Although they play one of the most significant ecological functions in the natural world, mosquito, gnat, fly, and no-see-um bites may be quite bothersome. Many people cover themselves with chemical insect repellent (DEET, one of the biggest culprits, is neurotoxic and has been found in groundwater) to avoid unpleasant and itchy punctures. What they do not understand is that they may use plants to repel bugs, at least to some extent. Container gardens are a great way for people without a large yard to use plants on their patios or balconies.
You will learn about a variety of plants in this post that you may use to reduce the number of pests in your garden. Plus, the majority of them may be used to create your own homemade natural mosquito repellent. Certain insects can be avoided from biting and lingering around while you are in the garden by simply crushing the leaves in your hands and applying the oils to your skin. This will help a little, but it might not be as effective as traditional repellent solutions.
How Do Plants Repel Insects?
Some plants and flowers have an insect-repelling scent due to the release of microscopic globules containing essential oils. The globules may become volatile at high temperatures, which will cause the essential oils to evaporate and become vapors. One of the greatest illustrations of this is the many globules found on the underside of rosemary leaves.
For a very long time, plants have also been applied to skin and clothes in oil formulations or used as “crude fumigants”. plant repellents’ effectiveness, “Man has used plant material’s repellency for thousands of years, most simply by hanging bruised plants in buildings, a practice that is still widely used throughout the developing countries.”
Tip: Rather than discarding your birdbath, think about installing an agitator or aerator, which will allow you to leave vital water out for species that require it but will also disturb the calm that mosquitoes require to reproduce.
Basil is a highly powerful herb against the flea beetle, as well as the non-insect cabbage webworm. Additionally, it has four volatile substances—nerolidol, citronellal, limonene, and estragole—that may discourage insects. It works well even without crushing; it has a strong scent.
Additionally, fresh basil may be used to create an insect-repellent spray. In a basic preparation, four ounces of boiling water should be added to a jar containing four to six ounces of fresh basil leaves with stems still attached. Take the leaves out and push all of the moisture into the liquid after letting them soak for a few hours. Then thoroughly combine the water spiked with basil with four ounces of vodka. Keep refrigerated and use as a spray before venturing outside, being careful not to get any in your mouth, nose, or eyes.
The scent of lavender usually attracts humans, but it does not attract flies, mosquitoes, or other unpleasant creatures. To help keep flies out of your house, place tied flowers throughout. To help keep these places pest-free, plant them near your home’s entranceways or in sunny sections of the yard. Additionally, you may use the blossom oil as a natural deterrent against mosquitoes. Lavender oil also has a relaxing effect and enriches the skin.
Citronella is a common ingredient in traditional insect repellents, which are typically found in candles. The decorative lemongrass plant, which can reach heights of four feet and widths of three feet in a single growing season, contains this natural oil. This plant is 100% efficient in repelling Anopheles culicifacies, a mosquito species that carries malaria, and is also extremely effective against other mosquito species.
It is important to remember that lemongrass is the collective term for a group of plants in the Cymbopogon family, which also includes citronella grass. This grass, which has a wide range of culinary applications, is hardy only in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 10 (South Florida), growing as an annual elsewhere. It thrives in a sunny, well-draining spot in the ground or a container.
The plant is 62% more repellent than DEET. You have to first bruise the leaves for the citronellal to release. To achieve this, simply slice off a few stems and rub them between your palms. Additionally, burning several sprigs over a bonfire or BBQ will temporarily deter insects.
As long as the plant is in a sunny spot, it may grow in your herb garden, rock garden, or front border. It can also tolerate dry, rocky, shallow soil.
For people who are allergic to plants in the mint family, including sage, lavender, and oregano, thyme oil may irritate their skin. To make sure there are no adverse effects, test your tolerance by applying crushed leaves to a small area of your forearm for a few days before using it as an insect repellent. Additionally, thyme oil should not be consumed when pregnant.
The oils from rosemary are as wonderful to home chefs as they are repulsive to a lot of insects. Both the plant and its cuttings work well as repellents. One quart of dried rosemary and one quart of water can be boiled for 20 to 30 minutes to generate a basic spray. The liquid should then be strained into a container with one quart of lukewarm water. When the homemade repellant stops smelling like rosemary, store it in the refrigerator and throw it out. To keep mosquitoes away from the area, you may also throw some sprigs into the grill.
There are several ways to use rosemary. Plants can be cultivated in herb gardens, planted in manicured beds (where some species can grow rather large), or grown in pots on a patio and molded into decorative pyramids.
In conclusion, using pest-resistant plants in your landscaping can help you maintain a hassle-free yard. The top five plants in this article act as both natural barriers against common garden pests and aesthetic enhancements for your outdoor area. By selecting these hardy cultivars, gardeners may have a flourishing, low-maintenance garden that requires fewer pesticides, assuring a more sustainable and ecologically responsible method of gardening. A quick and easy way to create a healthier and more pleasurable outdoor space is to embrace these pest-resistant plants.