So, if it hasn’t rained in so long, why are the mosquitoes and gnats so troublesome this summer? In addition to noisy bug zappers, fans, clothes softener dryer sheets, citronella candles and smoke curls, highly fragrant plants or plant oils will help repel these pesky insects naturally. Pests zero in on the carbon dioxide and water vapor we exhale and the scented plants do the trick by masking these aromas.
Natural insect repellents include plants and plant oils from strongly fragrant plants such as lemongrass, lemon balm, cedar, rosemary, cinnamon, cloves, lemon, eucalyptus, thyme, basil, fennel, lavender, pine, peppermint, pennyroyal, and of course insecticidal (but organic) Neem and Pyrethrum. Scented geraniums contribute geraniol.
Photo credit U of Minnesota Extension.