Saturday, January 3, 2015

Natural Insect Repellants for your Garden - Control Pests without using dangerous chemicals.

Grasshopper, Insect Pest

Probably the most popular insect repellant used today is the one called DEET, for short.
It is a chemical combination that was first used during the Vietnam War as a strong mosquito repellant, for the prevention of malaria in the troops.

Once it is sprayed, it works for up to twelve hours before it breaks down into harmless components. But, this spray is in itself toxic, if not used properly.

For those of us who want to avoid using harsh chemicals, there are other methods used to control certain insects that do not call for using toxic chemicals, more natural ways.



PLANTS INSECTS HATE

There are some plants that, if planted strategically, will keep some insects away.
Add certain plants to your garden that will draw the good insects and they can help keep your predator Insect population down.
Flowering plants such as Daisies, Mints, Rosemary and Sunflowers, to name a few are great for repelling many pests.
Planting a few of these strategically around your garden will work great for most gardens. Here are some of these GOOD plants and what you can use them for, in your garden or even in flowerpots in your home

BASIL

Besides being a popular and tasty herb used extensively for flavoring foods, Basil is not liked by some insects.
In fact, the essential oil extracted from Basil can be used in a spray bottle to repel Mosquitos.

CATNIP

Catnip flowers
Everyone knows that the catnip plant is useful for “relaxing” the family pet cat. The plant is a perennial that has a nice and soothing, minty aroma.
You will often find that many cat owners will have a flowerpot somewhere in their house with a catnip plant in it.

You can dry the leaves of the Catnip plant and sew them into a simple cloth bag that your cat will enjoy playing with for days.

The Catnip plant contains a chemical (Nepetalactone) that, when purchased in essential oil form (the process for making the oil is relatively complex), it is also useful as a repellant for other insects such as; Cockroaches, House Flies, Mosquitoes and even Termites.

DAISIES

Grow Daisy plants to draw certain pest insects away from your garden. The blooms of Daisies draw such pest insects as; Cutworms, Longhorn Beetle, Sunflower Moth, Midge, Thistle Caterpillar and Wire Worms to name just a few.

GARLIC

The strong flavor and odor emitted by Garlic cloves make them repellant not only to animals and birds but also for insects. There is an extract made from Garlic that is used in some places as an insect repellant, if you do not mind the smell yourself.
Try planting some garlic in a flower pot or hanging some garlic on a string on your porch to reduce the insects.

GERANIUM

The flowers of the Geranium plant or specifically the Rose Geranium is known to repel insects due to the compound inside the plant called geraniol.  But, they also draw other insects, specifically honey bees, to them.
The Geranium is a good plant for cleaning the air, and medically it is used to improve glucose levels and help with digestion.

LAVENDER

Blend dried Lavender flowers with Olive Oil and use it to sooth insect bites.

LEMONGRASS

The essential oil made from Lemongrass makes a great insect repellant overall, but take care because while it repels some insects, it draws bees.
It is a great plant to have around the perimeter of your garden because the extra pollination by the bees will give you great fruit and vegetable yields.

MARIGOLDS

Marigold Flowers
The tagetes species of Marigolds, not the calendulas species has strong insect repellant properties.

The blooms will not only repel mosquitoes but there are numerous other pest insects that Marigolds will repel will from your garden.

An infusion of Marigold Oil when sprayed around the house will keep insects at bay for days.

The easiest way to use Marigolds is, of course, to plant them in flowerpots and set them around the house, enjoying the beautiful colors and the lack of insects.

Also, for the garden, strategically placed Marigold plants can help reduce the occurrence of Beetles and Aphids.

MINT

Mint, besides being flavorful and having a unique and pleasing odor, is a natural repellant of such insects as Ants, Mosquitoes and Flies. Plant a little Mint in a pot and use the fresh greens for cooking and at the same tile repel insects.

MUMS or Chrysanthemums

The numerous aromatic sub-species of the Chrysanthemum plant are also excellent mosquito repellants.
The valuable thing about Mums, other than their beauty as a colorful ornamental plant is the fact that the blossoms have a natural chemical compound called pyrethrins.

The female mosquito is the one who bites people and draws blood. And, this compound actually inhibits the female mosquito from biting animals. So, having a few potted Mums around will cut down your chances of being bitten by mosquitos.

ROSEMARY

The Rosemary plant is a hearty one that will produce for you year round, especially in warmer climates. And in addition to its great flavor in many foods, the aroma of Rosemary is purported to repel Mosquitoes and several other pest insects.

SUNFLOWERS

The Sunflower is a plant that provides beauty as well as the fact that its seeds are very nutritious.

Sunflowers draw over 120 species of insects. By planting them away from your garden, you can reduce these insects’ damage to your garden.