With rainy weather comes stagnant waters and mosquitoes! Those pesky mosquitoes are not only annoying, they also carry diseases that could spread in your household. So it’s a good thing you can surround yourself with plants and flowers that could keep insects away.
Yes, flowers are not only good for your mental health, they can also double as insect repellents! So the next time you order a “Get Well Soon” bouquet from your favourite Online Florist, make sure you choose these insect repellent plants and flowers to keep harmful creatures at bay.
First off, your herbs are not just good for cooking flavourful dishes, they can also ward off bugs. The strong scent of basil repels bugs, so even without processing basil or crushing the leaves, you can already benefit from its insect-repelling properties.
If you want something more potent, a study in 2009 found that basil’s essential oil is toxic to mosquito larvae. So keep this herb handy to prevent mosquito infestation in your home!
This all-around useful flower has been used to repel all sorts of insects, from roaches, ticks, lice, fleas and mites. Chrysanthemum’s powerful insect-repelling property is pyrethrum. This ingredient can usually be found in various insecticides and pesticides.
However, pyrethrum can be carcinogenic, so you need to know the risks in case you want to make a homemade pest repellent. It’s best to keep chrysanthemums away from kids and pets as they could be toxic when ingested.
The beautiful, fluffy, purple floss flower is not as potent as chrysanthemums, though it does emit an aroma that is unpleasant to mosquitoes. But fortunately for us, as well as to other harmless insects, they are lovely and fragrant.
Another well-known useful flower is the lavender. Lavender’s strong scent repels moths, fleas, flies and mosquitoes. Try planting the lavandin variety, which has a high concentration of camphor, or keep dried bundles of lavender in drawers, on your dining table or around the kitchen.
You can even extract lavender oil to use as a topical insect repellent. Check out this DIY guide to making your homemade lavender essential oil. Not only are you safe from insect bites, it can also soothe and calm your senses to give you a nice, relaxing sleep.
Citronella, the ingredient you often see in insect repellent candles and sprays, is a natural oil found in lemongrass. Lemongrass can grow up to 4 feet tall and they’re very low maintenance, so you can easily plant them in your garden to repel insects. Even better, they’re great for adding fragrance and flavour in various soups, salads and dishes. Fragrant and yummy!
Various types of marigold repel aphids, mosquitoes and even rabbits. Farmers use the roots of marigolds to repel nematodes, which means you can opt to mix in or intersperse marigolds in your garden to help vegetables or other flowers to grow and benefit from their insect-repelling properties.
Like chrysanthemums, it’s the pyrethrum they contain that repels the insects.
Mint leaves not only deter mosquitoes away, mint essential oils can also treat bug bites. You can even add mint to your beverage to make it more refreshing. Pretty useful, right? So if you ever plan to have a little herb garden in your home, mint is a must have.
If you want to make a homemade mosquito repellent, you can extract mint oil then combine it with apple cider vinegar and vodka. Voila! Mosquito bites will be a thing of the past.
Nasturtium is a gardener’s best friend. It repels whiteflies, squash bugs, aphids, many beetles and cabbage loopers.
Nasturtium actually release an airborne chemical that wards off pesky bugs, especially the ones that tend to attack vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, collards, broccoli, cabbage and radishes.
Another garden-friendly flowers is the lovely petunia. It repels aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs. They not only help your vegetables become bug free, petunias can also make gardens look pretty with their bright and vibrant colours.
This herb is another one that’s ideal for vegetable gardens. You can also plant it anywhere, in pots, in your patio, or your landscaped lawn. Apart from its bug-repelling properties, rosemary’s oils are just as useful for cooking delicious meals.
For a simple insect repellent spray, follow these steps:
- Boil 1 quart of dried rosemary in a quart of water for 20 to 30 minutes and then straining the liquid into a container at least a half-gallon in size that contains a quart of cool water.
- Put a cap on the combined liquid and store it in the refrigerator.
- Add the repellent to small squirt bottles as needed when going outdoors.
- Discard the remaining repellent in the refrigerator when it no longer has a strong telltale smell of rosemary.