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Friday, June 6, 2014


Mosquitoes are known to carry many infectious diseases from several different classes of microorganisms, including viruses and parasites. Mosquito-borne illnesses include Malaria, West Nile Virus, Elephantiasis, Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever etc. These infections are normally rare to certain geographic areas. For instance Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is a viral, mosquito borne illness usually regarded only as a risk in the tropics. However, cases of Dengue Fever have been popping up in the U.S. along the Texas-Mexican border where it has never been seen before.

Mosquitoes can ruin the enjoyment of your summertime enjoyment!  Chemical insect repellents can be absorbed into your bloodstream, bug zappers don't always get the mosquitoes that are after you, and the smoke of incense or candles is irritating to some.

Taking B Complex vitamins (double the dose) and staying away from eating sugar are definite good choices (especially for those with A-blood type! 

Also, mosquitoes don’t like a few easy-to-grow herbs. Grow these six plants around patio areas or keep the crushed leaves in a small container on your patio to repel mosquitoes:

• Catnip (Nepeta cataria). A perennial for some gardeners and an annual for others, catnip has been found to be 10 times more effective than DEET at keeping mosquitoes away. Cats will crush this plant if it is in a garden bed and it has a tendency to become invasive, but keeping a couple of plants in hanging containers helps avoid both problems.

• Marigold (Tagetes spp.). This sun-loving annual also repels aphids and is an excellent companion plant for your vegetable garden. Marigolds are an easy-to-care-for border plant and the simplicity of collecting seeds for next year’s planting makes this plant an affordable addition. Note: Do not rub on skin.

• Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis). The oil of this shrub is heavenly to most humans, but disgusting to mosquitoes. It’s an attractive plant for container or herb gardens that requires little water and also is delicious when used for cooking meat, soups and egg dishes.  It thrives in Arizona!

• Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus). This plant has a lemony scent that mosquitoes hate. With a little patience, it can be grown from stalks sold in the market. It prefers full sun and good drainage. Keep in mind that this tropical plant won’t tolerate freezing temperatures.

• Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). This perennial has silvery foliage and can be grown in full sun in most zones. Makes a unique border plant and the pungent odor keeps mosquitoes at bay. Note: Do not rub on skin.

• Mint (Mentha spp.)  Many mints’ oils are unpleasant to mosquitoes, so keep a pot or two of these hardy and aromatic plants around. Since they spread easily, mints are best cultivated in containers.

Except for marigold and wormwood (which can cause contact dermatitis) you can rub the crushed leaves on your skin for added protection. 

If you do get bitten, immediately apply Ravensara essential oil - plus a blend of Rosemary, Tea Tree, Lemongrass, or Thyme onto the area.  Peppermint and Lavender help reduce the itch.  Have a happy mosquito-free summer!!!

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