Finally, the weather is warm, pools are open and most of our days are spent outside, soaking up all the summer has to offer. But there is one thing that no one looks forward to as the season approaches, bugs!
Rather than coating ourselves with harmful chemicals to prevent us from being eaten while trying to enjoy an early cup of coffee or late-night bonfire, using simple ingredients around the house is both an esthetically pleasing and useful way to help prevent all those little pests.
The most effective way to use plants to repel bugs is by taking advantage of their essential oils. By mixing 15 drops of lavender essential oil, 3-4 tablespoons of vanilla extract, and 1/2 cup of lemon juice mixed in a 16 oz spray bottle, you can create your very own DIY bug repellent.
Building a highly scented candle centerpiece is an easy way to add a fresh scent and detour bugs.
- 2-8 oz Mason jars
- 1-16 oz Mason jar
- 40 drops rosemary essential oil
- 1 lemon
- 2 key limes or 1 lime
- 8 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 3 tea light candles
- 32 oz water
- Slice lime(s) and lemon.
- Place 3-4 slices of lime and lemon in each Mason jar.
- Place 4 rosemary sprigs in the large jar and 2 in each smaller jar.
- Fill a measuring cup with 32 oz of water, add 40 drops of rosemary essential oil, and stir.
- Pour water into Mason jars.
- Take tea lights out of the silver containers and place them on top of the water.
- Light candles, place the jars outside around the area you’re using, and watch your homemade bug repellent work wonders!
Nothing ruins a backyard BBQ or bonfire like having to swat mosquitoes or bees away the whole time. Luckily, without having to rely on dangerous chemicals as a solution, here’s a list of everyday plants that are exactly what pesky bugs are avoiding.
6″ Citronella 7.99
Citronella is one of the most common plants used to deter mosquitos. However, it is only the oil found in the citronella plant that is strong and lemon-scented that the mosquitos don’t like. Having a plant nearby will do little to prevent mosquitos however using the oil it gives off either with candles or essential oils is ideal for best results. By rubbing the plant or breaking open the leaves, the scent of the citronella essential oils will be much more potent and prevent bugs more effectively.
5g Lemongrass 29.99
Due to its strong citrusy scent, lemongrass is another great all-natural mosquito deterrent. Native to Asia the “mosquito grass” can grow up to 6 feet tall and is often used as ornamental grass. Planting them in rows near your patio or “hang out” is both an esthetically pleasing and useful way to keep your patio clear of mosquitos. Lemongrass is however an annual and does not grow all year round in Ontario’s climates.
Rosemary, Lemon Thyme & Catnip:
6″ Rosemary 7.99
Due to its woody scent rosemary is one of the herbs that very rarely have insect problems. By planting a border of heavily scented herbs like rosemary, catnip and thyme around other plants that are most likely to attract pests, you may find it helps prevents other vegetation from becoming bug-infested.
4″ Thyme Freeman 3.99
4″ Catnip 2.49
Marigolds 12.99 (24 pack)/(9.99 6 pack)
The golden flower is filled with pyrethrins which bugs hate, making it exactly what every veggie garden needs. Each year we purchase a flat of assorted colour marigolds and plant them around the perimeter and middle of our veggie beds and we hardly ever have pest problems. They aren’t the best smelling of flowers, however, their golden colour and their fragrance to fight off bugs is a great little addition to any edible landscape.
Marigolds also don’t mind cooler temperatures which makes them last late into the fall months. Adding them to a bouquet of fall flowers like mums and goldenrod is a great way to recycle them after they are finished their summer job of protecting the garden.
The Garlic Box Vinaigrette 8.00
Marigolds are edible also. Sprinkling marigold petals to deserts or salad will add a little something special to any dish.
With all the extra time spent at home, many of us have chosen to spruce up our homes or renovate our outside area. The most important part of any space, interior or exterior, is comfort. Being bit or annoyed by pests is no way to enjoy all the hard work we put into making our homes our current vacation spot. By using simple DIY repellent crafts and adding repelling plants to our space, it can make being at home even more enjoyable