With warmer weather here and our love of entertaining outdoors, our open houses are an invitation for mosquitoes and other pesky bugs to congregate around us and our cooking areas.
- Still water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Check around your entertaining area and remove any still water you find. If you have a calming water feature nearby, consider adding goldfish – they will feast on any mosquito larvae.
- Keep food in fridges and air tight containers to reduce the attraction for mozzies to congregate
- Insect-repelling plants – there are many plants that repel flies and mosquitoes. Growing in pots, hanging baskets and gardens close to your social spaces can help fight the buzz and can be easily transported to other areas of your garden later.
Here’s our top mosquito repelling plants:
Basil: This essential summer culinary herb also repels both flies and mosquitoes.
Catnip: Oil from catnip has been found to be more than ten times as effective at repelling mosquitoes as DEET.
Lavender: A hardy perennial that can handle the hot sun and dry soil so is the perfect addition to your summer garden.
Marigolds: These brightly coloured summer annuals repel mosquitoes which is why they make such a good companion plant in the vegetable garden – particularly planted with basil, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes, squash and tomatoes.
Pelargoniums & scented Geraniums: Pelargonium ‘citrosa’ has a strong lemon scent so is widely regarded as the best variety.
Pennyroyal: Often found growing in lawns, this strong-scented mint deters both flies and mosquitoes.
Rosemary: Another essential summer herb that contains oil that repels mosquitoes. When cooking on the barbecue it’s a good idea to sprinkle fresh rosemary on to your meat, or place a whole stalk on the grill for the oil aroma to fill the air and keep those pesky biters away.
These plants work best as a repellent when the oils are released from the leaves. To release the mosquito-repelling scent, simply rub the herbs or petals between your fingers, or crush and rub on exposed areas of your skin like your arms and ankles.