Plants that Will Help You Ward Off Pesky Insects
Summer is finally here. For most people that means spending extra time outdoors, whether gardening, having a barbecue, or just relaxing and enjoying nature. There are few things that can ruin that for many people, but pesky insects can put a damper on your enjoyment. Specifically, mosquitoes. Did you know that only female mosquitoes bite? Male mosquitoes primary role is reproduction so they do not have the need to bite. Female mosquitoes seek out the nutrients required to produce eggs and therefore they are the biting insects of the species. The most heightened time of day for mosquitoes to feed is sunrise and sunset.
So, would you like to know how you can avoid them? Eliminate areas of standing water around your home. Stagnant or standing water is the optimal breeding ground and place for the insects to lay eggs. You can also plant Mosquito-repellent plants that will help deter these blood suckers.
- Marigolds – Place potted marigolds near entry points such as doors and windows where you spend a lot of time outdoors. Marigolds also deter insects that feed on tomato plants. The distinct smell of a marigold deters the mosquitoes.
- Citronella – One of the key ingredients in most insect repellent spray, candles and torches is Citronella. Its strong odor is highly offensive to mosquitoes and will keep them at bay. Citronella is a perennial grass that can grow up to 5-6 feet. The plants thrive in full sun and areas with good drainage.
- Catnip – Also known for its pleasant effects on cats, Catnip will also fend off mosquitoes. It is a perennial herb that is quite easy to grow and is closely related to mint.
- Lavender – This wonderful smelling plant offers many benefits. It aids in relaxation and promotes a restful nights sleep, but it also dissuades mosquitoes and gnats from ruining your dinner party when planted outdoors by windows, doors and near entertainment areas. You can also place dried lavender in your closets to repel moths, and it smells much better than mothballs!
- Basil – This delicious herb is so multi-purpose. Not only can it be used in recipes and meals but it also deters pests. Lemon Basil and Cinnamon Basil are the best varieties to grow for pest repellent.
- Lemon Balm – or “Horsemint,” the fragrance of Lemon Balm attracts pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies, but it also fends off mosquitoes. This herb is a re-seeder and easily reproduces so it should be planted in container pots so that it does not overtake you garden beds and yard.