Posted By: Michelle Kuehler /
The weather is warm and inviting, drawing you out into your garden for some fresh air and a little rest and relaxation. The bad news? Biting and stinging bugs are enjoying your garden and your home, too. Insecticides are often more dangerous to your health than the damage these bugs can do, and they carry a noxious odor, destroying the serenity of your home and garden. Instead, try adding plants to your garden that deter these pests.
Ants and Cockroaches
Ants and cockroaches are common invaders inside of your home, in your garden and on your picnic blanket. These hungry insects always travel in packs, searching for food, making these uninvited dinner guests a pain to get rid of.
The first step in avoiding this hostile takeover of your kitchen is to keep it clean. Make sure to remove crumbs or spills, take the trash out often and keep food sealed. If they make their selves at home regardless of these efforts, try these natural remedies:
• Most ants and cockroaches cannot stand cucumbers and garlic. Take a few from your vegetable garden and place the garlic cloves or slices of cucumber near their points of entry.
• Catnip and bay leaves are natural repellents for cockroaches. Pick these from your garden or buy them dried or in tea from your local grocery store. Place satchels full near points of entry.
• Mint and lemon are natural repellents for ants. Dry and crush some mint from the garden and sprinkle in areas where they are most active or place a line of fresh lemon juice across their point of entry.
To keep these pests out of the garden and out of your home, plant chrysanthemums and lavender near the entrances to your home and in flowerbeds, surrounding the areas you relax in most often.
Fleas are often carried into the home by unsuspecting dogs and cats. Fleas can cause them a lot of discomfort and can give you that itchy, scratching feel as well. To banish them from your home try pouring a boiling cup of water over a sliced lemon to make citrus oil. Let it sit over night and apply to your dog’s skin. Do not use citrus oil on your cat.
To prevent fleas from entering your garden try adding these plants to your garden:
A mosquito’s bite can cause itchy, sometimes painful bumps, but they can also pass on diseases such as West Nile. Repel them from your garden, home and body before they even get the chance to take a bite.
Try these remedies to keep mosquitos out of your home and garden:
• If you are having a barbeque, let the coals burn a little longer, adding dried sage and rosemary to the coals.
• Just like vampires, these bloodsuckers cannot stand the scent of garlic. Soak cotton cloths in garlic-infused water and hang them near patios and points of entrance to your home.
• Plant beds of scented marigolds, bay leaf, mint, rosemary or basil. Mosquitos cannot see well and look for food by scent. The scent of marigolds, bay leaf, mint, rosemary and basil is repugnant to mosquitos and they will stay clear.
Other Plant Repellants for Biting Bugs
• Chrysanthemums: Chrysanthemums deter ticks, silverfish, lice and bedbugs.
• Lavender: Lavender deters many other insects, including moths that like to munch on your wardrobe.
• Basil: Basil will deter flies. Plant beds near your home and next to outdoor dining areas to keep them out of the house and away from your food.
• Bay Leaf: Bay leaf will deter moths. Sprinkle a few dried leaves across shelves to deter them from your clothing.
• Mint: Many mint varieties deter almost any bug, including flies. Plus, they add a fresh scent to your home and garden.
Additionally, many of these plants attract beneficial bugs, which take care of pests that may be harmful to them or surrounding plants. To keep them healthy and pest free, make sure to nourish them instead of using pesticides.