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Try Growing These Plants to Keep Those Pesky Mosquitoes At Bay!

This summer in Ohio we’ve had pretty much non-stop rain, which means the mosquitoes are pretty much non-stop as well. In fact, they’re the biggest (and hungriest) mosquitoes we’ve ever seen outside of Minnesota!

In fact, between the rain and the vicious little bloodsuckers, it’s hard to even get outside in the garden at all lately.

We thought this article would be very helpful for us mosquito-inflicted gardeners. There are a number of plants that mosquitoes hate, so you can stay mosquito-free and get your gardening done – or just enjoy an evening on the patio without being covered with bites afterwards.

Check out the article below to learn more:

Summertime, and the living is … too mosquitoey and itchy? It’s a common complaint. And mosquitoes are not only a nuisance — they can also spread West Nile virus.

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For many people, the solution is to reach for a DEET-based repellent before venturing outdoors. DEET has been around for more than 50 years, and the Environmental Protection Agency has assured us this chemical is safe if “used as directed.” DEET has been the standard against which all other repellents are measured — but is it really safe?

A 2001 review of 17 cases of suspected DEET toxicity in children concluded that “Repellents containing DEET are not safe when applied to children’s skin and should be avoided in children. Additionally, since the potential toxicity of DEET is high, less toxic preparations should be substituted for DEET-containing repellents, whenever possible.” In 2009, a French study reported that “Excessive doses of DEET could be toxic to humans and could cause severe seizures and lethality when combined with other active ingredients, such as pesticides.”

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The thought of slathering on a neurotoxin scares many of us, so the editors at MOTHER EARTH NEWS and I explored the research on natural mosquito repellents (there is a ton of it!) and put together this report on natural alternatives to DEET. To make our list of effective, nontoxic options, a natural mosquito repellent had to meet two requirements:

1) The material(s) involved needs to be “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS), and be nonhazardous to people, pets and other non-mosquito living beings.

2) Repellents and techniques have to be scientifically proven effective.

After careful research, we landed on two attractive options: homegrown mosquito-repellent plants and homemade mosquito traps.

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These traps and the natural mosquito-repellent plants probably won’t make your yard totally mosquito-proof, but they should help — and they sure beat exposing yourself to a now-proven neurotoxin.

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The following five plants produce effective mosquito-repelling volatiles, but they release these compounds in large quantities only when the leaves are damaged. Pick and crush a few leaves from any of the plants, then rub the crushed leaves on your skin and clothing to discourage mosquitoes. If you have large enough plants, you can use stems and leaves as “strewing herbs” on your patio.

Read the Full Article at Mother Earth News…

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