12 Herbs That Will Save You From Bug Bites

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By Ricardo Elisiário | Oct 29, 2019

Do you live year-round in the tropics or are you bound to a more temperate country? It’s roughly the same, for the summers can get pretty hot and equally buggy.

Since none of us rejoice with the flying buzz and vicious jaws of some little critters, let’s go over a few species of herbs that you can bring home, or add to your backyard, to save your skin from a night of poor, painful sleep.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

According to Hindu Mythology, basil is believed to ward off evil spirits. Seeing that the wicked spirits from primitive times can today be related to a number of things — one of them is disease-causing vectors — now you understand how it’s all connected.

The pervasive smell of the basil plant keeps pests and mosquitoes away. Put them outdoors, or anyplace you like to sit, and chill while keeping these little bloodsuckers away. Also, don’t be afraid to pluck out some leaflets and add them to your meals, for a master chef’s touch.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare)

If you’re both a gardener and a foodie, here again, this is just the right pick for you. Did you know that the oil of oregano diluted with around 8 ounces of water acts as a repellent to malaria-causing mosquitoes? It surely does on regular application.

Jump with happiness because you were just given a very valid reason to binge on pizza more often!

Mint (Mentha spp.)

Mint, or menthol, is known for its intrinsic flavorful properties. It’s also been traditionally planted alongside tea to give the leaves a minty tang. This herb will easily spread in your gardens and yards. It’s thought to keep eventual pests at a distance and is used in numerous ways to fend off harmful insects while perfuming the surroundings, and all done naturally.

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

We love its royal scent, whether in tealights, incense sticks or the freshly plucked real thing. But there are also those who certainly hate it. Who, you wonder? Moths, fleas, mosquitoes and the nasty flies.

Grow it near a sunny window to keep these uninvited buggers away. Fill your home with its mind-boggling aroma and brew some herbal tea in your kitchen as well.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

Lemon balm is called the “Elixir of Life” for its undeniably useful medicinal qualities. It contains high amounts of citronellal, a fragrant chemical compound.

Pick up a spray can of bug repellent at your home and you might notice the recurrent presence of this ingredient on the label, as it’s so effective repelling pests. So why not spare money, and your health, by growing the organic stuff at home?

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon spp.)

This bladed herb is not only fantastic for enthusiasts of the culinary arts, but also necessary to keep your Eden pest-free. We’ve known citronella, the natural oil, and all those fragrant candles that are a bit costly for any rational pocket.

Lemongrass has high amounts of it and hence, offers mosquito repelling properties. So it’s time to pitch some South Asian recipes and, of course, protect our lovely skin and garden from certain mischievous insects.

Thyme (Thymus vulgare)

Essential oils derived from thyme act as a repellent too, yet it won’t do it without a little help. For it to work, you must injure the leaves — just crush them between your fingers.

Their volatile aroma somehow helps to repel whiteflies, cabbage loopers and maggots, corn earworms, tomato hornworms, small whites and a few other nightmares for your vegetable patch.

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

This famous feathery herb has a quite distinct and bewitching flavor. Its mild perfume makes it a versatile herb, whose leaves and seeds can all be used for a variety of dishes.

For every gardener out there, dill will also protect your garden from aphids, squash bugs and spider mites.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

Recent studies confirm that this herb can be even more effective than DEET, which is a highly toxic component used in standard canned bug repellents.

To all of you reading, who despise big crawlers and coincidentally love to see cats in an altered state, this is the drug you need. Catnip plants are excellent roach repellents, look cool and are simple to care for if you leave them in a pot below any sunny skylight.

Bay Leaf (Laurus nobilis)

Need to come up with a fine curry dish? Go pluck some bay leaves from your yard’s shrub. Why buy it packaged or dry when this precious ingredient really does grow on trees?

This lip-smacking spice is a must-have in your patio since it keeps flies at bay, something invaluable especially in the warmest summer evenings, right after your nicest recipe pops ready out of the oven and the bugs can’t even wait to be invited in.

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

Onion gives you tears but chives, which belong to the same genus, will not. In fact, this delicate plant causes sobbing only to carrot flies, Japanese beetles and aphids. The purple inflorescence is like a mace, built to repel these creatures off of your crops, or else your salad greens would be at stake.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgaris)

Fennel is known for its crunchy texture in the Mediterranean cuisine. It has a sweet, refreshing taste and its seeds are used as mouth fresheners all around the world. But did you know that it also is one of the insects’ many kryptonites?

If you grow it in your garden, rest assured that all those aphids, slugs and snails will soon be slugging away.

As you’re aware, insects, they come in countless forms and sizes. Being their mere existence usually enough to ruin our good spirits, this collection of plants should the natural weapon of choice to fight them with.

These 12 examples aren’t just pretty but also so full of scents that even the most stuffy-nosed mosquito won’t fail to sense them and wish they could teleport somewhere else.