The weather is heating up very quickly and with it comes the dreaded mosquito! These pests can ruin an evening in the garden and can take a beautiful comfortable Oasis into a dreaded unbearable space.
The best way to remove mosquitos is to get rid of any standing water as this is where they breed. Ensure you regularly replenish standing water found in bird baths, clean out blocked gutters, add sand to the saucers below your pots and make sure your water features are constantly moving with a simple pump. I have a burbling urn style water feature that is always on whilst I’m home but I simply cover it with fly screen mesh when I leave the house for a prolonged period.
Smoke is an excellent way to keep mozzies at bay, most of the coils used really work due to the smoke. Firing up your firepit in the heat may seem strange and I don’t suggest it when there is a fire ban but it is an excellent way to ward off the flying pests. It also means the new firepit area you put in is used all year round and not just in the cold.
If you can’t bear the thought of additional heat you might have to look at blocking the mozzies out with fly screens and panels – my advice when looking at creating an outdoor room like this is to get the finest mesh on the market – this will block out even the smallest of bugs but you may have to introduce some fans to help circulate the air to maintain that fresh outdoor feeling.
On top of removing standing water from the garden there are a few plants you can pop in the ground to help ward away these flying pests. Although a single plant may not have the desired effect you may be after, try mass planting for an increased effect.
- Citronella is the most common plant used in fighting mosquitos and this is because it has an intense smell that makes you harder to find for mozzies. The plant is easy to grow in full sun and grows to around 1.3-1.8 meters tall and is a clumping grass that doesn’t like any frosts at all.
- Catnip has been said to be more powerful than DEET (the chemical used in the majority of insect repellent sprays) and is a member of the mint family so it can easily take over the garden. If it does you run the risk of being taken over by a hoard of cats too so you have been warned.
- Lemon scented pelargoniums need to be planted enmass to be effective but this can be an added design bonus to a garden space. Use them in a hot spot so the scent travels and allow them to spill over the surrounding walls of a patio to ward off any daring mozzie.
- Marigolds are a great companion plant to veggies as the smell attracts a lot of pests – keeping them off your edibles. This scent will also keep mozzies away from the garden so pop a few of these brightly coloured flowering plants at the front of a border or in a pot near your entertaining area to keep mozzies at bay
- Horsemint omits a strong smell like the other plants listed above but unlike them it can tolerate shade and it also like a dry spot too so it perfect for planting under trees and large shrubs.