There isn’t much worse than hearing a mosquito whining when you’re trying to sleep. Thankfully, some plants can actually repel or kill mosquitoes. But are snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) one of them? In this article, we’ll discover if snake plants can kill mosquitoes.
Can Snake Plants Kill Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are annoying pests known for their fondness for human blood. Mosquitoes are flying insects that make a distinctive high-pitched whining sound when in flight. Peak mosquito season usually occurs during the summer.
Unfortunately, although snake plants can kill mosquitoes (and offer a host of other benefits, including air purification), they can’t repel them. Snake plants can protect themselves from mosquitoes thanks to the saponin in their leaves. Saponin is an organic chemical that’s toxic to many creatures, including mosquitoes, humans, cats, and dogs.
While female mosquitoes consume blood, males feed on plants because their mouth parts aren’t strong enough to pierce the skin. However, if a male mosquito tries to feed on a snake plant, it will die quickly once it ingests the saponin. In practice, this means that mosquitoes just avoid feeding on snake plants.
Even though snake plants are toxic to mosquitoes, these annoying insects aren’t really put off by these succulents. Although the saponin prevents mosquitoes from feeding on snake plants, they will still fly past the plant. Annoyingly, mosquitoes may even be comfortable nesting near snake plants.
Unfortunately, this means that snake plants will do little to deter mosquitoes. Even if you surround yourself with snake plants, you’d still be bitten by female mosquitoes. This means that you’ll still need mosquito defenses.
What Plants Can Repel Mosquitoes?
Although snake plants aren’t effective defenses against mosquitoes, other plants can repel these annoying insects. Many strongly-scented herbs or flowers can repel mosquitoes. Some of them can also be grown indoors to deter mosquitoes from attacking while you sleep.
Herbs that repel mosquitoes include:
Flowers that can repel mosquitoes include:
How Can I Use Plants to Repel Mosquitoes?
There are a couple of ways to deploy plants that can repel mosquitoes. Firstly, you can use the essential oils of plants like citronella, lavender, and rosemary to deter mosquitoes. You can spray these on things that you can hang near windows. Candles or diffusers may also work well.
You can also use the plants themselves. Many herbs like basil, mint, and thyme can be grown on windowsills to deter mosquitoes. Alternatively, you could tie together some dried sprigs of lavender or rosemary and hang them in front of your windows. By crushing the leaves slightly, you can release scents that put off incoming mosquitoes.
Snake plants can kill male mosquitoes if they try to eat them due to the saponin contained within the leaves. Unfortunately, this simply means that mosquitoes ignore snake plants. These succulents won’t deter mosquitoes from coming into your home or garden. Instead, use strongly-scented herbs and flowers like basil, lavender, marigolds, and catnip to repel mosquitoes.
For more, see our in-depth guide to snake plant care at home.