Flowers and Bugs Do you attract insects? If not, you probably know someone that is. Insect magnets attract annoying insects the second they walk outdoors — or so it seems.
If this describes you, take comfort in knowing that one of the ways you can fight back against mosquitoes, gnats, flies, no-see-ums and other pesky bugs doesn’t have to involve covering yourself with a sticky spray or engaging in chemical warfare. To help you enjoy going outdoors, try strategically placing insect-repelling plants in your garden or on your patio.
Essential oils in these plants act as nature’s bug repellent. Insects tend to avoid them. You can even use some of these plants to make your own natural bug repellent.
But know that simply including insect-repelling plants in your landscape will not in itself ensure your garden is insect free.
“There’s not enough research in this area to support that,” says Dr. Bodie Pennisi, an associate professor and extension landscape specialist at the University of Georgia’s Griffin campus. “The concentration of oils is not there to offer that kind of protection.”
There may be fewer insects, but no one’s done the research into how many plants, planted how close together, would be effective in repelling insects to any great extent, says Pennisi. One of the best things people can do to hold down mosquito populations, she advises, is to eliminate any standing water, which is where mosquitoes breed.
For those who would like to give the natural route a try, we’ve described six easy-to-find herbs readily available at most nurseries that are said to repel mosquitoes and other annoying insects. The smell from fragrant herbs is the result of the distribution of tiny globules that contain oils. High temperatures, for example, can cause the globules to become volatile, evaporating the essential oils and turning them into vapors, Pennisi says. The many globules on the underside of rosemary leaves are one of the best examples of this, these herbs are Basil, Lavender, Lemongrass, Lemon Thyme, Mint, and Rosemary.
We’ve included five ornamental flowers that can help keep plant-attacking insects at bay. Keeping your growing areas as insect free as possible will help your vegetable garden stay productive and your ornamental beds attractive. These ornamental flowers are Alliums, Chrysanthemums, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, and Petunias.
We at Southern Pest Control hope that this information was helpful to you. Please remember that we are here to help you rid your home and offices of any unwanted pests. We have been in business over 35 years serving the Gulf Coast Area. Please visit our website at www.southernpestcontrol.biz to meet our team of professionals and all the services we offer.
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