Mosquitos can take the fun out of backyard pool time with friends and family. Fortunately, you can include mosquito-repellent plants in your pool landscaping for a natural, eco-friendly solution for these uninvited guests. When you rely on plants for pest control, it takes planning, research, and a little extra work. But the results can be effective and beautiful.
Chemicals can do the job, but…
Chemical treatments are easy to get, easy to use, and you can hire a professional to do the job for you. The results, however, can be toxic. Pesticides can seep into your soil and contaminate your pool area. Rainwater runoff can drive toxic chemicals into your pool. As the Environmental Protection Agency National Pesticide Information Center page explains, “Any chemical, including any pesticide, can pose risks to people, pets, or the environment.”
As you plan your mosquito-fighting pool landscaping, you’ll find that there are many well-known and not so well-known plants that can keep mosquitoes from ruining your backyard pool party.
Citronella uses diversionary tactics to do battle with mosquitoes, ants, and other insects. It keeps them away by filling the air with a strong citrusy smell that disguises the scent of the plants and people that usually attract them. Citronella works so well it’s used as an active ingredient in pesticides, repellent candles, insecticides, and wearable repellent devices. Citronella grows well in full to partial sunlight or in decorative pots to transport the scent where you need it most.
Lavender’s scent can calm you and soothe you to sleep. It can enhance your garden with striking color, and it can also keep flying pests away. You can include lavender in pool landscaping areas with full sunlight and good soil drainage. The plants also grow indoors in pots for portable mosquito protection.
For generations, homemakers have cherished cedar-lined closets and cedar chests because they keep moths and other creatures from feasting on delicate fabrics. When added to your pool landscaping, cedar can provide protection from mosquitoes and other flying pests. Cedar is a key ingredient in some packaged pesticides, and cedar bushes help you harness that repellent power when added to your pool landscaping. You may also enhance your existing landscape with cedar mulch.
Like lavender, basil has multiple uses. When you’re cooking, you can harvest a few leaves to add a mild hint of flavor to any dish. As part of your pool landscaping, basil adds areas of beautiful green color. It’s also an effective mosquito repellent. There are many basil varieties, one can be the simple, elegant addition that enhances your poolside greenery. You can grow basil from seeds or starter plants in an area with generous sunlight and good soil drainage.
Lemon Balm also does double duty indoors and out. When you plant it as greenery in your backyard pool area, its strong lemony scent repels mosquitoes and other insects. It is also the perfect choice as a tea infusion or for a hint of mint to enhance a gourmet dish. Lemon balm thrives in warm weather with shady conditions.
Choose Eco-Friendly Repellents
The National Resource Defense Council has worked for decades to control chemical pesticide overuse. You can help the fight and minimize your own risks by including natural plants in your pool landscaping.