The days are getting longer, and the weather is perfect for going on a hike on one of the many trails in Arizona. The Arizona Diamondbacks are getting into the swing of things. We are prepping up our grills, planning family get-togethers, and getting ready for fun times outdoors. What about the bugs?
Don’t let bugs ruin your fun. Sure, we can use bug sprays to get rid of them. Using commercial bug sprays can be annoying, and it also means that we are spraying our bodies with chemicals that can make us feel icky. We can keep bugs away naturally - plants can keep bugs away!
Your Yard Needs these Plants to Keep Bugs Away
We have the plants that offer an organic way to protect yourself and your family from insects this spring and summer. As a bonus – we can use the herbs in our kitchen. Go natural!
Rosemary. We can grow Rosemary both indoors and out. It is a great herb for the kitchen, and other uses of rosemary are its ability to keep fleas and ticks away. Preparing a natural repellent is simple. Here is what you do. To prepare, boil about a kilogram of dried rosemary in one liter of water for about half an hour. Once boiled, strain the liquid into a liter of cold water. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Then, spray those pesky mosquitoes away.
Lavender. Beautiful pale purple flowers are just a part of the attraction. A lavender bouquet can also help keep bugs away. Plus, their pleasing aroma can also help you relax. This same scent that helps us relax and makes our laundry smell lovely is also repulsive to flies, moths, and mosquitoes. The essential oils from this plant are one of the best ways to keep pesky bugs away. Plant them in a sunny spot in your garden or save a few bouquets nearby and enjoy the colorful scene without having to deal with pests. No doubt about it. We love to use lavender oil to repel insects!
Basil. In Arizona, mosquitoes are number one on the annoying bug list, and getting rid of them can feel like an uphill battle. This is where the almighty basil herb comes in. Mosquitoes cannot stand the scent of basil; they hate it! Basil is easy to grow, and you do not have to crush the leaves to reap the benefits. The oil in basil can kill mosquito eggs, too. We like to plant basil by our house doors and on windowsills. We also like to plant them on decks and patios. Beside repelling mosquitoes, basil can also keep houseflies away!
Marigolds. We can spot these beautiful decorative flowers rewarding yards throughout the Phoenix area with their vibrant colors. The scent of these plants can repel aphids and mosquitoes. We like to plant marigolds in a sunny location, and any place where you spend a lot of time outdoors. Plant them near doors and windows or on a sunny balcony or deck to keep mosquitoes from entering your home.
Peppermint. Repel unwanted bugs, such as spiders, mosquitoes, and ants with peppermint oil. Mint can quickly grow in the ground. However, we also like to grow them in pots. We can create a homemade mosquito repellent using a combo of cheap vodka and apple cider vinegar. We can also place mint pots around a patio and garden to keep mosquitoes away.
Camphor. Repelling mosquitoes is one of the many benefits of Camphor. Camphor works much like citronella oil – the smell of the leaves overwhelms and confuses mosquitoes, preventing them from biting you. Plant a Camphor tree and enjoy the sight and aroma!
Eucalyptus. The essential oil extracted from eucalyptus leaves can be very effective against sand flies. Eucalyptus oil can kill pests such as mites, aphids, earwigs, and whiteflies on contact. We can create a repellent spray by combining eucalyptus oil with half a teaspoon liquid dish soap and two cups of water.
Tips to Keep Bugs Away
Below are some simple tips anyone can use to keep bugs away.
- Get rid of stagnant water. Puddles are a breeding ground for bugs. Besides puddles, we will also want to empty out any buckets full of water.
- Keep food covered. Have a picnic outdoors, especially under a nice shade tree. Bugs love human food, so it is a good idea to keep any food covered when eating outdoors.
- Cover trash bins. Bugs love trash bins. Keep them covered and far from where you are outside.
- Keep ants away. Ants love picnics. Rather than feeding an entire army of ants, we can use cucumber slices and chalk.
- Citronella. Citronella oil can be used as a natural insect deterrent. We can use Citronella diffusers and make them using essential oils and beeswax, and we can also use Citronella candles.