Sydney summers achieve record numbers of mosquitoes every year and numbers soar after high rainfall. It’s important to protect yourself from mosquitoes not just to prevent annoying itchy bites, but to stop the spread of diseases that they can carry like the Ross River virus.
Footprint Gardens has some helpful tips on avoiding nasty, itchy mozzie bites – thanks to some sensible practices around the home and using natural repellents with some everyday plants and herbs.
Believe it or not, it is possible to keep your yard relatively mosquito free using garden variety plants and herbs which can also be used in salads and weekend drinks at the traditional Aussie weekend BBQ.
Most mosquitoes will be looking for blood throughout the night but from late afternoon through until early evening is when you really need to protect yourself and others.
There are 60 different types of mosquitoes in the Greater Sydney Region but the two most common are Aedes notoscriptus – this is the common backyard variety; and the second is Aedes vigilax and that breeds in the saltwater wetlands in Sydney and loves the mangroves in the Georges, Parramatta and Hawkesbury rivers and carrier of Ross River virus.
Did you know that only the female mosquito bites as she needs the blood to produce her eggs?
Don’t turn your backyard into a mosquito maternity ward; use some simple practices to prevent them from breeding.
Not allowing large amounts of water to sit in buckets, bird baths and pot plants. Fill your pot plant saucers with sand, it traps moisture but stops water build up that mosquitoes can breed in.
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide (the air we breathe out) so using a fan will move the air about and disrupts their flight and disperses the carbon dioxide.
While our first thought and reaction when we think about mosquitoes is repellent, a tropical repellent that contains diethyltoluamide (DEET). There are more natural ways to keep mozzies at bay around the home.
Footprint Gardens Top 10 natural mosquito deterrents that you can either plant in a garden bed or pop in some pots close to your outdoor living area.
Mint is not a friend to insects.
A powerful natural insect repellent.
You can crush or burn basil leaves to ward off garden insects at your backyard gathering?
The unpleasant smell of the marigold is unpleasant to the mozzie.
5. Bay Leaves
Repels mozzies, flies, moths, mice and cockroaches!
The most popular summer insect repellents.
The sweet and spicy fragrance keeps the garden bugs away in summer.
The essential oil in catnip (that gives it the strong odour) is about 10 times more effective in repelling mozzies than DEET (the compound used in chemical sprays).
If you’re gathering around the BBQ or a fire – try burning some sage (or rosemary). The incense these plants give off smells great to us, but it’s totally unpleasant to most species of insects.
Footprint Gardens wishes everyone a safe and happy summer.