Plants can keep mosquitos at bay

Plants can keep mosquitos at bay

Well … most everyone has them but no one likes them. Mosquitoes have been around forever, and will probably be here for a while longer. What can you do to cut down on your mosquito population? In addition to tips to keep areas dry, certain plants can be added to our yard that those pesky mosquitoes don’t like. They don’t like them at all.

Look for and empty any standing containers of water. Don’t forget to look for hidden water areas like old tires, old buckets and wheelbarrows. You can add a few teaspoons of vinegar to watery areas to attack existing mosquitoes. Clean out rain gutters. Keep grass mowed and overgrown areas clipped.

Basil is available in several different colors and types. It is wonderful in your pasta dish, but it is also a mosquito repellant. Several planters of basil on your patio would be decorative, and you can clip those big anti-mosquito leaves to use in the kitchen. Add scented geraniums to the pot as it repels mosquitoes, too.

Lemongrass is cheap and another great deterrent for mosquitoes. It is a good-looking plant and in addition to keeping away these pesky bugs, it can be used to make tea and flavor lots of dishes. Horsemint, neem and lemon balm will also be effective in keeping the mosquitoes away.

Citronella is available in a candle form from your local discount store. The citronella or “mosquito plants” are also available at good nurseries, if you look around. Why not use this natural deterrent instead of a spray or candle? Tansies are a type of “mum” that will spread beautifully around your patio or backyard. Ageratum is another mosquito repellent plant. It generates coumarin, which is an offensive smell that will keep those pesky biters away.

Catnip isn’t just for cat toys. Catnip is considered to be more powerful at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Be sure to plant some in your patio area to keep these aggravating pests away. Marigolds have a smell that will chase away bugs. You can enjoy their blooms while they protect you. Garlic has been used to repel pests for years. It’s another plant that you can clip and use in the kitchen.

So go round up catnip, tansies, citronella, lemongrass, ageratum, neem, lemon balm, scented geraniums and basil to spread around your back yard. Whether you put them into pots, the ground or hanging baskets, they will make your place a little less welcoming to visiting mosquitoes.