Bugs are a part of our natural environment that, whether we love or hate them, we need to pollinate plants and sustain the world around us. Some bugs can really detract from your enjoyment of your back yard, though, and on the other hand some bugs can enhance your back yard. Beneficial bugs include those that improve pollination, speed up decomposition and help in controlling unwanted bugs by feeding on them. If you find your down time interrupted by buzzing mosquitoes or other irritating insects read on. There are some bug repelling plants that might compliment your landscape design to get rid of unwanted insects and allow you to further enjoy your landscaping and hardscapes. On the other hand, there are some beneficial insects you might like to attract to your Bay Area backyard and we’ll cover that here too.
Plants You Can Use in Your Landscape Design to Repel Unwanted Insects
The same scent that makes our linens smell amazing acts as a natural repellent for some unwanted insects such as mosquitoes, flies, and moths. While choosing a place for a lavendar plant you may want to consider locations near entryways to your home to help deter insects from making their way indoors.
Basil is not only a great edible addition to your garden, but it’s also helpful when it comes to repelling mosquitoes and houseflies as well as ants, white flies, and even mice. Actually, there is an oil made out of basil used to kill mosquito eggs. Keeping close to your home is not only great for repelling insects but will also give provide a nice addition to many of your home cooked meals. Planting basil near tomatoes and a variety of other vegetables will also help deter some common pests from these more prone crops.
Citronella oil is well known for its usefulness for making insect-repelling candles, and most people don’t realize that citronella is made out of lemongrass. So, it’s not surprising that lemongrass is beneficial when it comes to repelling mosquitoes and other bugs.
It is important to note that simply adding certain plants to your landscape design is not the most effective means for deterring pests. It is even more important to prevent conditions that could promote pests, for example, make sure that standing water is eliminated as this will be your best means for preventing mosquitoes from reproducing.
Plants Bay Area Landscapers Use to Attract Beneficial Bugs
If your Bay Area landscaping includes fruit trees, a veggie garden, or any plants that you want to reproduce or spread you will need pollinators. In addition to pollination you might like to encourage a hand full of insects that will help to work against less desirable bugs.
- Sweet Alyssum
Sweet alyssums are fast growing and attractive plants. They have flowers that are highly fragrant. Sweet alyssum can attract pollinators with their sweet smell.
These are perennial plants that do well in Bay Area. They produce clusters of small flowers and are perfect when planted on borders. Yarrow is available in different colors. Best of all Yarrow attracts lacewing, lady bugs, hover flies, and trichogramma moths, all of which help to consume or destroy the eggs and larvae of things like moths which would otherwise turn into hungry caterpillars.
Marigolds are often planted in vegetable gardens to attract carnivorous bugs including ladybugs as well as to deter nematodes (a type of worm that can be harmful) and have been shown to deter some types of flies.
Bottom Line: More and more people are turning to organic, pest control means and some plants that we discuss here can be beautiful additions to any garden. Why not use a beautiful plant to also help control unwanted bugs or encourage pollinators to visit your garden.
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