On this month’s show, Bev is joined by Angela Chandler of The Garden Academy. Bev and Angela discussed those pesky mosquitos and what repellant to use in your garden.
– [Beverly] Are mosquitos chasing you out of the garden this summer? Let us show you how to naturally enjoy the outdoors. ♪ [music] ♪Welcome to the Arbor Gate.
We’re here in Tomball, Texas. I’m Beverly Welch with my dear friend, Angela Chandler of the Garden Academy. And you know, we are so blessed here on the Gulf Coast to be able to enjoy the outdoors year round. But in the summertime, we do have a pesky little nuisance that loves some people more than others.
But it’s known as the mosquito. – [Angela] Yes, it is, unfortunately, or skeeters to, you know, a lot of us.
– So, there’s a lot of natural remedies, if you will, or deterrents, repellents, that you can do in the garden and apply to the garden or to yourself to help keep these guys away without killing them because they do serve a purpose.
– They do serve a purpose. The mosquito is the beginning of the food chain that supports all of that wonderful sea life that we’re so fond of here in the Gulf. So, we don’t really want to remove the mosquito from the food chain, even though every once in a while when one zaps you, you’d like to see them all gone. But we really do want to keep ourselves protected, keep our pets protected and our gardens comfortable without destroying that little start of the food chain for the estuaries.
– And this collection of plants we have, which is just a partial collection, are all great. They offer all these essential oils.
– They do, Beverly. You know, and all of these plants have some kind of essential or aromatic oil that does repel insects. The problem is they’re trapped in that plant. So, even though we love them and enjoy them in our gardens, we would have to constantly crush them to be able to get the benefit of the repellent activity from them.
– And you know, I love the beauty berry and I was so excited to learn what a wonderful example it is of that. Beauty berries, of course, being native, were something that the settlers used in this area to help repel the insects, the mosquitos, the flies, not only on themselves but on their livestock.
– Yes, and naturalists still do when they’re out traipsing around the woods, you can get a few leaves of the beauty berry and crush them and rub them physically on you with no harm to you at all and it does have a good repellent capability to it.
– And you know, I want to mention one thing. Harmful insects work on sense of smell, your beneficials on sense of sight. So, by using these products and repelling the harmful, you are in no way inhibiting the activity with your beneficials.
– That’s right. And you know, some of these plants also attract beneficials as well so we get a double boost from them.
– Right. And great wildlife food there. The birds love the berries.
– They do, and well, beauty berry is a favorite of mine in the garden anyway. I think it’s lovely.
– It’s gorgeous. Well, let’s talk about some of these products that we can use so easily, and as you mentioned, are all derived from oils of these plants.
– They are. They’re all natural derivations and some of them have an oil base so that they’re very easy to apply. So, for personal protection, I am a huge fan of this. You actually introduced me to this. And this is probably the best personal repellent I’ve ever used. This tiny little jar goes a long, long way because I just put dots of it on any exposed area and then quickly brush those dots into my skin and I’m comfortable all day working in the garden.
So, I’m a huge fan of this and then there’s this soap that you can use actually to wash before you go out in the garden. But actually, since all of the elements in this are natural, too, you can actually in an emergency rub this bar on your skin as well. So, I’m a huge fan. I think everybody ought to have these. I even carry one of these in my car so that when I see those little special nurseries or side of the road places I want to explore plants, I can douse myself quickly and not get bit.
– One of my favorites is garlic. And the garlic spray, aside from being a natural fungicide, is a great repellent. Now, my yard smells like a big pasta salad for a day, but that’s not all bad. But I can go and spray the perimeter, which is what I do, and in the shady corners where there’s a lot of foliage, you literally see the mosquitos just pouring out.
And this is good when you let it dry without rainfall, it lasts for a month.
– It does. I’m amazed at how well garlic repellents do work in the garden. I use them for definitely to keep my pets more comfortable, and like you say, you can spray it in the shrubbery, the dark shady places where you know they like to hide and you get good repellent. The garlic smell dissipates very quickly and it’s well worth it, well worth it.
– It is. This is another product, too, that is a must have out here. These are actually aromatic incense sticks, if you will. Each one burns for a couple of hours. If you need to, you can snuff it out, relight it. But these are made, again, all from these essential oils so it has a very pleasant fragrance and it’s effective 20 feet away.
– That sounds wonderful and it’s a good excuse for all those pretty little incense containers.
– Exactly. Or you know, just stick it… I have several pots. I just stick it in my pots.
– Yeah. That would work well.
– And then again, these are just sprays made from cedar, citronella, rosemary, lavender, just great repellent and pleasant fragrance.
– Yes, meant to keep them out of areas so that they don’t bother you. You know, we know mosquitos can be irritating but they can be a health issue. We want to be aware of that but it repels instead of kills.
– Right. And who would have thought a rechargeable, portable bug zapper. Great for the fishermen. So, all of these work so well. They’re so easy. They’re very inexpensive and very effective.
– Very convenient, they work well and it just lets you enjoy the summer garden. I can’t imagine being driven out of my garden.
– Oh, no. Not by a mosquito. ♪ [music] ♪