Mosquitoes Love Hot Weather
From heavy rains in December throughout much of the country to a current heatwave in January, this is perfect weather for mosquitoes to breed.
It is suggested that certain plants hinder a mosquito’s ability to smell, or, at the very least, it will irritate them and keep them away from the area. These include lavender, marigolds, basil, citronella grass, catmint, basil, strong-scented pelargoniums especially peppermint, and mint.
There are several ways in which you can use plants to deter mosquitoes but plant-scented candles or room sprays are ultimately more effective than just the plants themselves. More about that in a minute. But what fun to pot up a collection of mosquito-repelling plants for your outdoor entertainment area. It will have your guests talking.
All of the plants mentioned enjoy lots of sun and most will need a medium size container, so choose at least three of them and combine this grouping with smaller containers with colourful annuals or succulents, driftwood and pebbles or a container of moving water.
Cintronella and lavender-scented candles are available at most home stores, but you may want to supplement this with your own homemade repellant spray. Try and find glass spray bottles, but if you can’t find these, plastic will have to do.
Making your own Lavender Spray
Mix together the following :
3 tablespoons of lavender blossom water*, or witch hazel
15 drops of lavender essential oil
1 tablespoon of 90% pure alcohol (available at your local pharmacy or Dischem)
Shake these together and spray into the air or on linen but not directly onto the skin or clothing because of the alcohol and oil content.
Make your own Flower Blossom Water
If you cannot find witch hazel or lavender blossom water, it is easy to make your own.
NB: Do not use a metal bowl
Bring 100ml water to the boil and poor this over 2 – 3 tablespoons of fresh lavender flowers
Cover the bowl and leave it at room temperature until the mixture is cool
Strain this through a piece of cheese cloth, muslin or a fine sieve
Try this with any of the aforementioned mosquito-repelling plants until you find your favourites. Remember to match your essential oil with your choice of plant.
These sprays also make wonderful gifts.