, but you also don’t want them snacking on your family, friends and pets! In addition to leaving itchy, swollen bites, these flies have also been known to carry and transmit serious diseases, including West Nile and Zika viruses.

While there are plenty of chemical products on the market that claim to wipe out mosquito problems, introducing harsh synthetic agents can do more harm than good. Fortunately, there’s a natural way to combat your pest problem; bringing anti-mosquito plants and flowers into your garden. Read on to discover the best mosquito-repelling plants in your garden:

Citronella Plant
If mosquitoes are a yearly struggle for your garden, you’ve likely invested in more than one citronella candle. While the candles are considered generally effective at keeping pests at bay, they do have some drawbacks, including their toxicity and the increased risk for fire. To harness the power of citronella in a more natural way, bring a citronella plant into your garden. The fresh, light scent of citronella is appealing to humans, but repellant to mosquitoes. Citronella’s fragrance will protect neighboring plants from unwanted flies, while its leaves can act as all-natural bug spray when crushed onto skin.

Marigolds add a bright pop of color to your yard while also defending it from buzzing mosquitos. These flowers, which thrive in direct sunlight and fertile soil, contain pyrethrum, an ingredient often included in bug sprays. In addition to staving off mosquitos, these blossoms are also effective at protecting tomato plants from a variety of critters. Unfortunately, some people are just as repelled as their garden pests by the scent of marigolds. If you’re not a huge fan of their fragrance, consider using these buds from back-of-garden pest management.

Most humans find lavender quite appealing, from its dusty floral scent to its whimsical stalk of purple flowers. Mosquitoes have a much different opinion of this beloved plant, whose scent actually repels them, along with moths and flies. Plant lavender in your garden to protect your other sprouts, and rub lavender oil on your skin to protect yourself.

Rosemary has the power to do more than flavor your favorite dishes. In fact, this herb is extremely effective at repelling mosquitoes. Rosemary, which prefers full sunlight, can be grown inside or outside. Notably, this plant maintains its repellant qualities even after it’s been trimmed. You can even harness rosemary’s anti-mosquito powers during bonfires by simply tossing a bundle of it into the flames. Your fire will take on an herbal scent, which will keep mosquitoes from getting too close to your guests.