Q. You say that certain plans naturally repel mosquitoes. Can you advise on how many plants are needed, say, per square yard of ground space?
Hello Walter Cohn,
Your question about plants that repel mosquitos is important, the important part is that the mosquitoes seek out humans, unless you are rubbing yourself with the particular scented plants all day, it won’t help.......
"Just standing near living plants that repel mosquitoes is often not effective"..... http://www.wildernesscollege.com/plants-that-repel-mosquitoes.html
Repellents applied to the skin are most helpful. The information on strategies to reduce mosquitos is first line of defense, such as removing any standing water, if there is a water source like a pond, or bird bath, you can use safe mosquito dunks that will not harm wildlife or the environment.
“Mosquitoes are highly visual, especially later in the afternoon, and their first mode of search for humans is through vision.” If you wear red, navy blue, or black, you are advertising yourself as a tasty target.
Next, the mosquito zeroes in on your smell. The more carbon dioxide you expel, the more appealing you are to the mosquitoes looking to use your blood as their own fertility booster. As Day tells Msnbc.com, mosquitoes are more attracted to people with higher metabolic rates, as well as to larger people and pregnant women. Why? Because they all expel more carbon dioxide. Day further points out that “Lactic acid (given off while exercising), acetone (a chemical released in your breath), and estradiol (a breakdown product of estrogen) can all be released at varying concentrations and lure in mosquitoes.”
More strategies to repel or control mosquitos populations:
Biodiverse garden: Marigolds and herbs, etc… Marigolds
It has been scientifically proven that thiophenes, insecticidal compounds found in different species of marigolds, can kill mosquitoes. It’s hard to say if planting a bunch of marigolds around your backyard will expose the nasty critters to levels high enough to actually kill or deter them, though. Plant marigolds anyway, along with a variety of other native plants, herbs, and flowers because a biodiverse backyard will attract toads, dragonflies, hummingbirds, and other mosquito predators. And be sure to weed your garden and cut your grass frequently, so mosquitoes have less cover to hide in or rest on.
"Mosquito dunks" sold at most home and garden stores contain a specific type of bacteria that’s harmless to humans but toxic to mosquito larvae and can be used in birdbaths and decorative ponds. Eliminating sources of standing water will help, as well, since mosquitoes can’t breed without water. Empty kiddie pools when not in use, keep trashcans upside down during rainstorms, and keep rain barrels covered. Cleaning out stagnant water in gutters is another necessary precaution to avoid another place for mosquitos to lay eggs(larvae).
From the U. of Florida:
More on repellents:
"Picaridin is a little more effective than DEET and seems to keep mosquitoes at a greater distance," he says. When people use DEET, mosquitoes may land on them but not bite. When they use a product containing picaridin, mosquitoes are less likely to even land. Repellents with IR 3535 are slightly less effective, Strickman says, but they don't have the strong smell of other products.”
I use an organic soap made in Beacon, NY, and added the cream as well this year. The soap lasts 3-4 hrs, the cream is a before or after treatment which I haven’t tried yet this year (just got it in the mail). If you want the information for this natural soap let me know. Nice scent. Love the soap, although the cream would be helpful after the soap scent wears off.
For tips on a variety of gardening topics, see our guides at Plant Information Guides
- Courtesy of NYBG Plant Information Office