Herbs and plants to help control your garden mosquitos

Posted on October 9th, 2012
Categories: News

With the warmer weather here to stay and our rains looming, we thought we’d share some natural tips to control your garden mosquitos.

Here is a list of plants and herbs that can be found in Kenya and can be planted in pots or your flower beds; in addition to removing areas of standing water as well as the over watering of pot plants; both good breeding areas.

They will add colour and gorgeous scents to your verandas and window sills.

1) Queen of the Night – Or Selenicereus grandiflorus – Needs to be planted in rich soil, and to receive sufficient moisture in summer. Performs best if grown in full sun.

2) Marigolds – To get the mosquito repelling properties that you are looking for from your marigolds they must be the African or French variety. The strong pungent aroma of these two types is what makes them so beneficial. The African marigold is the bigger of the two and can reach heights of 30 to 40 inches. They have blooms that are different shades of yellow and orange. All marigolds need lots of sun and do best in well drained moderately fertile soil but will grow just about anywhere.  Also known as Stink Weed in Kenya!

3) Basil – A member of the mint family this culinary herb is not only wonderful to cook with but it makes a decent repellent of mosquitoes and flies. Though not the best repellent, in large quantities it does fairly well. There are many varieties of basil to choose from and all should work about the same. Basil can be grown in pots or in a garden either way it prefers full sun in rich well draining soil.

4) Lemon Thyme – Now here is one of your best bets when it comes to plants that repel mosquitoes. In a study done by the University of Guelph in Ontario they found that the crusted leaves of lemon thyme (Thymus X citriodorus) had 62% of the repellency of DEET which is the most common compound used in commercial insect repellents. Lemon thyme is easy to grow all you need is a sunny spot and a little water now and then. Now this statement may be over simplifying it just a little but lemon thyme does really well in gravelly dry soil. Pruning is a must when you are growing lemon thyme.

5) Sage – Here is yet another herb that has the benefit of repelling some of our most annoying pests. It is not only known to repel flies but cabbage moths and black flea beetles as well. This perennial likes full sun with well drained soil. It grows to be about 18 inches tall and can be grown in pots or in the garden.

6) Rosemary – Or Rosmarinus officinalis is an aromatic evergreen sub-shrub that is used in culinary seasonings and herbal remedies. It is commonly known to repel fleas and mosquitoes. Rosemary prefers full sun and dry rocky well drained soil. It is a large plant that can reach heights of 6 feet.

7) Geraniums – Or citronella plant to be exact is a member of the large geranium family of plants. It is also commonly called the mosquito plant and is sold as a repellent. The reason for the name is that it smells just like citronella but as we learned in number one on this list it is not the source of citronella oil. But this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work at repelling mosquitoes and other bugs like the cabbage worm. It can be grown in pots and moved inside in colder climates. One problem with this geranium is that it is poisonous so is not recommended for those with pets or young kids. The plant itself can reach heights of 24 to 48 inches.

8) Lavender – This beautiful plant has many uses in aromatherapy, herbal remedies and repelling unwanted insects including spiders, ants and moths. As a herbal remedy it can alleviate the pain and itching associated with all types of insect bites including mosquitoes. Lavender is typically used as an essential oil but can be used as fresh or dried cuttings. Lavender can be a little picky and can be slightly harder to grow than the other plants on this list but as long as you keep it in well-drained soil you should be fine. Do to the wide variety of types it can range in sizes considerably.

There you go the top common plants that repel mosquitoes and other insects. Just remember for the best insect repelling results you should pick the leaves of these plants and crush them. Hope the information in this article will help make your outdoor summer events much more enjoyable.

To buy read potted herbs and plants, or a lovely mixed box set contact Coomete Farm in Limuru (who also deliver) on 020 2018010 or 0720 257912.