It’s July in Northwest Arkansas and that means the kids are playing outside often and as a family you are outdoors more too. The summer weather yields lots of wonderful things like longer days and enjoying sweet drippy cones from the ice cream truck. But there are also a few pesky parts to warmer evenings and one of those is the dreaded mosquito.
We all know about using bug sprays and lawn treatments to keep mosquitos away, but there are also a few common plants that will keep those biting pests at bay. These plants naturally repel mosquitos and other insects and are easily found at local nurseries or anywhere plants are sold. Here are a few suggestions for easy and natural alternatives to using chemical repellents:
- Citronella thrives in afternoon shade and when potted and kept near doorways repel mosquitos.
- Basil can be grown in pots or in an herb garden and when rubbed on your skin will ward off insects. (A bonus of course is using it in your favorite summertime recipes!)
- Did you Marigolds contain a compound commonly used in insect repellents? They also can be planted in vegetable gardens to keep bugs off your hard-earned crops.
- Mint’s distinct aroma repels most insects and is another great herb to have on hand for garnishes or in dessert dishes or cocktails.
- Lavender requires full sun and its colors and aromas are welcoming to people but will not attract insects.
Teach your kids about growing these multi-functional and aromatic plants while also lessening the presence of bugs in your outdoor gathering spaces. This is a fun way to get your hands in Mother Earth, watch botanical nature in action, and make your summer evenings outside even more pleasant!