New Delhi: Growing pest-repelling plants and herbs inside homes can help in warding off the threat of mosquito-borne diseases like chikungunya, dengue and malaria in the city, say experts.

Herbs like basil, mint, thyme and lemon grass could add flavour to the food while also helping to deter mosquitoes naturally, Secretary of All India Kitchen Garden Association (AIKGA) Bella Gupta said on Saturday.

“A major herb that performs a double duty is lemon grass as it naturally contains citronella. It adds flavour to various oriental dishes while helping to deter mosquitoes, naturally,” Gupta said during a day-long fruit, vegetable and flower festival held at Gulmohar Park in south Delhi.

Gupta said that basil is a popular and versatile culinary herb, which apart from being used in food, helps deter both houseflies and mosquitoes.

“Rosemary is another herb not liked by mosquitoes; lavender is another pest-repelling plant and garlic is an ultimate answer to end the mosquito menace,” she said.