One of the unfortunate realities of a balmy summer night is mosquitoes. Their buzzing and biting can ruin a great barbeque and you may not want to or may be unable to wear the store bought chemical laden aerosol that promises to ward them off. There are some plants you can set out and several things you can do to cut down on their numbers and keep your skin clear of their big read welts.
The most popular and well known plant for deterring mosquitoes, Citronella belongs to the geranium family. Contrary to common belief the plant itself does not deter mosquitoes but when the leaves are crushed and oil released they are most effective and when rubbed on the skin they provide a gentle and mild deterrent.
Basil, Lemongrass, Lemon Balm,Rosemary, and Catnip are reported to be an effective repellent. They are also all fantastic container plants so they can be moved easily to wherever you are. Set big pots out on the table and all around your patio area. Not only are they effective they are pretty, and delicious, their strong scents that we love are what make them so unappealing to mosquitoes.
Many know that planting marigolds in a vegetable garden will help avoid pests, but the plant is also good at detracting mosquitoes from surrounding areas.
Pretty and heavily scented Geraniums are one of the main ingredients in over the counter sprays. Plant throughout your garden and in pots around your porch.
The strong smell of this tasty cooking ingredient deters buzzing pests. As a bonus you have the benefit of fresh garlic in your garden.
Consider installing a bat house or two, bats eat mosquito’s and can significantly cut down their population numbers. Call your co-operative extension office, sometimes they sell them for a very reasonable price.
The number one thing you can do to cut down on mosquito’s is to clean up a few areas on your yard. Mosquito’s love moisture, so make sure that you have no standing water- buckets near the shop, baby pools not in use but full of water, stopped up gutters, old tires etc. This is a breeding ground for mosquito’s and where they lay their eggs. If you have standing bodies of water like ponds that cannot be emptied you can pick up BT-Baccilus thuringiensis israelensis, it is a natural bacterium that kills the mosquito larvae but is nontoxic to people and fish. You can find it at home improvement stores in the garden department.
Another place ideal for mosquitoes is tall grass, bushes, and weed patches. These areas tend to also hold water and moisture making them a perfect hideout for them. Keep your grass cut short and all weeds and bushes trimmed well to make them feel unwelcome in your yard.