Do Tomato Plants Keep Mosquitoes Away? (Important Facts)

Mosquitoes can be prevented by using one of the many plants that have this property naturally. Some studies have looked into the possibility that tomatoes can be used to deter mosquitoes. Do tomato plants actually prevent insects, or is that an urban legend?

Studies have shown that tomatoes can keep mosquitoes away. The number of mosquitoes in a region can be reduced by planting tomatoes there. Initial research has shown that tomatoes are a good way to get rid of mosquitoes.

The idea behind planting tomatoes is that tomatoes exude a chemical substance that makes them repellent to mosquitoes and other biting insects. Some of these chemicals are used by the tomato plant, but some are absorbed into the soil, which then makes their way into the tomato fruit.

Why Do Mosquitoes Hate Tomato Plants?

Tomato plants have the lipid molecule IBI-246, which mosquitoes find unpleasant. Tomato plant stems contain the chemical.

The lipid molecule IBI 246 is used to ward off mosquitoes. In addition to keeping mosquitoes away, it also keeps cockroaches, ticks, and other pests at bay.

It works, and there are no reported side effects, so it’s a safe option. Researchers found that IBI 246 is what makes up the bulk of commercially available insect repellents. For the past few years, diethyltoluamide, also known as DEET, has been the active ingredient in insect repellents.

Diethyltoluamide is a toxic petroleum substitute. As a result, it has been linked to several issues, including itching, memory loss, and the death of brain cells, amongst others. It is, therefore, not recommended by the majority of insect-repellent manufacturers.

On the other hand, this substance known as IBI 246, which can be harvested from tomato plants, is an effective insecticide against many pests. It is non-toxic and plant-derived, unlike DEET.

How Tomato Plants Work Against Mosquitoes?

You have probably heard that tomatoes contain chemicals that can help rid your garden of pesky mosquitoes.

Tomatoes are incredibly efficient at repelling mosquitoes. A few drops of tomato juice placed near a plant immediately send the bugs scrambling. But have you ever wondered how they do this?

It turns out the plants make their own pesticides to combat these pests effectively. By acting as a natural pesticide, tomatoes take away one of the major causes of mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria, dengue fever, and the Zika Virus.

Tomatoes defend themselves against mosquitoes by a process called nutrient cycling, which leads to an accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in leaves and stems and higher amounts of natural pesticides.

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural insecticide that deters some pests from eating the plant. This process probably evolved in tomato plants through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Tomatoes have a defence gene that is single-copy and found in all genomes of the Solanaceae family.

This natural insecticide works on several different insects, but research has found that male mosquitoes are most affected by solanine.

This is because they have a stronger sense of smell than females and lack olfactory receptors in their antennae. Solanine, with water, releases a gas that repels mosquitoes and other insects. The mixture works even if the water has been standing for days.

This tactic is an age-old method to keep annoying insects from feasting on your crops.

Native people in Central and South America would plant tomatoes around their farms to ward off mosquitoes and harmful diseases such as malaria, chikungunya, dengue, zika, and yellow fever.

Over time, we have realised that tomatoes produce natural pesticides to protect themselves, but we have to keep in mind to follow all the steps to properly care for the plant and grow it healthily.

What Other Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

Here are some of the plants that repel mosquitoes, plus tips on how to plant them and care for them during the growing season so that they provide maximum protection from mosquitoes this summer.

1. Rosemary

Rosemary is a perennial herb that will grow to over 2 feet tall with tiny white flowers. It is best in sun and moderate humidity and grows well in containers or garden beds. There are some homemade rosemary mosquito repellent recipes.

Crush the leaves to release the fragrance and apply a little to your skin as an insect repellent, or you can make a spray out of fresh rosemary leaves.  You can also soak a handful of rosemary in 2 cups of water for about 30 minutes, then add 8 cups of water (fresh rainwater is best), mix well, and spray generously on the skin.

2. Marigolds

Marigolds are popular annual flowering plants that come in many different colours. You’ll know you have marigolds around when you see their bright and often colorful flowers. Marigolds can be planted to attract pollinating insects or to get rid of mosquitoes.

Their main purpose is to keep mosquitoes away, but they also bring ladybugs and other good bugs to your garden.

Plant marigolds around doors, windows, and other areas that mosquitoes frequent, but keep them away from your vegetable garden. They have the added benefit of being edible if you use them in cooking.

3. Basil

Both inside and outside are good places to grow basil. It is a very cold-hardy herb that will grow well in containers or garden beds. It can grow up to 6 inches tall and comes in many different colours and varieties.

Its high oil content from the plant’s leaves makes it a mosquito repellent. When crushed, these oils give off a strong fragrance that will keep mosquitoes away.

4. Corn plant

The corn plant is a perennial herb that comes in many different colours. It grows well in containers or garden beds and will grow up to 6 feet tall. You’ll know you have corn plants around when you see the bright blue and white flowers on the plant.

The main thing you can do with a corn plant is use its strong smell to keep mosquitoes away from your home. It grows best in pots near patios and places to sit outside.

5. Citronella grass

Citronella grass will grow to be about 3 feet tall and comes in a variety of different colours. It adapts well to most climates, flowering between June and September. The main use of citronella grass is as an insect repellent, it has a strong fragrance, which keeps mosquitoes away from your home.

5. Lavender

Lavender is a perennial herb that grows to be 3 feet tall and comes in a variety of different colours. It can grow well in containers or garden beds and will grow up to 6 feet tall.

You will know you have lavender around when you see its bright purple flowers growing on stalks. It is not only beautiful, but it also has a strong aroma, which keeps mosquitoes away from your home.

6. Dill weed

Dill is an annual herb that has bright green leaves with yellow flowers and seeds. These plants grow fast, so they work well in large gardens where you need to spread out the herbs and plants across your entire garden bed.

These plant seeds produce oils that are abundant in the leaves. Dill also tastes great in salads and main dishes, as well as being a mosquito repellent.


Tomatoes are popular among Native Americans. They ate them not only because they tasted good, but also because they were good for their health. Even after thousands of years, we are still learning about the health benefits of tomatoes. 

So, do tomato plants keep mosquitoes away? Yes, from fighting cancer to fighting off mosquitoes, tomatoes do it all!