Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Plants that Keep Mosquitoes Away

Marigolds: bright orange or yellow blooms that deter mosquitoes. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
In a hot, tropical country, mosquitoes make the most common pest. They're a nuisance, at best; a carrier of diseases, at worst. Keep them away by growing these aromatic plants in your home.


Lemongrass
Its leaves and stems are turned into a popular essential oil: citronella. Citronella is used in many insect repellents. But the plant itself, with its fragrance, can keep mosquitoes from your home. Grow it in the ground or in a pot indoors.

Catnip
Cats love it; mosquitoes hate its smell. In 2010, a study by entomologists at the Iowa State University noted that catnip, an herb, is up to 10 times more effective than DEET, the toxic substance that many commercial repellents contain.

Basil
Another herb: basil, with its sharp, peppery, minty aroma, acts as a deterrent to mosquitoes. And it goes well with tomatoes in any dish, too.

Marigolds
These bright, vivid flowers are functional as well as decorative. Marigolds contain Pyrethrum, a compound popularly used in repellents. Plant these flowers in your lawn or in pots; use rich, fertile soil and place under direct sunlight.

Lavender
Another plant that's popular for the beauty of its bloom, lavender has a soothing, calming aroma that can keep mosquitoes away. Lavender can also be used to make tea, or essential oil, the fumes of which can be used as a mosquito-repelling air freshener inside the home.

Rosemary
Yet another pretty, flowering plant, rosemary is oft-used as an herb to garnish lamb and fish dishes with. It's easy to grow in a container, too. Mosquitoes detest its woodsy scent, so keep some rosemary close and handy -- not only for dinner, but to keep these pests away.


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