Record Setting Mild Winter Will Lead to Peskier Insects, Repel Them With Herbs from The Growers Exchange

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Protect yards and gardens naturally with insect repelling herbs from The Growers Exchange

Catnip isnt just for Cats!

Planting natural herbal defenses against pests eliminates the use of harmful toxins, improves the local ecology in gardens, and provides benefits of many plants that double as culinary, medicinal or aromatic herbs.

As one of the mildest winters on record eases out and warm spring days arrive, many pesky insects like ticks, mosquitoes, ants and termites are waking up from hibernation earlier than usual, and they’re hungry.

Briscoe White, owner and herb expert at The Growers Exchange, explains that this unseasonably warm weather has put us about two months ahead of the natural hibernation cycles for many local insects. “We won’t just see pests earlier this year,” he warns. “We most likely will see a boom in their populations as well.”

Industry experts suggest that mosquitoes may increase by a generation or two this year, since they are mating earlier.

With the earlier influx of harmful pests, non-chemical precautions are a must to prevent them from infiltrating gardens, yards and homes. Here are some suggestions to have a mosquito free summer.

Usually grown by cat lovers, catnip is proven to be ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes and biting insects than the harsh commercial chemical DEET. According to the American Chemical Society, the active chemical in catnip, nepetalactone, that drives cats crazy also repels mosquitoes.

Plant regular catnip or lemon-scented catnip in full sun and keep it well pruned. Rub the leaves on clothing and skin as a protectant from biting insects.

Basil also keeps mosquitoes away, as well as repelling house flies, especially when planted near doorways. Whether in containers or mixed into flower beds, basil adds texture, beauty, fragrance, and most importantly a “no fly zone” to homes.

Both peppermint and spearmint are excellent deterrents to ants, flies and moths, but they can also keep lice and mice at bay as well. Planting either variety of mint around the foundation of a house makes a natural boundary that many pests won't go near. Use it near windowsills or beneath sinks, to keep sneaky insects from coming in to visit.

“Planting natural herbal defenses against pests eliminates the use of harmful toxins, improves the local ecology in gardens, and provides benefits of many plants that double as culinary, medicinal or aromatic herbs,” says White.

Make sure to choose the safe, sustainable insect repellents this summer and think of the garden before reaching for the toxic spray!

The Growers Exchange is an online nursery specializing in an array of herbs, flowers and potted herb kits. With over 25 years of experience, this family farm has become the industry standard for herb growing and provides high quality, healthy plants and products shipped directly to your door. These plants have been featured on the Martha Stewart show, in movies and in many notable publications, and are grown naturally, without harsh chemicals.

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Katie Dubow
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