Now before some of you get all “doppy” on me, this article is about how to make a pot filled with plants that naturally repel mosquitos and other summer bugs! Placing these Bug Bomb pots around your outdoor party areas will help to keep the party hopping and not itching. Mosquitos and bugs are also on the feed during picnics so build your Mosquito pots now.
Mosquitos, fleas, and ticks are three insects we could live without. The diseases that they spread and irritations that they cause are a real pain! The sound of a mosquito alone drives me crazy. They are also a problem for our pets. Malaria, Lyme’s disease, babesiosis, and plague are just a few of the illnesses these bugs can spread. For whatever reasons, Mother Nature knows best and we are stuck with these unwanted party crashers.
There is no one solution to deal with insect pests. Sprays and foggers are short term and have their side effects as well. Home-made sprays smell and feel nice but may be better mental barriers for us. The good news is that bugs and insects do not like certain plants that contain natural bug repellents. Here are a few that I have successfully used.
Marigolds, Lemon Balm, mint, citronella, catnip, and lavender all contain chemicals that keep the bugs and insects at bay. Some of these are better suited for out Mosquito Pot needs than others.
Citronella is familiar to most of us. This tall grass has a lemony scent and is way too big for a flower pot. “Cybopogon nardus” or “Citronella winterianus” are your two best choices. These plants get over 6 feet tall and work good along fences and edges. Citronella in its natural state can be an irritant to the skin and is best used in its commercial forms.
Lemon Balm is my favorite bug and insect repellant. It contains a chemical called “Citronellal”. This milder form of “Citronella” smells nice to us but bad to bugs. Simply crush the leaves between your fingers and rub onto the area you want to protect. It is kind of like making a Mosquito Mojito! Lemon Balm is an invasive plant so it is best contained in your Mosquito Pot. You can also apply lemon balm onto cold sores and blisters. Simply crush the leaves and apply.
Catnip may be a better mosquito repellant than DEET but cats will also like using this plant. Put the potted catnip where you can keep the cats from digging up your pots or gardens. Simply rub the leaves together and apply.
Marigolds not only look great when planted around your gardens, they serve as a great insect barrier. I plant them around my vegetable garden for insect protection. The flowers can also be added to your salads or serve as an edible garnish.
Mint is also a good pot bound choice that smells nice when applied, garnishes food and drinks, and keeps the bugs away. If you have an itchy bug bite, simply crush a mint leave and rub onto the bite. Mint will take over a garden so always contain it in pots or enclosed garden beds.
It is also important to manage your property and lawn for insects and bugs. Add Mosquito Dunks to your water features. They contain a natural larvacide that kills mosquitos before they mature. The “dunk” floats on the surface and is not harmful to critters or humans. I attach the dunk to a string and secure it a corner of the pond where it will not be seen or disturbed. Fish, frogs, and tadpoles also feast on the mosquito larvae that will be in your water features.
Keeping your grass mowed also reduces habitat and moisture for unwanted insects and bugs. Limit your brush piles and other bug hideouts. I also have attached a Bat Box to my home where the bats can crawl in and spend the day. Bats eat mosquitos like crazy and are a welcome addition to my yard. There are simple plans available for construction of these Bat Motels.
When all else fails, I get out my Thermocell gear. These scentless devices use a Butane cartridge that heats a mosquito repellant wafer. I have sat in swamps without bugs bothering me when using these affordable and effective bug bombs! You can get a portable belt attached version for hunting, fishing, and outdoor use. They also make a lantern that has the repellant system built into it for your camp or picnic table. It is the most effective method of keeping mosquitos away that I have ever used.
Whatever your bug protection method you choose, make sure that you pay attention to your health and wellness. Always check for ticks and bug bites. Use antiseptics along with anti-itch creams to deal with the bite sights before they become infected. It takes ticks 16 ours of attachment to your body to infect you with Lyme’s disease. Routine maintenance can save you a lot of “scratch”!
For more Montana Grant stories and tips, visit his website at www.montanagrantfishing.com