It is often annoying when you cannot enjoy outdoors after 6pm and end in the house with locked doors and windows in order to keep mosquitoes at bay. However, there are plants one can plant around the house to act as repellants. Not only are these plants scented, they can also be used as herbs.
Ethel Nambowa, a managing director at Green Gardeners in Kasangati, tips on placement. “You do not have to plant them all over the compound. Plant in flower pots and place these at the entrance of your house or, on window seals and during the day, place some inside the house,’ says Nambowa.
Julius Nyanzi of Pro Bio Research company at Masanafu says these plants will also keep mosquitoes away even during the rainy seasons. “It is not necessary for me to spray my house with any harmful insecticides when I can opt for natural plants,’’ says
Heron Namagembe, a resident of ndejje explains why she had to plant Lavender around her house. This plant is a herb that can be planted in the garden but most preferably in containers to hang around the house.
It has a scent that keeps the surrounding areas of the house free from mosquitoes and other unwanted insects such as flies. “Hanging them at the front and back door has worked for me. I also place some plants on the window panes. Crush and rub the leaves directly onto the skin to release the oils that will keep away mosquitoes and other insects longer,” Namagembe says.
This grows like a weed and spreads. However, growing it in a flower pot makes trimming easy and gives the plant a better look. Lemon grass repels mosquitoes by masking scents that mosquitoes are naturally attracted to and in turn makes it difficult for them to locate food.
The rosemary plant is effective in a number of forms as a mosquito repellent, one can add the leaves of this plant to their bath water or dry the leaves, crush and spread the powder in different corners of the house. As a plant, its flowers have a that repels mosquitoes.
It’s suitable for growth in a garden bed or in a container if you wish to bring it indoors. “Alternatively, add one cup of dried rosemaryto water. Cover and bring to the boil. When fully boiled, open the saucepan and let the steam spread into the house, explains Nambowa.
Basil appears wonderful when grown in a container as it also thrives well in drained soils.
When grown in containers one can easily hug it by the window positioning the plant in plants where it can receive enough sun. “One can also choose to pick a few basil stems or leaves and spread them near the doorway, along the verandah, in dark places such as closets and cupboard to help repel mosquitoes. You can fully dry the basil leaves and burn them for a more powerful repellent,’’ says Nyanzi.
Unlike other natural mosquito repellents that are herbal, marigold is a vibrant flower known for its strong aroma. Mosquitoes will not come close to it.
This golden flower can be grown in various places around the yard to keep mosquitoes at bay.
One can opt to cut the flowers off and put them in vases around the house to prevent mosquitoes from migrating indoors. They also add beauty to the house.
While eating garlic-filled foods will not repel mosquitoes unless you consume a massive amount, growing garlic can do the trick. Simply add some garlic to your vegetable garden or flowerbed.
Advantages of plants
• Most of the insect repellants are herbs that serve other health benefits. For example, lemongrass has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help the body cope with coughs, fever and other cold and flu symptoms as it is loaded with Vitamin C that boosts the immune system to fight the infection.
• It has antiseptic compounds that effectively kill bad bacteria and parasites in the digestive tract.
• Helps to clean and detoxify uric acid and cholesterol from the body.
• It also helps to purify the liver, kidneys, bladder and pancreas
• It helps in strengthening the skin tissues and toning up the pores while also sterilising them.
• Lemon grass also works as antiseptic for internal and external wounds.