Plants that repel mosquitoes
When summer humidity and heat act in concert, human skin is mosquitoes favorite meal. Some plants can help you control mosquitoes in yard and garden, or anywhere around the house, even indoors. Using one or several of the plants listed in this article can help you enjoy the summer without having recourse to a whole arsenal of chemicals that can be dangerous and are often less effective than commercials would have you believe.
The classic citronella
You can buy a number of products with citronella oils and they work rather well. Citronella essential oil does contains molecules that can naturally repel mosquitoes. The strong odor given by citronella is abhorrent to insects. You can then choose plants that discharge a strong lemon odor to keep these pests away from you. You don’t have to grow citronella, depending on where you live (as they can be hard to grow in some climate) lemon and lime trees will do the same.
Some other useful plants to repel mosquitoes
There are many plants with smelly leaves or that give off a lemon perfume that keep mosquitoes away or at least at a safe distance from us: lemon thyme, bee balm plant, basil (but not the one used for cooking – you want a small leaf basil), rose scented geraniums (Pelargonium graveolens), verbena citrus… Besides these flowering plants you will also find that tomato plants do a great job of keeping mosquitoes at bay and they provide delicious additions to your salads.
If you have a window box or a window sill you can put any of the plants around the windows. They will keep mosquitoes away from your windows and if, like me, you enjoy fresh air in late spring or early fall you will be able to open windows and take full advantage of the weather. The plants will keep mosquitoes from entering your house and you will not wake up with painful mosquito bites.
This is also valid for a balcony or a patio adjacent to your house. However this green border might make your patio space look a little smaller, but there is something very attractive to these plants with colorful blooms and leaves.
|What to avoid…
I will take advantage of this post to also indicate what does not work to repel mosquitoes.
UV lamps and other ultrasonic devices have very little effect on mosquitoes.
Some people prefer to use products with DEET and while they do work, I caution against the use of such products because they are dangerous. They can irritate skin and eyes, and occasion neurological problems in some people. They are particularly dangerous for small children.
Keep blooms under control
Basil, verbena citrus and bee balm bloom in season. But the production of flowers is detrimental to the production of leaves. But clipping the tip of the stems regularly, you will encourage ramification and the growth of new leaves.
The most sun these plants receive during the day, the stronger is the aroma they give off. This is also promoted by watering later in the evening.
If you are using other mosquito repelling plants please share your experience with me and my readers.
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