Skeeter Be Ware

By Bonnie Grant | June 15, 2022
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by Bonnie Grant
June 15, 2022

Mosquitoes can really ruin an evening trying to enjoy fine weather. Their annoying buzzing is second only to the itchy bites that result from their feeding. Anything warm blooded is fair game but bare human skin seems to be an attractant. These blood eaters seal your wound with their saliva which causes an almost allergic reaction. Swollen, red, itchy bumps can keep you up at night scratching. So it is a must to have some sort of  mosquito repellent and pest management strategy in order to enjoy your evenings out. 

Mosquito Control

In the arid region in which I currently reside, we don’t get many mosquitoes. The insects like to be around water where their young are raised, and there isn’t a body of water for miles. But we do get them occasionally. We only use natural pest control on our property and sit on the patio with his and hers fly swatters. These suffice for most insects but I also rely on garden mosquito control made from herbs and flowers.

What I plant around the patio seems to help. We always have pots of geraniums, whose intense red flowers brighten the area. I like the scented varieties which smell a bit citrusy. The plant also contains geraniol, something else that mosquitoes don’t like. You just have to gently rub your hands over the leaves and then onto any exposed part of the body, and the skeeters will leave you alone. There is also lemon balm nearby, another plant with a citrus odor. Herbs seem to repel many pests. When I am in the garden, I often crush some basil, lavender, or rosemary leaves and smear them on my arms. 

I have also made a natural pest control spray. It contains crushed herbs and flower petals suspended in mineral oil. I warm the oil and let the plant material steep for a while, finally straining it and putting it in a spray bottle. Seems to work on mosquitoes and other pests like flies

Mosquito Repellent Plants

I use Bacillus thuringiensis on my fruit trees and ornamental plants as a mosquito garden control which also works on many other insect pests. It is a naturally occurring bacteria which is non-toxic to people and animals. The bacteria releases a toxin in the insects gut and causes the pest to stop eating. Eventually it will die. 

I am trying to grow catnip plants so they are large enough to put outdoors and eventually establish a stand. This has been a challenge with all our felines, but the plants are doing well. I recently read that catnip oil is extremely hateful to mosquitoes, so will add this to my arsenal as soon as the plants are vigorous and spreading. 

For the most part we have little trouble with skeeters, but it is helpful to keep any standing water off the property. The herbs and flowers help, as does wearing long sleeves in the evening. And if they are a real problem, I can just bring out my bug spray, which smells lovely to me, but the mosquitoes aren’t happy with the scent. 

Note: Scented geraniums and other plants containing citronella can be harmful to pets.

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