It's the time for the annual ritual in which we light candles, slather ourselves in scented oils, and place lanterns to deter away evil spirits. No, I'm not talking about some sort of pagan rite: I'm talking about dealing with mosquitoes.

I've been blessed: since I moved to Washington seven years ago, I haven't been bit once by a mosquito. When I lived in Texas, though, I was a literal mosquito magnet: you could watch clouds of them move toward me within 30 seconds of stepping outside. What's worse, I'm also allergic to their bites, meaning that I spent most of the year covered in bumps and hives from dozens of bites that wouldn't respond to any treatment.

When are Washington mosquitoes most active?

According to Zunex Pest Control, mosquitoes usually are most active in Washington starting in June and lasting throughout the hot summer months. They can appear as soon as April and can last longer, depending on how warm the weather is.

What plants can help?

There are eleven total plants (listed below) that are considered great mosquito repellents. However, the University of Washington recommends five mild plants that actually smell great, can be easily rubbed on you or your pets, and can even be used in the kitchen!

That's right - a small herb garden can go a long way in repelling mosquitoes in Washington. All you need are basil, bay, lavender, sage, and thyme.

If you own dogs or cats, do not get bay or lavender. Bay is toxic to dogs and cats, and can cause vomiting or diarrhea. Lavender is also toxic and can cause nausea and vomiting. (Both are also toxic to horses). Leaf and Paw suggests that a small amount of lavender may be okay around your furry household companions, but be cautious.

Regardless, these herbs smell great and have a lot of uses, especially in the kitchen! And they smell way better than those citronella candles.

Here are some more useful mosquito tips for a safer, and less itchy, Washington summer:

Plant Some Of These In Your Garden to Keep Mosquitoes Away

As we previously told you, mosquitoes are the most dangerous creatures on earth. If you want to keep them away from you're yard, these plants can help!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

10 Ways to Protect Yourself from Washington Mosquitoes

Gallery Credit: AJ Brewster

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