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The days are getting longer, and the weather is perfect for enjoying the many outdoor activities we can do in Houston. We are prepping our grill and inviting friends and family over to root for our World Champion Houston Astros baseball team. Getting together outdoors with our friends and family is something we love to do in Houston!
What about the bugs? No doubt they are annoying and can ruin a perfectly good time. We can use bug sprays to get rid of them. Some work, but using commercial bug sprays also means that we are bathing in chemicals with names we can’t pronounce. There is a natural solution to keep bugs away - plants can repel insects!
Your Yard Needs these Plants to Repel Insects
These essential plants provide an organic way to repel insects! Another great thing about these insect-repelling plants – we can use the herbs in our kitchen!
Lavender. A bouquet of beautiful lavenders can help repel insects, and their delicious aroma can also help mellow you out. This same scent that chills us out and gives our laundry that fresh scent is repulsive to flies, moths, and mosquitoes. The essential oils from this plant provide one of the best ways to keep those annoying insects at bay. Plant them in a sunny spot in your garden or keep a few bouquets nearby and enjoy your yard without having to deal with pests. Lavender oil works great to repel insects!
Basil. For many people in Houston, mosquitoes are number one on the annoying insect list, and getting rid of them can be a challenge. The almighty basil herb works wonders. Mosquitoes hate the scent of basil! Basil is easy to grow, and you do not have to crush the leaves to reap the benefits. Plus, the essential oil in basil can kill mosquito eggs. We like to plant basil by our house doors, windowsills, and on decks and patios. Beside repelling mosquitoes, basil can also keep nasty houseflies away.
Marigolds. We can spot these beautiful decorative flowers throughout Houston rewarding yards with their vibrant colors. The scent of marigolds can repel aphids and mosquitoes, too. Plant marigolds in a sunny location, and in any place where you spend a lot of time outdoors. Keep mosquitoes from entering your home by planting them near doors and windows, or on a sunny balcony or deck.
Peppermint. Peppermint oil can repel unwanted insects, such as spiders, mosquitoes, and ants. Mint can multiply in the ground. However, we like to grow them in pots, too. Create a homemade mosquito repellent using a combo of cheap vodka and apple cider vinegar! You can also keep mosquitoes away by placing mint pots around a patio and garden.
Rosemary. We can grow rosemary indoors or out. Besides being a staple ingredient in the kitchen, there are other uses of rosemary - it can keep fleas and ticks away. A repellent is simple to prepare. To prepare, boil about a kilogram of dried rosemary in one liter of water for about half an hour. Strain the liquid into a liter of cold water, then, use a spray bottle and spray those pesky mosquitoes away.
Camphor. There are many benefits of camphor and repelling mosquitoes is one of them. Camphor works much like citronella oil – the smell of the leaves overwhelms and confuses mosquitoes, preventing them from biting you. Confuse mosquitoes and you can keep them from feasting on your blood!
Eucalyptus. The essential oil extracted from eucalyptus leaves are very effective against sand flies. Eucalyptus oil can also kill pests such as mites, aphids, earwigs, and whiteflies. Luckily, we can easily create a repellent spray. To make this spray and kill them on contact, we combine eucalyptus oil with half a teaspoon of liquid dish soap and two cups of water.
Tips to Repel Insects
We can do some other things to repel insects, too. Below are some simple tips anyone can use.
- Remove stagnant water. Puddles may attract children to puddle jump. Stagnant water is also a breeding ground for insects. Besides puddles, we will also want to empty out any buckets.
- Cover-up open food containers. It's always nice to eat under a nice shade tree. Insects love human food, so it is a good idea to keep any food covered when eating outdoors.
- Cover trash and recycling bins. Insects love trash bins. Keep them covered and far from where you are outside.
- Repel ants. Ants love picnics. Rather than feeding an entire army of ants, we can use cucumber slices and chalk to keep them at bay.
- Citronella oil can be used as a natural insect deterrent. We can use Citronella diffusers and make them using essential oils and beeswax. Citronella candles work great, too!