Sometimes the backyard never feels safe no matter how much bug spray you apply before you venture out to bbq, have a picnic with the kids or play catch. Mosquitoes this year seem to be extra relentless and many Albertans are just trying to soak up the sunshine after being cooped up inside. However, it’s not too late to add a few plants to our yards and homes to help deter mosquitoes! Here’s a few easy ones you can still plant this year!
This tough little, drought-resistant plant deters insects and critters alike because of the strong essential oil that the flower secretes. Lavender has such a strong scent; it’s been argued that it can cancel out a mosquito’s sense of smell! These hardy flowering plants prefer full sun and good drainage and can grow almost anywhere, though it prefers a warmer climate.
Tasty in stew and also a natural mosquito repellent because of its strong aroma, you can grow basil in your home or garden! Basil will thrive anywhere and you can keep it nice and damp with good drainage and lots of sunshine.
Easily the most common scent you’ll find in mosquito repellent products, citronella grass will definitely encourage mosquitoes to stay off the property. Best kept in large planters, unless you live in a hotter climate in which case you can incorporate directly into your garden, citronella is a relatively low maintenance plant. Be sure to purchase one of the true varieties, Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus, as these will give the best results!
Marigolds are extremely popular because of their bright, beautiful colours, but also because they’re a pungent bug repellent! Marigolds contain alpha-terthienyl, which has been proven to deter insects such as mosquitoes, tomato hornworms, thrips, whiteflies and aphids.
Your cat will thank you for this one! Catnip is from the mint family, and while cats sure enjoy the smell of this plant, mosquitoes definitely don’t. Considered by some experts to be more powerful than DEET, catnip is easy to grow and can take over a garden if you’re not careful!
Deterring mosquitoes from your yard and home doesn’t have to be difficult with the help of some bug-repelling plants! Many local stores are still selling pots of lavender and other herbs if you prefer not to grow from seed. We at One Man and a Lady Bug hope you have a mostly mosquito-free July, but if not you know who to call! Reach us at 403-262-1666!