Swat Mosquitoes with Mother Nature 1

Archie’s Gardenland Has Tips on How to Fight Mosquitoes the Natural Way

Mosquitoes: the bane of summertime, carriers of disease and all-around nuisances, threats to people and pets, and the fuel behind an industry of repellents and citronella-scented sundries. Seemingly a curse upon mankind and mockery of the natural order, mosquitoes appear to serve no purpose whatsoever; what’s worse, sprays and candles often have no effect, save for a foul smell to accompany sufferers’ frenzied swats and scratches.

It’s a cruel irony that, should mosquitoes cease to exist, their primary natural functions — pollinating certain flowers and providing food for fish, frogs, lizards and spiders — could, according to a 2010 article in “Nature,” be readily appropriated by other organisms. In other words, the only irreplaceable purpose of a mosquito is to breed more mosquitoes.

Thankfully, Mother Nature has provided us with wards against these insectile aberrations. While repellents and candles have their place, natural options exist in certain plants that drive mosquitoes away. As summer transitions into fall, consider how you might turn the tide against your buzzing tormentors — one plant at a time. Steve McCoy, horticulturist at Archie’s Gardenland, has several tips to aid you in the fight.

“The key with mosquito-repellent plants is the fragrance,” explains McCoy. “Certain plants just have an aroma that mosquitoes don’t like. One of them is a type of geranium that we call mosquito plant. Lemongrass also works, as do some kinds of rosemary and lavender.”

Don’t have a green thumb? Never fear: as luck would have it, many of the mosquito-repellent plants are quite hardy.

“The good news is that most of these plants are easy to care for,” says McCoy. “You can plant them in a bed, or even in a container, which gives you flexibility in how you can use them.”

If you have a porch with a nearby flower bed, your mosquito-repellent plants will provide an easy-to-grow addition. Should you decide to keep them in a pot, you have the benefit of transportability. Wherever you need a mosquito-free zone, simply pick up and move your plants. Archie’s Gardenland has a selection of mosquito-repellent plants potted and ready to go. Those in need of a new weapon against their winged nemeses can simply choose one and take it home.

Let’s say you have your new plants, but still feel the “itch” to take the fight to the next level. Now that you’ve secured your anti-mosquito safe-zone, go on the offensive: hit the mosquitoes where they live. Steve McCoy has some pointers to make your property a little less welcoming.

“Identify any areas around the home that hold water or allow water to stand for several days,” says McCoy. “Bird baths and swimming pools, of course, but also old tires and places you might not think of, like tall grass or thick ground cover. What folks have to realize is that just a quarter-inch of water can harbor mosquito larvae.”

Want more weapons in your war against mosquitoes? Try some cedar oil. Archie’s Gardenland, located off Camp Bowie at 6700 Z Boaz Place, offers granules and sprays that can render your yard more hospitable to outdoor lounging or parties. Mosquitoes might be here to stay, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer them lightly.