“Buzz Off”: Plants that Deter Bugs

Nothing ruins quality time spent outdoors faster than pesky insects such as mosquitos, flies and beetles. Not only are these insects the culprits for ruining your patio party, but many of them can also be harmful to the plants that supply your family with the organic fruits and veggies you all love. Insects such as grasshoppers, aphids, earwigs, and many other predators feed on your garden, killing your plant’s produce. Protect your family and your garden beds this spring by strategically planting these plants that help ward off harmful insects.

Lavender. Not only do lavender plants provide a soothing fragrance, they also repel moths, fleas, mosquitos, and other harmful insects. You can place tied bouquets in your house to keep flies outside, or plant it in sunny areas of your garden and let its sweet smell repel insects that constantly feed on your plants. Its lovely color and inviting fragrance makes for a beautiful accent in both your home and garden!

Basil. Basil is not only one of the most useful culinary herbs, but effectively repels flies, moths, and mosquitos. The plant contains oil that kills mosquito eggs. During your next backyard barbeque, place a container of basil next to your grill and outdoor dining table to prevent insects from spoiling your fun.

Mint. This plant not only smells refreshing, but it also helps repel biting insects. Mint is most effectively grown in pots because it spreads rapidly and can be very difficult to maintain in a garden. Did you know that pieces of mint mixed in with mulch can help protect your broccoli, cabbage, and turnips from harmful biting insects?

Rosemary. This plant typically used for culinary purposes is full of flavor and it repels mosquitos. It grows best when in sunlight, and can prosper in garden beds, in landscaped beds or in a container if you wish to keep it on the patio or bring it indoors.

Citronella Plant. Citronella is the most common natural ingredient used in creating mosquito repellants. Its strong scent masks the scents that are attractive to mosquitoes. Since this perennial grass can grow to a height of five to six feet, try planting it behind small decorative flowers and shrubs near your patio or garden.

Lemon Grass. Referred to as the close cousin to the citronella plant, this ornamental grass contains citronella oil, hence its strong citrus fragrance. To deter mosquitoes from your backyard, plant lemon grass along walkways and near your patio.

Marigolds. The scent from various types of marigolds repels aphids, mosquitos, and even rabbits from damaging your beloved garden. This beautiful, orange-petaled flower is also the perfect addition to decks, flowerbeds, and gardens.

Petunias. Referred to as “nature’s pesticide”, petunias repel aphids, tomato hornworms, beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs. These bright-colored beauties require little maintenance and can thrive in gardens, pots or hanging baskets.

It’s time to tell those pesky insects to “buzz off” this spring! Stop by Joe’s Market Basket to consult with our professionals on how to treat your insect problem naturally. The experts at our Edwardsville, Godfrey, O’Fallon and Troy, Illinois locations are here to make your insect invasion a problem of the past. Give us a call today or visit us online at www.joesmarketbasket.com.

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