Botanical plants use as mosquito repellent
Mosquito repellant botanical plants are paramount importance in the present day in Pakistan where there is rising number of mosquito borne illnesses. Alarming increase in the range of mosquitoes in Pakistan, is as a result of deforestation, stagnant waters, artificial containers, non-recyclable tires, trees holes, water drainage systems, ditches, ponds, lakes, lagoons, marshes, swamps, floodwater sites, dirty environments, industrialized farming/irrigated fields. The mosquito repellant plants were preferred over chemical mosquito repellents. It was observed that some botanical plants serve as retardant of mosquito’s’ growth where they were planted and also prevent the incidence of malaria among the residents. Mortality of Mosquitoes was found to increase proportionately with increase in planted of mentioned plants given below
Scientific name: Lavandula
Higher classification: Nepetoideae
- A lovely fragrance comes from its essential oils
- Tough and drought resistance once established
- Need full sun shine and good drainage
- Thrives in warm areas
Insects or even rabbits and other animals have never decimated lavender plant. It is because of their lovely fragrance, which comes from its essential oils that are found on the leaves of the plant. It is even argued that lavender oil hinders a mosquito’s ability to smell! This plant is very tough and drought-resistant once established, and only needs full sun and good drainage. And while it can endure many climates, it thrives in warmer areas.
Scientific name: Tagetes
Higher classification: Daisy family
- Ornamental annual flowers
- Easy to grow
- Does well in pods and gardens
Marigolds, an easy-to-grow annual flower, emit a smell that deters mosquitoes. Grow them in pots and place them near your patio or entrance to your home to keep bugs out. Marigolds are also a popular addition to borders and vegetable gardens. It not only can they keep away mosquitoes, but they also dissuade aphids, trips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms.
Scientific name: Cymbopogon
Higher classification: Grasses
- Lemon scented
- Most commonly use as Natural ingredient
- Does best in large planters (cannot withstand worst )
Known for its distinct smell, citronella grass is the most commonly used natural ingredient in mosquito repellants. In fact, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden recommends lemon-scented plants such as citronella grass to keep mosquitoes at bay. And the good news is that the living plant is the most effective at repelling pests. This low maintenance plant does best in large planters because it cannot withstand frost, but in warmer climates, can be planted directly a sunny area in the ground. Also, when buying Citronella, make sure you buy
Citronella winterianus, which are true varieties.
Scientific name: Nepeta cataria
Higher classification: Catmints
- Very easy to take care of
- Can become invasive
- Found to be ten time more effective to repel mosquito
Catnip (catmint) can be found thriving almost anywhere. It is from the mint family and grows abundantly both as a commercial plant and as a weed. It is very easy to take care of and may even start to invade other areas of your garden. They are amazing mosquito repellants and another recommendation from the BBG. Catmint was found to be ten times more effective than Plants, the chemical used in most insect repellants.
Scientific name: Rosmarinus officinalis
Higher classification: Rosmarinus
- An herb with woody scent
- Does best in hot and cold season
- Wilt thrives in containers
- Can be creatively pruned for decorations
Another great mosquito repellent is rosemary. Rosemary is an herb that many of us are very familiar with and their woody scent is exactly what keeps mosquitoes as well as cabbage moths and carrot flies away. They do best in hot and dry climates and thrive in containers, which may be ideal for areas with winters. They can also be pruned into all sorts of shapes and sizes and make great borders or decorations. While the pests stay away you can enjoy the herb’s scent and also use it to season your cooking.
Scientific name Ocimum basilicum
- All the types of basil can be used as repellents
- Plants can grown in containers
- Good sun light and good drainage
- All flies and mosquitoes live away from this plant
Basil is another herb that can also double as a pest repellent. The pungent smells the basil leaves give off are what keep pests at bay. And since all kinds of basil work to keep flies and mosquitoes at bay, feel free to explore and find the right types of basil to mix into your garden. This herb likes to be kept damp, needs good drainage, and enjoys lots of sun. You can plant basil in containers or in the garden, alone or with other flowers, as long as both plants meet the same requirements.
The importance of mosquito control
Throughout the years, mosquitoes have transmitted many diseases including malaria, dengue, yellow fever, encephalitis, and more recently the West Nile and Zika viruses. Mosquitoes are even to blame for heartworm in dogs. So it isn’t just about the annoyance or the itchy bite, it is a health concern for your family and pets.
In addition to growing the plants listed above, you should also practice good mosquito control in your garden so that the pests don’t get out of hand. The best thing you can do is prevent water from collecting and becoming stagnant, mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs even in a tiny spoonful of standing water.
This article is collectively authored by Muhammad Umar Javed (department of Entomology, University of agriculture Faisalabad). Faryal Fatima (Department of Pure and applied Biology, Baha Uddin Zakariya University)
Uswa Javed (Department of Food science, Government College University Faisalabad)