One of the sounds that seem to go hand in hand with a hot Australian summer is the buzz of a mosquito, particularly of a hot night when sleep is already a challenge.
In the past, most people would have reached for a can of insect repellent to deal with this unwanted intrusion. Nowadays, of course, a growing number of Australians have real concerns about the use of insecticide sprays, but the good news is that that there are other ways to discourage mosquitos without putting toxins in the air that could be a health hazard to humans.
As many gardeners will know, there are several plants that are believed to have mosquito repellent qualities. One that is quite well known is the Citronella, a coarse perennial grass that is the source of the Citronella Oil that many of us already burn in outdoor entertaining areas. This plant tends to grow in clumps, can reach 1.5 metres in height, and has leaves which have a strong scent which mosquitos don’t like.
Another plant that you may already grow, particularly if you enjoy Asian cooking, is Lemongrass. This is a close relative of citronella and has a strong fragrance which can be effective against insects if you plant it around your outdoor living areas.
Some varieties of Pelargonium (pictured) also have a scent that is similar to citronella, so it is no surprise that many people refer to them as the Mosquito Plant.
Some of the mint family are believed to have an impact on mosquitos. The Peppermint is a hybrid mint which not only contains natural pesticides, but rubbing its crushed leaves is believed to provide relief from mosquito bites. Catnip is another member of the mint family which is loved by cats, but repels mosquitos because it contains nepetalactone oil.
Last, but by no means least, don’t forget that the Marigold contains pyrethrum, a chemical that is used in a number of insect sprays.
When you look at the options, there are probably quite a few different ways to update your garden in order to discourage visits by those pesky mozzies.
Of course, if you’re thinking about updating the garden in preparation for a sale, and you want to avoid making any costly mistakes during that process, a good place to start is by getting a copy of our FREE booklet, “Fatal Real Estate Traps Exposed”.