Tulsa Gardener Suggests Using Plants To Combat Mosquitoes

Friday, April 22nd 2016, 8:27 am
By: News On 6

Standing water left behind from all the recent rain makes for the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.  

Health officials want everyone to be proactive against mosquitoes because of the potential for the Zika Virus.  

One key is a little extra landscaping could help keep the pests away from your home and yard this spring and summer.   It's been a wet spring so far in Green Country, so you may already be noticing more mosquitoes around your home.

For many, the first line of defense is lathering up with bug spray or calling an exterminator.  But there is a way to fight the bugs without all the chemicals.

"Instead of spraying chemical treatment like DEET on yourself, on your skin, a lot of people are going to more natural remedies, and that includes a lot of herbs," Carla Grogg with Grogg's Green Barn.  

Herbs like lemongrass, lavender and rosemary release a scent that repels mosquitoes.  So does bee balm, a pretty purple flower native to Oklahoma.  Simply planting them close to your patio can do the trick.

"Yes, you can have some wonderful annual color, but interplant some rosemary and some lemongrass in there with them," said Carla Grogg.

You can also use a plant called cat mint by ripping the leaf off the plant, crushing it between your fingers and rubbing it directly on your skin.  And if gardening isn't really your thing, don't worry. 

"All of the plants that we mentioned are very easy to grow, and a lot of them don't like a whole lot of attention. So you can just kind of let them go and do their own thing," said Carla Grogg.

Proving it may be easier than you think to keep your family bug bite free.  

And if parts of your yard tend to get kind of swampy, the folks at Grogg's Green Barn say there are also certain plants that are good for soaking up all that extra water.