Last week I wrote about creating an all-natural mosquito repellant cream. I really hope my readers venture out and make it; I know you will not be disappointed. Continuing with the mosquito subject, I have decided to take it a step further and talk about ways to combat these annoying bugs in the yard. This will help to further ensure a fun, mosquito-free outdoor gathering space.
This past weekend my brother came to town to help my family celebrate Independence Day weekend. Naturally, there was plenty of outdoor time filled with cookouts, festivals, fireworks, and many smiling kids! Throughout these past couple of weeks, our part of town has experienced constant rain, and many places have not had a chance to dry out, including my yard.
If you are the type of person who cannot stand outside for an hour without gaining a host of new bug bites, then this article is for you.
My stepmom’s outdoor area is so lovely to spend time in because you are not constantly swatting bugs. After talking to her this past week, I realized you can create an oasis free of buzzing and biting pests by using your green thumb.
Here are the eight plants my stepmother uses in her yard to create a buzz free sitting area. She says she has been using these since we were little kids! Who knew?
Basil – Basil is not only great for your Italian pasta dishes, but it will effectively keep those pest away during the summer months. Plant them in small planters or in the flowerbeds. There are several different colors and types, and it is easy to find and grow. These plants grow big, very fragrant leaves.
Catnip – Studies suggest that catnip can be up to ten times more effective in repelling mosquitos than DEET.
Geranium – Geraniums are a beautiful, easy to care for plant to use in your garden.
Citronella – Almost everyone I know has burned these candles.Why not take it a step further that will last all season and grow the plant? Nurseries now sell “mosquito plants” that are a form of citronella, or you can opt for the natural version.
Rosemary – This handy herb is not only great for adding some zing to your pork, it can also ward off mosquitos.
Marigolds – Marigolds have a smell that tends to ward off anything and everything that matters. Used to keep bugs away from gardens, this flower will do the same for mosquitos. Marigolds contain pyrethrum, a commonly used insect repelling chemical found in many insect sprays. Plant them and enjoy the beautiful blooms they create. They look great potted or used as borders.
Lavender – Lavender oil repels mosquitos and makes a great perfume; plus, your garden will smell better than it ever has.
Mint – Mint’s aroma repels mosquitos, and the plant has many great uses in the kitchen as well. (Bonus: try this refreshing minty drink. Crush up a few leaves of mint in the bottom of a glass, add a few cubes of ice, and fill it with sparkling water.)
There are many ways you can incorporate all of these plants around the outside of your home; pots, hanging baskets, planters – you name it. You don’t even need to treat these plants any differently than any other plant. Some of them also have a pretty bloom.
This summer when you are fighting against mosquitos, be sure to take preventative measures by tipping over buckets, keeping the gutters clean, keeping pool covers in storage, keeping grass cut, and removing or cleaning other areas known to be breeding grounds.
By planting a few plants, you can be sure that the mosquitoes will join your neighbor’s party instead of yours. Of course, if you love your neighbors then share the information so they can enjoy their party too!
My main mission this week is to get my flowerbeds up to mosquito code. It seemed as if we were constantly coating our skin this weekend to keep them at bay, and that just doesn’t work for me. All the mosquito repelling plants I mentioned are relatively easy to find, and on the inexpensive side.
If you are aware of any more wonderful natural ways to repel mosquitos, please share. I would love to know!
April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at email@example.com.