CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Mosquitoes can be quite annoying while you're trying to enjoy the outdoors this summer.
But you can keep them away by planting certain plants.
Corpus Christi, TexasSouth Texas Gardner Gabriel Vega about 3 plants that help repel those pesky insects.
A gardener's dream would be to have a garden that can care for itself, but that is just a dream. Every garden needs tending, but there are a few things that you can do to make your work a little easier, including selecting plants for your garden to help control insect pests.
Certain plants attract beneficial insects or repel harmful insects. Beneficial insects (ladybugs and praying mantis) prey on pests that damage your garden. Using plants to control pests cuts down on your workload and reduces the amount of insecticides you use in your garden. Fewer insecticides mean more good bugs, which help in controlling bad bugs.
Everyone’s garden is different, so experiment to find out what works best for you. It helps to pick plants that are native to your area. Here is a list of some of those plants.
- Basil - Ocimum basilicum – Oils in basil are said to repel thrips, flies and mosquitoes. When you plant basil next to tomatoes, it produces larger, tastier tomatoes.
- Bee Balm - Monarda didyma – Attracts bees to your garden and is another plant you can grow with your tomatoes.
- Borage - Borago officinalis - This plant really works hard in your garden. It repels tomato hornworms and cabbage worms and attracts beneficial bees and wasps.
- Catnip - Nepeta cataria – Use it to keep away flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants, and weevils. Make sachets of dried catnip to deter ants that invade your kitchen.
- Chives - Allium schoenoprasum – Plant chives to repel Japanese beetles and carrot rust flies. Chives planted among apple trees will help prevent scab.
- Chrysanthemums – Chrysanthemum ‘Mariyo’ MARILYN – When choosing an insecticide, check the label for pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is chrysanthemums, an all-natural pesticide. It can help control things like roaches, ticks, silverfish, lice, fleas, bedbugs, and ants. The white flowering chrysanthemums can help drive away Japanese beetles and kills root nematodes.
- Dill - Anethum graveolens – Plant dill with cucumbers and onions. It attracts hoverflies and predatory wasps and swallowtail butterfly caterpillars feed on the foliage. To attract tomato hornworms away from your tomatoes, plant it a distance away. Dill also repels aphids and spider mites and sprinkle dill leaves on squash plant to repel squash bugs.
- Garlic – Allium sativum – Garlic is normally planted for its taste and health benefits. It also deters codling moths, Japanese beetles; root maggots, snails, carrot root fly, and near your roses to repel aphids.
- Hyssop - Hyssopus officinalis – Hyssop is great for attracting honeybees to the garden.
- Lavender (pictured) - Lavandula angustifolia – Lavender is a favorite in any garden because of its fresh scent and blooms. It also attracts beneficial bugs and repels fleas and moths.
- Marigolds – Calendula officinalis – Tagetes erecta – Tagetes patula - Marigolds are best known for repelling insects in your garden. Choose marigolds that are scented in order to work as a repellant. Marigolds drive away many bad bugs but they also attract spider mites and snails. French marigolds repel whiteflies and kill bad nematodes. Mexican marigolds deter a number of destructive insects and wild rabbits.
- Nasturtiums - Tropaeolum– Plant nasturtiums with tomatoes and cucumbers to repel wooly aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles.
- Petunias - Petunia– Plant petunias throughout your garden for color but also to repel asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, a range of aphids, tomato worms and many other pests.
- Sunflowers – Helianthus annuus – Sunflowers draw aphids away from your plants. Ants move their colonies onto sunflowers but suffer no damage.