Nobody likes the annoying buzzing around their plate while trying to eat dinner on the deck or those pesky mosquitos waiting to give you itchy bites. But we can’t stay indoors all season long, the summer is meant to be enjoyed after all, to get together with family and friends. Luckily, to aid in naturally keeping insects at bay this summer, we’ve got the help of plants! Plant a few of these in pots on the deck, balcony, or around the garden to keep unwanted guests away.
Highly tolerant of summer weather, citronella is a popular ingredient in most mosquito repellents, but where it has the upper hand is that the plant is completely natural whereas most store bought repellents come laden with toxic chemicals. Carrying a very pleasant aroma, the citronella plant helps to naturally repel mosquitos and can easily be planted in pots if you have no space in the garden.
Your feline friends might think you’re doing it all for them when you plant catnip, but little do they know that catnip plants have the added benefit of being a great natural insect repellent. Did you know that in one study, reported at the 222nd national meeting of the American Chemical Society, it was shown that catnip is actually 10 times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes? That’s impressive especially when you consider that DEET is a toxic chemical used in most mosquito repellents.
Basil, a deliciously pungent herb is a favourite amongst both professional and home cooks all over the world, but did you know you can also use it as a natural mosquito repellent? In fact, the Malaria Journal published a review in 2011 that showed that basil oil provided great levels of protection against mosquitos… in some cases 100 percent!
Most of us know that lavender is great for calming and relaxation, not to mention it’s great for getting rid of sinus headaches that may pop up this time of year, but lavender also helps to keep unwanted critters from spoiling your dinner outside. While very pleasant to us, the scent of lavender is actually a turn off to mosquitoes and works great at repelling them. Keep a pot or two of lavender near doors and windows to not only keep your home smelling great, but also to deter those flying pests from entering.
For higher protection, just grab a few leaves of the above mentioned plants and rub onto exposed areas of your body… just do a patch test to make sure you’re not sensitive to any plant. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t do this of course if you’re allergic to any one of these plants. If you’d rather reap the same benefits without having to do a bit of gardening this summer, you can use the essential oils from these plants in your diffuser to see the same results. We’ll link them below for you.
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