The sounds of summer in the garden include the gentle song of birds, the throbbing hum of cicadas and the buzzing of bees. Sounds that drive ever body crazy though are the shrill high pitched noise of mosquitoes and the pesky noise of flies.
So how can plants help to repel pests and what part does your garden play in creating an ambient place where you can relax instead of stress out swiping and slapping yourself silly this summer?
Many insects are attracted to light sources, so only turn on your outside lighting when you need to and the rest of the time have it connected to a sensor to it comes on when you’re outside. Consider even putting in an outside light insect trap – they might sound hideous, but they are a very effective way of controlling many pests organically.
Flies breed in warm weather and are attracted to buildings that radiate heat. Consider planting a shade tree or adding a verandah or pergola that can diffuse the heat from your walls and create shaded areas. Your air-conditioning costs will go down too.
Bins and Composts
Flies love rotting meat, so keep it out of your compost to avoid attracting them. Regularly hosing out your garbage bins will also help. Completely enclosed systems, such as Hungry Bins are the best ways to compost organic matter without encouraging insects.
Water and Drains
If you have a clogged up drain, get rid of any build up to avoid attracting both flies and mossies. Make sure you have fish in ponds to eat mosquito larvae and empty out any saucers under plants so that they don’t become breeding pools too.
Pest Repelling Plants
Many plants are great at repelling a variety of bugs. Pennyroyal, lemongrass (citronella), mint, rue, wormwood, tansy and of course pyrethrum are probably the best known and most effective, but chives, basil, sage, scented geraniums, lemon balm, lavender and bay leaves also work well. We have a huge range of herbs in store so ask for advice as to which herbs work best for your area.
By: Meredith Kirton