Unexpected party guests showing up in your backyard? Warmer weather means it’s time to fire up the grill and invite friends and family over to enjoy each other’s company and the ambiance of your beautiful backyard! Spring flowers and warmer temperatures create the perfect environment for enjoying evenings outside around a fire pit or a chimenea, but unwanted buzzing pests can make anyone want to retreat indoors.
Although springtime welcomes beautiful sights and smells, it can also bring about some not so welcome blood-sucking pests that threaten your’s and your guest’s backyard fun and potentially everyone’s health as well. Here a few planting suggestions to help you safely, and naturally repel those pesky mosquitos and add to the beautiful landscape of your yard.
Marigolds not only make for a fun pop of color, but they also contain pyrethrum, a compound used in most insect repellents. Pick up a few decorative pots and place marigolds near the entrances to your home, as well as any common mosquito entry points such as open doors and windows to deter the insects from going further.
We’ve all come across chemical laden citronella scented candles used to repel mosquitos, but nothing quite beats the organic version of this popular plant. Not only can this plant grow 5-6 feet tall creating excellent garden aesthetics, but these plants can also take full sun, and can be relatively tolerant of summer heat.
Containing a chemical known as nepetalactone, catnip not only serves as an attraction for feline friends, but it is also known to be a powerful mosquito repellent up to ten times as strong as DEET. If you aren’t fond of felines, this may not be the plant for you, but if you are, you should expect your furry friends to lay and roll wherever you choose to plant it.
Lavender is known for it’s calming, and relaxation properties as well as a soothing scent, but it can also provide relief from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes don’t find the smell as pleasing as we do so planting lavender in your flowerbeds along walking paths, or near your seating areas is ideal for saving your guests from painful bites.
Basil emits a herbaceous and robust aroma that contains essential oils that safely deter mosquitos without even having to crush leaves, plus you can use it in a wide range of dishes or other purposes.
6.) Lemon balm
This drought resistant, self-seeding plant is part of the mint family and has an incredibly inviting scent of lemon with a twist of mint. This lovely summer scent serves as an open invitation for pollinators such as butterflies, and bees. For a quick mosquito repellant just crush a handful of leaves and rub onto exposed areas of skin. For best results, make sure to pot this plant in a separate space as it is an invasive plant species that can reproduce rather quickly.
Acting as a natural insecticide, peppermint’s clean, fresh scent is far more pleasant than a horrid chemical smell. Whether you’re making mojitos or killing mosquitoes, this dynamic plant can be activated by merely crushing a few leaves between your fingers releasing essential oils onto your skin to keep mosquitoes away or make a mean cocktail for guests!
Most commonly used for delicious dishes, rosemary can serve up more than great food, and it’s a full sun plant as well which means it can thrive in the Texas sun. Toss a few sprigs of rosemary into your fire pit or chiminea and keep your guest’s pest free all night.
Synonymous with vanquishing vampires, garlic (if eaten in mass quantities) can actually make your blood less desirable to bloodthirsty mosquitoes. If you aren’t such a fan of eating tons of garlic, planting it in your flower beds will do the trick as well.
Related to the mint family, crushing these powerful purple flowers and stems can activate mosquito repelling scents that offend those tiny offenders keeping them at bay.