BOISE, Idaho — Summer is almost here, and you’ll want to spend more time in your backyards and gardens.
Unfortunately, so will errors. And due to viruses like Zika and West Nile, mosquitoes are a big concern.
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You can plant herbs and flowers that repel these insects, including mosquitoes, and add a touch of beauty to your backyard.
a sure sign of summer is insects.
Some bugs eat your fruits and vegetables, while others, like flies and mosquitoes, eat your patience. Some plants have strong odors that insects don’t like, making them good insect repellants.
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At the same time, they make attractive additions to home landscapes. Here are nine favorite plants that bother bugs:
1. Marigolds. These flowers make colorful additions to landscaping, but they have a distinctive scent that repels mosquitoes and other garden pests, including squash bugs and tomato hornworms. Marigolds contain a natural compound that is used in many insect repellents.
plant a few marigolds in the garden amongst your pumpkins, melons and tomatoes or near open doors and windows where mosquitoes might be tempted to enter.
2. lavender. the only insects you see around lavender are bees. they love flowers, but other insects stay away.
Lavender has a pleasant scent that comes from essential oils in the plant’s leaves, but insects hate it. hang some dried lavender in your closet and you won’t have to worry about moths eating your clothes.
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The grass is perennial and drought resistant once established, a plus for areas that are watching their water use.
3. Lemongrass. Lemongrass can grow up to 4 feet tall, but the best thing about this decorative grass is that it contains citronella, a common natural ingredient in many mosquito repellents.
You’ve probably heard of citronella candles and torches. the plant itself is even better at deterring mosquitoes because it has a stronger scent.
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Lemongrass tolerates heat and drought, but not frost. therefore, in most areas, it is best planted in a pot that can be moved indoors in winter.
4. garlic. This herb has long been considered a deterrent to bloodsucking vampires and werewolves, but it actually deters bloodsucking mosquitoes.
planting garlic around the garden will also protect other insects and crawlers. Garlic extract sprayed in your garden is harmless to plants, but insects don’t like that garlic smell.
5. rosemary. Although you may want to plant an herb garden for cooking, rosemary repels flies and mosquitoes.
It also has a pungent odor that repels other insects, including cabbage moths. It does well in hot, dry climates and thrives in containers, so you can place it in various places around the garden.
6. basil. This herb also tastes great in your favorite dishes, but it also works as an insect repellant.
The strong smell of basil keeps mosquitoes away. And if you put a potted basil plant near your picnic table, you won’t have to worry as much about flies, either.
7. Catnip. Many cats love catnip, but mosquitoes won’t go near it.
In fact, some studies show that catnip is 10 times more effective than deet, the chemical formally known as n,n-diethyl-meta-toluamide and found in most commercial insect repellents.
roll up a few leaves of catnip and rub them on the skin. the bugs won’t bother you, but the neighbor’s cat will.
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Catnip grows almost anywhere and will spread throughout your garden. so it is better to grow it in pots.
8. petunias. These annuals add a bright splash of color to any landscape, but the funnel-shaped flowers also have a licorice scent that repels many insect pests, including aphids, tomato hornworms, and squash bugs .
But keep an eye on these flowers because other creeping garden pests are attracted to petunias, including slugs and caterpillars.
9. mint. Who doesn’t like the taste of mint?
It’s a beautiful plant that smells and tastes great to people, but ants and mice absolutely hate it. it can spread quickly in the garden and is difficult to remove, so you may want to keep it in a pot.
Place a few mint containers around your patio or in your garden, and it’ll keep other bugs away, including mosquitoes.
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These are just a few of the many plants that insects find distasteful. surrounding yourself and your yard with a few of them will also keep the bugs away from you.
Some of the plants are perennials, which will return from year to year, while others need to be replanted annually. You can find all of these plants at most nurseries and garden centers.
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