Insect Repelling Plants

5/6/2021

Plants that can repel Insects As we look forward to summer and being on your deck and patio, cookouts and enjoying your garden. Then you remember the challenge of being pestered by mosquitoes and insects. Is there an option that does not include insect sprays and lotions that make you feel greasy? Yes, there may be some options in your garden or in plants on your deck. There are some plants that can help create an environment where insects cannot find you as easily. The secrete is choosing plants that have a scent that masks our carbon dioxide and perspiration so the insects cannot find us easily. Now there are many plants that are labeled as Insect-repelling but its more accurate to describe the action as disguising us from the insects. For instance, Lemon Grass, Lemon Thyme, or Lemon Balm or plants that have a strong citrus scent. Note Lemon Grass is a tropical zone plant so it will need shelter in the winter. Lemon Balm is in the Mint family so it will spread rapidly and may need to be contained.   Lavender has a strong scent and can be used fresh or dried as an insect deterrent, Garlic is also effective much as lavender.     Herbs such as

Rosemary

and Basil help to prevent flies and mosquitoes. If you are grilling or after you have finished throw a few sprigs of rosemary on the grill and the aromatic smoke will help drive the mosquitoes away. Continuing with Herbs consider Peppermint it exudes a strong fragrance that ants and mosquitoes find distasteful. Peppermint will grow rapidly so a pot is great to help contain it.   Plants that are Catmints which include catnip have been found to be even more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes and ants.  (caution they do attract cats) Finally in my list of recommendations is Marigolds. They have been a long-time gardener’s friend for repelling nematodes, but they also are effective with mosquitoes. I think a deck or patio is so beautiful with colorful and green plants around so we can enjoy the space without greasy sprays and lotions without becoming lunch for our insect neighbors.