In sharing nature, humans, animals, insects, and plants all need to, and can, work together to create a more harmonious world to live in. As people, we need to understand that our decisions and actions impact the environment and quality of life for all living things around us.
Instead of using hazardous chemical filled sprays and lotions on our bodies or killing bugs by attacking them with deadly, toxic sprays, there are also alternatives such as planting insect repelling plants in the ground or in a patio container. Pest-repelling flowers work by exuding scents that predatory insects find distasteful. Make room in your garden for flowers which, while they may not directly repel insect pests, still have a role in fighting off predatory bugs. Some perennial flowers attract beneficial insects. Because insects tend to have different feeding requirements during the various stages of their development, a diversity of plant material is essential to attracting them.
You may find the oil of the rosemary shrub to smell and taste lovely, but insects would disagree. The woody scent of this herb keeps away mosquitoes, carrot flies, and cabbage moths from landing on it and anything near it, namely your exposed skin. Rosemary should be planted in well draining soil with regular watering only after the soil has thoroughly dried out. This shrub does great in full sun in hot climates but can also tolerate some shade and cold winters — it’s very resilient
This plant contains citronella and has a lemony scent that mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and ticks hate and cannot stand but smells relaxing to humans. It also offers flavor to cooking. Lemongrass is a tender perennial, meaning that it’s a plant that grows all year-round, and prefers full sun (at least six hours a day) and good draining soil. It is more of a warm climate plant, so it won’t tolerate freezing temperatures. Therefore, it is best to plant lemongrass in a moveable container if you live in an area where the temps can drop to freezing in the winter.
The pleasant fragrance of the lavender plant comes from essential oils found on its leaves which has been discovered to be displeasing to insects like mosquitoes and wild animals. Once a lavender plant is established, it becomes strong and drought resistant. Like lemongrass, lavender needs full sun, good drainage, and warm weather, and grows well in containers to be moved around to chase the sun in cooler climate areas. Keep this flowering perennial around throughout the year to create a bug-free zone.
Basil emits its aroma without crushing the leaves, so you can grow basil in pots and put them in your backyard to control mosquitoes. To keep the mosquitoes away from your body, rub a handful of crushed basil leaves on your skin. Any variety of basil can repel mosquitoes but it is advisable to use lemon basil cinnamon basil and Peruvian basil since they have the strongest fragrances.
Besides being an eccentric choice for cat lovers due to its ability to put our feline pets in a euphoric state, catnip has the ability to repel mosquitoes as a member of the mint family. Simply grow catnip near the backyard or patio of your house. Cats love the aroma of catnip put catnip leaves around your household for them to crush and eat, thereby releasing its fragrance to ward off mosquitoes. You can also crush fresh leaves then rub it all around your skin.
Don’t let irritating insects ruin outside enjoyment. Consider herbs as listed to naturally repel pesky insects throughout the year by having them nearby or rubbing the leaves on your skin as a truly natural bug “spray” in place of toxic manufactured concoctions. Your body and the environment will thank you!