As spring approaches and the weather warms back up, Central Floridians look forward to spending more time outdoors. However, with the springtime rainfall comes a rise in the mosquito population. Learn how to modify your landscape to prevent these pesky insects, with natural and beneficial alternatives to harsh chemicals.
Mosquito Season in Florida
Just as people flock to Florida for its year-round temperate weather, there is a pest that enjoys the warmth and mild moisture as much as we do. Mosquitos are present throughout the year, but they thrive during the spring and summer. Mosquitos rely and two main factors present in our ecosystem: temperatures consistently above 50 degrees, and a significant rainfall.
In the state of Florida, there are around 80 species of mosquitoes. Of these, 33 species are known to be a nuisance to humans and pets. Worse, 13 species can carry more serious, even fatal diseases, such as Zika or West Nile. Two of the most common mosquito species in Florida are the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the gallinipper (Psorophora ciliata). While both have the potential to carry a number of dangerous viruses or diseases, they can be deterred with insect repellents.
Mosquito Repellent Plants for Your Yard
It is common knowledge that many pest repellents present significant risks to our health, and the health of our pets. To avoid contact with chemicals altogether, there are several plants that can naturally repel vexing mosquitoes.
Utilizing these natural plants will also add to your landscape by making it more lush and fragrant.
1- Marigolds - A beautiful and vibrant orange flower, marigolds have a very distinct smell. They can be purchased as seeds, or a starter plant. They perform well around entry points such as doors or windows, as well as around patios and other areas for outdoor entertaining.
2- Citronella - You have likely heard of this plant in the context of the popular mosquito deterrent candle we all know and love. This perennial grass grows in tall clumps up to six feet tall, and has a strong scent. It performs best in large pots with adequate drainage and sunlight.
3- Catnip - We hope you enjoy some feline company! Catnip is an easy-to-grow herb that your cats will love and mosquitos will hate. You can even crush the leaves to release an added boost of the repellent scent.
4- Lavender - A scent you most likely enjoy in candles and soaps, lavender has a relaxing aroma. It can be placed in a variety of areas, from entryways to entertainment areas. The bright purple bloom is an appealing addition to most gardens.
5- Basil - While this plant repels mosquitoes, you can also enjoy it on a delicious pizza or pasta dish. It is one of the few plants you do not have to crush to enjoy the benefits of, so it can sit happily on your windowsill.
6- Lemon balm - Lemon balm is a vibrant leafy plant that attracts pollinators, and wards off pests. It is however fast-growing, so it should be contained in a pot rather than planted in an open garden.
To avoid attracting insect pests, particularly mosquitoes, be sure to turn unused plant pots upside down. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, as well as other unwanted bugs. When you are outside, wear adequate clothing and use your choice of mosquito repellent. Any extra measures you take will decrease the likelihood that you are bitten.
Enjoying your yard should not be a territory battle! At Daniels Lawn Service & Pressure Washing, we can help design a landscape with plants that are ideal for repelling mosquitoes. And, with regular maintenance, the space will always be prepared for you to enjoy with friends and family. Contact us today to learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment!