South Florida is a beautiful place to live. Sadly, because of the tropical climate, it is also a haven for bugs. Mosquito’s, Roaches, Ants and more creepy crawlies try to take over our yards and homes. It is important to keep your home as free from pests as possible. If you have small children, dogs and cats, or any other type of animal, it is important to read the labels on all pesticides to determine if they are safe for your animals and you. Below is a list of plants that will naturally aid in keeping these critters away.
Citronella – This easy to grow plant is the base ingredient of all candles and sprays that we use to keep Mosquito’s away. Planting these in areas that are close to outdoor sitting/dining areas will help naturally fight off these flying bugs. When purchasing citronella, look for the true varieties, Cybopogon nardus or Citronella winterianus. Other plants may be sold as ‘citronella scented’, but these do not have the mosquito repelling qualities of true citronella.
Horsemint – This plant is close to Citronella, it naturally repels mosquito’s. Horsemint leaves can be dried and used to make herbal tea. Its flowers will also attract bees and butterflies to your garden.
Marigolds – These annuals have a natural organic smell that mosquito’s and sometimes gardeners can’t stand. The plant contains Pyrethrum which is commonly used in commercial sprays. Besides repelling mosquitoes, marigolds repel insects which prey on tomato plants, so you may want to plant a few marigolds in your tomato bed for added protection.
Ageratum – This annual emits coumarin which is a common ingredient in commercial bug sprays. Although the leaves of Ageratum can be crushed to increase the emitted odor, it is not advisable to rub the crushed leaves directly on the skin.
Catnip – This plant is not only used to drive cats crazy, but it also is a great repellent for Mosquito’s. These little bugs can’t stand the smell and stay as far away as they can. While catnip will repel mosquitoes in close proximity to the plant, some people apply crushed catnip leaves or catnip oil for more robust protection. Bear in mind, however, that cats will respond to you similarly as they would respond to the plant itself. Cat owners may want to choose an alternative plant for repelling mosquitoes.
When thinking about selling your Fort Lauderdale Home, if your house has these plants, it is a great idea to let your Realtor know. These are great selling points to any new home buyer. Natural bug deterrents are a popular and safe alternative to chemical sprays that are widely used.