Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A Mild Winter Means Peskier Summer Insects

In case you missed #Gardenchat last night- here are some of the tips suggested by The Growers Exchange to help ward off pesky insects like ticks, mosquitoes, ants and termites... naturally!
Herb Garden
Usually grown by cat lovers, catnip is proven to be ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes and biting insects than the harsh commercial chemical DEET.
Catnip
According to the American Chemical Society, the active chemical in catnip, nepetalactone, that drives cats crazy also repels mosquitoes.

Plant regular catnip or lemon-scented catnip in full sun and keep it well pruned. Rub the leaves on clothing and skin as a protectant from biting insects.

Basil also keeps mosquitoes away, as well as repelling house flies, especially when planted near doorways. Whether in containers or mixed into flower beds, basil adds texture, beauty, fragrance, and most importantly a "no fly zone" to homes.

MintBoth peppermint and spearmint are excellent deterrents to ants, flies and moths, but they can also keep lice and mice at bay as well. Planting either variety of mint around the foundation of a house makes a natural boundary that many pests won't go near. Use it near windowsills or beneath sinks, to keep sneaky insects from coming in to visit.
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Planting natural herbal defenses against pests eliminates the use of harmful toxins, improves the local ecology in gardens, and provides benefits of many plants that double as culinary, medicinal or aromatic herbs.

Make sure to choose the safe, sustainable insect repellents this summer and think of the garden before reaching for the toxic spray!

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