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Natural repellents

Pests, insects and bugs are part of nature. Some of them like house flies and mosquitoes carry disease causing germs. Some like termites destroy property. Some like mosquitoes and bed bugs annoy people, suck their blood and spoil their sleep. Some like thunderflies and corn borer destroy crops.

Many commercial repellants are available in the market. Unfortunately they are loaded with chemicals that can harm to human beings. It is advisable to find ways to repel harmful insects, bugs and pests.

Here is a brief overview of some plants that repel bugs, insects and pests.

  1. Rosemary


Repels mosquitoes and a variety of insects harmful to vegetable plants. Rosemary is available in various forms. Plants can be grown in containers on a patio and shaped into ornamental pyramids, grown in herb gardens or planted in landscaped beds, where some varieties can grow quite large. Rosemary’s oils are as delicious to home cooks who use herbs as they are unpleasant to many insects. The plant itself and its cuttings are effective repellents. You can make a simple repellent spray by boiling 1 quart of dried rosemary in a quart of water for 20 to 30 minutes and then straining the liquid into a container at least a half-gallon in size that contains a quart of cool water. Put a cap on the combined liquid and store it in the refrigerator. Add the repellent to small squirt bottles as needed when going outdoors. Discard the remaining repellent in the refrigerator when it no longer has a strong telltale smell of rosemary.

  1. Lemongrass


Lemongrass is an excellent natural mosquito repellent. Repels mosquitoes. You’ve no doubt seen citronella candles in stores during the summer and read how citronella will keep mosquitoes away. Citronella is a natural oil found in lemongrass, an ornamental that can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide in one season.

  1. Basil


Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. It is considered sacred by Hindus. This fragrant plant grows in many climates. Fresh basil is delicious in salads. It is a good idea to plant basil next to the doors. You may also plant basil in containers and keep them by your picnic table or on your patio. Mosquitoes and flies hate basil to the core. Basil also repels whiteflies, aphids and hornworms.

  1. Lemon thyme

    Lemon thyme (2)

Repels mosquitoes. This hardy herb can adapt to dry or rocky, shallow soil and will thrive in your herb garden, a rock garden or a front border as long as these are in sunny locations. The plant itself will not repel pesky mosquitoes. To release its chemicals, you must first bruise the leaves. To do this, simply cut off a few stems and rub them between your hands. Before you do that, though, it’s advisable to make sure the plant’s natural properties will not adversely affect you. Determine your tolerance by rubbing crushed leaves on a small area on your forearm for several days.

  1. Mint


Mint is well-known for its amazing aroma. It repels fleas, flies, rats, white cabbage moths, ants and mice. Mountain mint keeps ticks and chiggers away. Disceranda frutescens, a type of mint, is very effective against many insects.

It is advisable to plant mint around the foundation of the house as it protects your house from mice and ants. Catnip and pennyroyal also have similar effect. It is advisable to place shallow bowls of dried mint leaves in the pantry. This keeps mice away.

  1. Bay Leaves

    Bay Leaves

Bay leaves repel pantry insects like moths, weevils, cockroaches, ants and flies. They hate the fragrance emanating from bay leaves. Bay leaves also keep caterpillars and grubs at bay.

It is advisable to place bay leaves in contains of rice, flour and other dry materials. In fact one bay leaf in 50 pounds of wheat berries effectively keeps weevils away. Bay leaves protect barley, cornmeal, oatmeal, quinoa and rice.

You may tape bay leaves inside cupboards and shelves; or you may scatter a few leaves on the pantry shelves. This has proved effective in many homes all over the world. However, the leaves have to be replaced every few months. It is a good idea to use dry bay leaves instead of moth balls. Dried leaves can be folded into clothing.

Bay leaf can be grown outside in the summer. However, you will need to bring them indoors during winter. Otherwise they will perish. Dried bay leaves are available in the market.

  1. Lavender


Lavender is well-known all over the world for its wonderful aroma. It repels moths, silverfish, mosquitoes, fleas and flies. It is advisable to keep lavender sachets in the wardrobe. You may grind it into powder and sprinkle the power on your pet’s bedding. Repels moths, fleas, flies and mosquitoes. Lavender has been used for centuries to add a pleasantly sweet fragrance to homes and clothes drawers. Although people love the smell of lavender, mosquitoes, flies and other unwanted insects hate it. Place tied bouquets in your home to help keep flies outdoors. Plant it in sunny areas of the garden or near entryways to your house to help keep those areas pest free.

Grow lavender in containers on your patio. People grow lavender in their kitchen garden as it protects spinach and lettuce from rabbits.

Santolina (commonly known as cotton lavender) is the best insect repellent among lavenders. It is usually mixed with English lavender. It is advisable to use lavender buds in cooking. Savory deters bean beetles.

  1. Neem


Neem repels locusts. Extracts of neem leaves and neem fruits repel more than 200 species of mites, worms and insects.

  1. Marigolds


Marigolds repel many garden pests like tomato hornworms, whiteflies, cucumber beetles, bean beetles, asparagus beetles and nematodes. They are easy to grow and maintain and add to the beauty of your garden.

  1. Nasturtiums


Nasturtium is an annual edible flower. It repels whiteflies and squash bugs. Anise repels slugs, snails and aphids. Mixture of two tablespoons of red pepper and six drops of dishwashing soap keep ants away from the kitchen. Sprinkle this mixture at entry points and on ant trails.

It is always advisable to use the above-mentioned plants to repel insects, pests and bugs. It is a natural way and a safe way to keep them at bay.

  1. Petunias


Repel aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs. Some people think of petunias as nature’s pesticide. They are popular mostly because they are available in a variety of bright colors, require such minimal maintenance they are almost foolproof to grow and can be grown in garden beds, containers or hanging baskets. Plant them in sunny areas near vegetables and herbs such as beans, tomatoes, peppers and basil.

Other herbs

Chives: Repel carrot flies, Japanese beetle and aphids.

Dill: Repels aphids, squash bugs, spider mites, cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms.

Fennel: Repels aphids, slugs and snails.

Lemon balm: Repels mosquitoes.

Oregano: Repels many pests and will provide ground cover and humidity for peppers.

Parsley: Repels asparagus beetles.

Thyme: Repels whiteflies, cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, whiteflies, tomato hornworms and small whites.

Sage: Repels many garden bugs like moths, ants, slugs, sticks, carrot flies and cabbage moths that are known to destroy vegetable garden.

Source: mnn.com


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Natural repellents Pests, insects and bugs are part of nature. Some of them like house flies and mosquitoes carry disease causing germs. Some like termites destroy property. Some like mosquitoes and bed bugs annoy people, suck their blood and spoil their sleep. Some like thunderflies and corn borer destroy crops. Many...