Using plants to keep away pesky skeeters

Using plants to ward off mosquitoes

Nice weather and summertime means sun, plants, herbs, and bugs. The good news is Ivana Patterson, owner & herb expert at Lavender 'N' Rust Herb Farm said by adding more plants to our garden we can attempt to control the mosquitoes.

"Anything that is kind of citrus-y you can incorporate into your different space," said Patterson.

It's not just the lemony smells that deter the mosquitoes, Patterson said most scented geraniums will do the trick.

"This is the rosemary, sage, and lemongrass growing in the washtub. On the little glass table behind there is the lemon verbena again citrus - so this helps with the mosquitoes. Now it doesn't take just one plant, you are going to have to have multiple plants. There is something about the citrus fragrance they don't like and this will help them stay away from you," said Patterson.

Patterson said six plants should do the trick. Lemony plants can also be used to keep mosquitoes off our body according to Patterson.

"Get a very small whiff of that - and then you just kind of rub it - because anytime you break the foliage and then release that - that helps to put that oil out of that foliage onto your skin," said Patterson.

Next Patterson helped us tackle the mosquitoes that may sneak inside our home.

"The making of potpourri is as old as time," said Patterson.

The mixture helps with insect control, smells sensational, and is a cinch to make. Patterson said to first grab a glass or tin and to stay away from plastic because it absorbs. After that you just need three ingredients. They include botanicals (we used dried lavender to ward off the mosquitoes and roses), a fixative to stabilize the botanicals and fragrance (for a long-lasting smell), and 10-20 drops of essential oil to add extra fragrance. Finally close the tin or jar and shake.

"When you let this sit for 30 days and you shake it and you keep blending it, then that's going to cure and then you can display it," said Patterson. Potpourri and a few extra plants will give you a long-lasting, beautifully-blooming, savory smelling solution to a pesky problem.

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