Sitting outside in the evening can be so refreshing, until the mosquitoes find you, then the sound of slapping and cursing can often be heard in the cool night air. Is there anything we can do to naturally to repel them? It has been reported than the pioneers used to rub skunk urine on themselves or wear spruce boughs around their necks. Besides spraying down, here at Dunvegan we have a couple other options.
The first thing to do is to prevent any water from sitting around your yard, mosquito larva is found in water. Getting rid of any standing water is the first prevention to mosquito control. Treating those standing pools, like a pond with lavicide is the next option. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) – a naturally occurring bacteria is used as a larvicide in ponds and other areas where mosquitoes are breeding. The larvae die when they feed on it in the water. It is not harmful to animals, birds and most other insects.
Having flowers, shrubs and trees that attract birds is another excellent way to control mosquitos because some birds eat mosquitoes. Purple Martins, Barn Swallows, Robins, Chickadees and Woodpeckers like to feast on these annoying pests. We have a wide selection of trees and shrubs ready to plant to attract our feathered friends.
Dragonflies eat their fair share of mosquitoes often up to 100 per day, the plant Black-eyed Susans can help attract dragonflies. Dragonflies like to sun themselves often perching on flat rocks or long stemmed plants. Dragonflies are harmless to humans. The best way to attract Dragonflies is with a small pond and submergible plants (Dunvegan sells pond and submergible plants) that attract them to lay their larvae in. There are even some towns in the states that release Dragonfly nymph (early stage dragonflies) to help reduce mosquito populations.
Citronella, the oil found in Lemongrass, has been proven by the USDA to be a proven insect repellent. Plant some around your yard or you can buy Citronella in an oil form, candles, sprays – mosquitos do not like the lemony scent. Citronella geraniums are another option. You can plant them amongst your patio plants around you and surround your outdoor space with them. The best way to use them is to break off a leaf and rub the scent all over you. You will have to apply it every hour and it does take a toll on the plant, so have plenty around.
Catnip has a tendency to keep creepy crawly and flying insects away. While cats go crazy for this plant, spreading some leaves on an ant infested area can tell them they need to move on: or pour boiling water onto the nest, or you can use one of the many ant traps, sprays and powders we sell here at Dunvegan.
Marigolds – Lemon Gem: the lemony scent of the Marigold will deter mosquitoes.
Ageratum or Floss Flowers will bloom all summer, are heat resistant and produce a chemical which mosquitoes avoid.
Basil – produces an oil that kills mosquito eggs, mosquitoes avoid it – plant lots around your patio and use it in your recipes as well.
Lavender is sweet smelling to people but disgusting to mosquitoes, flies and moths.
Rosemary is a plant that flying insects avoid, be sure to use Rosemary inside your kitchen as well as it tastes amazing. At the end of the season you can dry some sprigs for use all winter long.
Did you know?
Petunias – repel squash bugs, beetles and aphids.
Get outside and play in some dirt, do not let those pesky critters deter you from the garden!