We love to sit outside all spring and summer long, but in the springtime they make it almost impossible. We have tried spraying ourselves with Listerine and Off. Any ideas on other sprays or plants to plant around our deck? We already plant marigolds for mosquitoes. Any other suggestions? Thanks.
Hardiness Zone: 5a
By Jen from Shellsburg, IA
Q: Does anyone know of a plant that will repel biting gnats and other annoying insects?
Brenda from Central Arkansas
When you read the labels on "natural" gnat and mosquito repellent products, the ingredients always seem to contain combinations of lemon grass, mint, and garlic. Their effectiveness is probably due to the fact that an insects sense of smell is thousands of times greater than that of a human being and these are all highly aromatic plants. In theory, planting these plants should help repel gnats. At the very least, you will be left with the ingredients you need to harvest and make your own bug spray. Studies have suggested that garlic sprays made primarily from garlic juice or garlic extract are effective at repelling both gnats and mosquitoes. An interesting experiment would be to plant all three of these plants (garlic, lemon grass and mint) in containers and place them around your patio. As you pass by, you could crush a few leaves on each plant to release some of their aromatic oils. I have also read that dabbing a few drops of vanilla on your skin repels gnats.
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