Tuesday, 25 December 2007

getting down and dirty in the bushes

Plants That Help To Repel Mosquitoes

There are some attractive garden plants that can help repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are nasty creatures that swarm around you and suck your blood. They cause itchy rashes and can carry disease.

The most common way of repelling mosquitoes involves spraying a large quantity of poisonous chemicals in your yard and on yourself. If you are interested in a more natural approach, consider these plants that repel mosquitoes.
Citronella Grass/Lemon Grass
Citronella grass is, of course, where companies get the citronella oil. This oil is put in candles and lanterns that can be burned in your yard to repel mosquitoes. Citronella grass is actually a tropical plant that grows to be six feet tall, so it might not be practical in the average suburban backyard.

Catnip is an herb that is most commonly used to stuff in toys or feed to cats for their enjoyment. However, the oil from this plant has actually been found to be more than ten times better at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Planting this plant near your patio will help repel mosquitoes.

Lemon Thyme
A herb containing 62 percent more citronella than the much publicised citronella geranium which mostly has just the scent without much citronella oil

This garden herb also has an oil that repels mosquitoes. They are attractive plants that both repel mosquitoes and can add interest to your cooking.

Marigolds have a particular smell that many insects and humans find objectionable. They are a good plant for repelling mosquitoes as well as insects that can attack vegetable plants and aphids. Marigolds are annuals with bright flowers that range from lemon yellow to dark oranges and reds.

Horsemint has a scent similar to citronella. Horsemint grows wild in most of the Eastern United States, from Mexico, Texas up to Minnesota to Vermont. It is partial to sandy soils. Native Americans used it as a treatment for colds and flu. It has natural fungicidal and bacterial retardant properties because it's essential oils are high

This charming little bedding plant contains coumarin, and mosquitoes detest the smell. It is used in the perfume industry and is even in some commercial mosquito repellants. Don't rub ageratum on your skin, though. It has some other less desirable elements that you don't want to keep on your skin in quantity. Ageratums are annuals, and they come in a muted blue and white that compliments most other plantings.

Mosquito Plants
There are two types of plants that are called mosquito plants. One is a member of the geranium family that was genetically engineered to incorporate the properties of citronella. Citronella only grows in tropical places, but it is a well known repellant for mosquitoes. This plant was created to bring the repellant properties of citronella into a hardier plant. It will grow where any geranium will thrive. Many have questioned its usefulness as a mosquito repellant, but it is attractive enough to warrant planting for it's ornamental value.
The other kind of mosquito plant is agastache cana. Its common names include Texas hummingbird mint, bubblegum mint, giant hyssop, or giant hummingbird mint. As you might guess, hummingbirds are quite attracted to it. It is a New Mexico native, also found in parts of Texas. It is, in fact, a member of the mint family and its leaves do have a pungent aroma when crushed. In its native habitat, it is perennial. The long, medium pink flowers attract butterflies and of course hummingbirds.

Planting these plants that repel mosquitoes is a great choice for your yard. Not only is it an "green" way of dealing with these pests, it will add beauty to your gardens, and will not jeopardize your health. These plants that repel mosquitoes are great choices.

other plants
There are a number of other plants reputed to repel mosquitoes, including basil, fennel, garlic, lemon ironwood, lavender, spearmint, cedar,juniper cinnamon,pennyroyal, southernwood and 'Mozzie Buster' pelargonium.

Mints, especially spearmint and pennyroyal, deter insects by masking the smell exuded by humans that mosquitoes are attracted to. Plant around the area, or make an oil to rub on the skin. Oil: place several handfuls of spearmint or pennyroyal into a jar, cover with olive, sunflower or safflower oil, sit on a windowsill for six to eight weeks, shake every now and then, then rub onto the skin.

Heres a useful link to mosquito repellant recipes

Other ways to combat the little perishers

1.Remove all standing water from your garden including bird baths and gutters/wheel barrows/forks in trees old tyres and pots

2.Collect up all dead and decaying leaves

3.Consider getting a bat box to attract insect eating creatures.Swifts and swallows,toads,frogs,dragonflies and even hens play their part in keeping the mosquito population down

4.Invest in a bug zapper that imitates the body heat given off by humans, especially useful in garages where mosquitos roost

5.Keep grass areas cut short


Monique said...

Wow, very helpful, thank you. Here in Oklahoma (US), we are eaten alive by them, especially w/ a pool in the backyard. I will save this and put the information to use.


stefan said...

Nice advice. Do you have any advice with the 'propane mosquito killers'?