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Forget the Spray a Few Plants Will Keep the Mosquitoes Away

Every time I go outside lately it’s seems one mosquito is sending out the alert to notify all surrounding mosquitoes that I am out or better yet “dinner is served”! I have so many bites its ridiculous and after talking to several friends, I’m not alone it seems we’ve all become a buffet for the little pests. So let’s put down the chemicals and start planting to keep the mosquitoes away.

mosquito bite
lolotahiti/flickr

TOP PLANTS THAT WILL KEEP THE MOSQUITOES AWAY:

  1. Citronella: Although the most common, one of the most effective. Stop lighting it in your candle, plant the plant. It’s a clumpy perennial grass that can get 5-6 feet tall. This is a great backyard potted or raised flower bed kind of plant.
  2. Horsemint: It keeps the mosquitoes away in the same manner as citronella. It is another perennial plant , this one is fast growing and will get to be 2-3 feet tall. Horsemint, also known as Bee Balm will attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
  3. Marigolds: A common flower that we have planted in borders for years is also a great mosquito repellent. Marigolds actually contain an ingredient found in most insect repellents called Pyrethrum.
  4. Flossflowers or Ageratum: These flowers put out a smell that is offensive to mosquitoes. And like the Marigolds contain agent usually found in commercial insect repellents. These low lying plants are perfect in a rock garden.
  5. Catnip: This has been said to be as effective as DEET, a potentially toxic ingredient in many insect repellents. The plant is a perennial herb related to mint.

Mosquitoes don’t actually bite and the female is the only one that “attacks”. She is poking you with her very needle like mouthpart that allows her to drink fluids. Her saliva then gets into your system and your body says hey what’s up and sends a team, if you will to take care of it. In the end it is a combination of your body and her saliva that cause the swelling and then itching.

As of July 13th, there have been reports of both non-human and human cases West Nile Disease in Colorado.

Whatever you do protect yourself from these pesky pests this summer.

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