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Some natural solutions can help you keep mosquitos away

As temperatures warm up, mosquitos will come back to the area in droves. There are natural, non-chemical ways to keep them out of your yard and house.

MOLINE, Ill. — Mosquito season has started in the Quad City area, we are about a month into it; as we usually start seeing mosquitos in late April/early May. As it continues to warm up outside, we will start to see them more and more. There are many ways that one can get rid of them such as repellants and pesticides, but you can keep them away naturally as well.  There are many plants that can be planted to repel mosquitos from your home and allow you to enjoy being outside without them.

Lavender

Lavender is a scent that many people love, and mosquitos don’t. This plant hinders mosquitoes’ ability to smell, which is useful to us because mosquitos use their sense of smell to bite. They are low maintenance, and just need sun and good drainage. These plants are also drought resistant.

Marigold

These are easy to grow, annual flowers that last from late spring until the first frost in October. They emit a smell that deters mosquitoes. These plants are overall good addition to your garden because they can also keep away other insects such as squash bugs, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, and more.

Citronella Grass (Lemon Grass)

This plant is the most commonly used natural ingredient in chemical mosquito repellent. This plant can easily be planted and is low maintenance. It is best to plant them in a large planter because they cannot withstand frost, but in warm climates, they can be planted directly into the ground in a sunny area.

Catmint

This plant is low maintenance, but it can invade other areas of your garden since it can be used as a plant or a weed. However, it is an amazing mosquito repellent if you can overlook its disruptive nature. A study at Iowa State found that Catmint can be ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical used in most insect repellants.

Rosemary

This plant has a woody scent that keeps mosquitos away, as well as other insects like cabbage moths and carrot flies. They grow best in hot and dry climates. They also grow well in containers, which is ideal for places that have longer winters, like the Quad Cities.  You can place these plants all throughout your house as decorations and mosquito repellent since they can be pruned into all types of shapes and sizes.

Basil

Basil leaves have a strong smell that keeps mosquitos and other insects at bay. This plant needs to be kept damp, have good drainage, and needs a lot of sunlight. They can be planted in containers or in a garden; by themselves or with other plants that have the same requirements.

Citronella/Scented Geranium:

This is another popular mosquito repellent due to its smell. It has a strong lemon scent, just like citronella grass. This strong smell is what keeps mosquitos and other insects away. They grow best in warm, sunny, dry climates but they can be grown in cold climates if grown in planters with constant pruning.

Mint

This is another plant that has a strong smell that repels mosquitos, as well as other bugs, such as flies and ants. Mint can be used in the garden for pest control, and because it is non-toxic, you can dry and crumble up its leaves to scatter them inside your house for indoor pest repellant.

Floss Flower (Ageratum)

This plant contains coumarin, a chemical that helps repel mosquitoes. However, it is toxic to humans and pets if ingested. These pretty plants make good container plants or bedding plants.

Sage

Sage can be used to repel mosquitos and bugs in two unique ways. The first is at night; if you have a fire lit, you can throw sage into the flames and the earthly smell will keep mosquitos and bugs away. The second is that sage can be dried, crushed, and mixed with apple cider to make a homemade mosquito spray.

Allium

They are beautiful additions to your garden, but these plants release a strong fragrance similar to garlic, onions, shallot, scallion, leek, and chives that repels mosquitoes.

Other preventative measures to keep mosquitos out of your garden and homes are making sure there are no collections of stagnant water, as well as citronella torches, candles, and oils made from the plants listed above.

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