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Pesky Critters Elimination - May 12th, 2020

PESKY CRITTERS

ELIMINATION

It's that time of the year. The grass is growing, weeds are growing and along with all of that bugs and other unwanted critters are arriving. It has been too cool and windy to spend much time on the porch or patio.

It now seems like that is beginning to change this weekend. The weather forecast as I write this is calling for a sunny weekend with temps in the 80s and only a small chance of rain. A great weekend to work in the yard and garden, or relax on the deck.

Along with good outdoor weather comes some bad news. If the weather is good for us to be out, it's also good for all kind of pesky critters to be out. Mosquitos, nats, flies, moths, caterpillars and worms plus many more will be out and about. If we are going to enjoy the outdoors then the critters need to be removed. I will point out here out of all the millions of bug and insects out there only about five per cent are harmful. The other 95 per cent are either beneficial or at least harmless.

We know there are many commercial pesticides on the market that do a good job, however, many people prefer not to use any chemicals. Others like to at least keep pesticide use to a minimum.

There are many plants that will repel various insects and critters. Animals and bugs don’t care for plants that produce a fragrance. Some will repel most bugs some have a more limited use.

Lemon grass, lemon scented geraniums, lemon balm, lemon thyme, and lemon balm will repel a broad range of insects. Mints, decaying fruit and chocolate also make good repellents. Mosquitos are generally repelled by all of these. The plants only work as far out as their fragrance carries. A good way to increase their effectiveness is to crush a couple of leaves on the plant when you are outside. Rubbing your face and arms with some leaves will keep insects away from you.

Lavender does a good job of keeping away moths, flies, nats and other flying insects. Garlic is a good repellent. Too much will even repel people. Throw a few sprigs of rosemary or thyme on the grill when cooking outside will help to clear the area around the grill of flying and crawling insects. The mints tend to repel ants and some crawling varmints.

Marigolds planted in the garden repels nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic size insects that eat and damage the roots of your plants

Many of the leaves on the various plants mentioned can be harvested and mixed with a little water, then processed in a blend to make a spray. This can be used to spray other plants to repel deer rabbits etc. The spray would have to be reapplied after a couple of weeks or after a rain.

A last reminder, if it repels bad critters it also repels good ones. If it repels moths, mosquitos, etc. it will likely repel butterflies and maybe hummingbirds. Just a warning to make certain you don’t repel creatures you want to have around.

 

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