The cheerful, sunny disposition of summer brings out the best in people. More barbecues, road trips to the beach, or even hiking in the woods. Unfortunately, Australian summer also brings out the worst pests imaginable. As the country braces for high tourist activity, Australians also need to fortify their homes from the high volume of unwanted pests coming into our homes.
The summer heat provides the perfect weather conditions for insects to mate, reproduce and spread new colonies. But it can also become unbearably hot for them, which is why they seek shelter -- our shelter! While I always have a can of Mortein lying around for insect emergencies, I am wary of the nasty chemicals in pesticides. After all, pesticides are designed to kill living animals, so they can’t be good for us!
In recent years, aside from general tidiness and emptying any standing water in and around the house, I learned how to install plants around specific areas of the house to ward off unwelcome insects, particularly mozzies. During the 3 years of using plants as the first line of defense, the Mortein has been pushed deep into the back row of the top shelf and has never seen the light of day since. Resulting in cleaner, fresher, significantly healthier indoor air.
There are numerous health problems directly attributed to insecticide use. These include respiratory problems that trigger asthma and allergies as well as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, body tremors, and a variety of neurological symptoms among others.
Children are at greater risk because their immune systems haven’t fully developed yet.
Mother nature has been battling pests long before humans arrived on the scene. And the last time I checked, mother nature didn't use Mortein either. She had a safer and more potent insect repellent -- plants! There are plants that give off a scent that, while pleasant to us humans, is absolutely repulsive to pests!
Here are some plants you can use to stave off any mini-invasions those pesky pests may be cooking up:
Basil is very easy to grow. Just stick it in the ground and it will flourish with minimal care. Basil is potent at keeping flies and mosquitoes at bay, so place pots of basil by doors and window to stand guard. Remember to plant extra as basil is great in salads and pasta!
The pretty chrysanthemum flowers are effective in fighting off roaches, ants, ticks, silverfish, lice, fleas and bedbugs. Apart from repelling pests, chrysanthemums also have the ability to purify indoor air by removing toxic pollutants.
You knew that grandma was onto something when she placed bundles of lavender in closets and clothes drawers. These great smelling plants have a revolting effect on a variety of pests including moths, fleas, mosquitoes and even some rodents! Plant them near entryways such as doors and windows. Heck, plant some in your bedroom and lounge area to reap the relaxing benefits of lavender.
The citronella found in lemongrass is a staple ingredient found in insecticides and repellents. It's a pleasant smell to us humans, but to mosquitoes, it's a totally different thing!
Many insecticides and repellents boast of having citronella as an ingredient. Citronella is found in lemongrass and is totally horrifying to those nasty mozzies! And if you're into Asian cuisine, you'll definitely find more than a dozen ways to use lemongrass for cooking.
Marigold can be planted around your garden to protect other plants from rabbits. But they can also be grown indoors as they produce a scent that drives mosquitoes and rodents absolutely crazy.
Mint is a miracle herb that boasts a long list of health benefits while also proving useful in whipping up delectable meals. These non-toxic plants can be placed indoors to keep ants, flies, and mosquitoes away.
Gordon Ramsay adores rosemary (the herb!) he uses it in a lot of his best recipes. AS other world-renowned chefs do. So plant extras to also repel flies, mosquitoes, and other bugs. Sprigs of rosemary can make closets and clothes drawers no-fly zones for moths and silverfish as well.
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