With the heavy downpour we’ve experienced in Ottawa this year, mosquitos are a major problem that have only been encouraged by the constant damp weather. Here are a few plants you may consider planting or setting around seating areas in pots to discourage the pesky things from bothering you while enjoying your outdoor areas.
- Marigolds – Containing Pyrethrum, an ingredient used in many insect repellents, these plants have a unique aroma which many insects (mosquitos included) find repulsive. Marigolds are easy to grow from seeds, and they will often re-seed themselves if the conditions are favorable.
- Lavender – Plant in pots and place them around a patio or any areas where you may entertain. The aroma from Lavender will not only ward off pesky mosquitos but also has a calming quality, and is quite pretty. As a bonus, dried lavender can be stored inside closets to ward off moths, and sachets can be tucked into drawers of clothing to give your clothes a lovely lavender scent.
- Rosemary – Aromatic and flavorful, Rosemary grows well in warmer areas, so a small potted plant for indoor growing may be best if you live in a cool climate area. Rosemary oil is a great alternative if you’re having trouble growing it in a garden. The plant produces beautiful purple flowers that attract butterflies and can also be used to add flavor to your cooking.
- Basil – Similar to Rosemary, Basil has the added perk of being used not only as a repellant, but as a handy addition to cooking. The herb’s smell is strong enough that you don’t need to crush it to reap the repelling benefits, and it is incredibly easy to grow.
- Ageratum – Ageratum may cause skin irritation, so this plant is better for viewing, and letting it work its magic from a garden. While some plants can be crushed and applied to the skin for more protection, it is best not to tamper with Ageratum. On top of its gentle white and blue colours, Ageratum is also excellent for attracting butterflies, birds, and bees.
- Catnip – Be warned with this one, while you may ward off mosquitos you will likely attract neighborhood cats, which can be just as pesky. Catnip is best for repelling mosquitos in close proximity.
- Bee balm (monarda or horsemint) – Masks the smell of mosquito’s favorite hosts with an incense-like scent. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees enjoy this plant which is an added benefit.