‘Skeeters can bring your outdoor fun to a screeching halt this time of year, and smelly, sticky sprays can be an effective – but unpleasant and chemically laden – way to keep them at a distance. Why not use some selections from our extensive Herb Department to repel mosquitoes naturally and beautify your surroundings at the same time? Come browse today and let us introduce you to these great (and affordable!) plants that will help keep those summer bites to a minimum.
*Lemon Balm. A member of the mint family, this fresh scented plant repels mosquitoes with its fragrance. Plant it in containers, since it will take over your garden if given the chance! Keep it near where you like to sit or gather the clan and mosquitoes will keep their distance. For extra protection, pinch off a leaf or two and crush them with your fingers, then rub them on exposed skin! Lemon balm can be grown in both sunny and in partially shaded areas.
*Catnip. Studies of catnip suggest that it may be even more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET – the toxic ingredient in many spray repellents. It can be used in the same manner as lemon balm – crush the leaves and rub them on exposed skin. If you have cats, though, you might want wash it off when you come inside. Otherwise you may find it impossible to pry kitty off of you!
*Peppermint. Here again the key deterrent is the scent. Mosquitoes hate the scent of peppermint, whereas it is pleasant to most people. So plant it alongside your lemon balm, perhaps in smallish containers scattered around your deck or patio. Use the crush-and-rub method here as well.
*Lavender. What a delightful plant! It’s beautiful, easy to grow in sunny spots, and has a heavenly scent. Larger containers brimming with lavender and placed around outdoor sitting areas are a treat for humans and a natural deterrent for mosquitoes!
*SIDE NOTE: Standing water is a welcome mat for mosquitoes. They will gather there and breed, creating a dangerous nuisance. Try to keep standing water from collecting around the house to keep the breeding grounds to a minimum. So that the birds can still enjoy their bathing privileges in your landscape, add to your birdbaths one of our battery-powered Water Wigglers. For only $37.99, they keep mosquitoes from breeding and attract birds as well – we even have a solar-powered option available here at Evergreen of Johnson City! Or try Mosquito Dunks in areas such as rain barrels and other small standing water areas.