ACS Distance Education UK
Harness insect repellent plants
Plant insect repellent plants in outdoor living areas to help deter flies, mosquitoes, ants & cockroaches.
Most mints will repel a wide range of insects, including ants and mosquitoes, though peppermint and pennyroyal seem the best. Crushed sprigs can be scattered on a table to keep flies away from food, or pieces can be picked and rubbed over the skin to repel mosquitoes.
Tansy will repel flies, if brushed or crushed as will chamomile.
Citrus scented geraniums will repel insects also.
Minimise garden pests spreading to homes
Avoid tree branches which overhang the roof of the house which snakes, possums or rats can use to gain access to the house.
Such vermin like to make a home in the roof of a house, and can cause smells and other problems if ignored. Repellents or traps will help control the problem, but the only long term answer is either to stop their method of gaining entry, or to use poison baits. Possums can be encouraged to remain outside by providing nesting boxes or maintaining trees with hollows away from buildings.
Wood shavings as a mulch to deter both snails and snakes. They don't like crawling over it! It must be shavings though for this affect, not sawdust or wood chip. It should contain a lot of "flakes" of wood, like you get when you use a wood plant. Snakes are attracted to water features so are common in gardens with swimming pools. They also hide in garden beds close to homes and especially where there are logs, large rocks and places to take cover. Active dogs running around the garden tend to deter snakes from the area and also other animals that cause vibrations on the soil surface with their hoofs- such as horse and cattle.
Know and Avoid plants that are Dangerous
Avoid or replace plants which are potentially dangerous or unpleasant to be around. Scented plants while being attractive to some, can make other people quite ill and can also trigger asthma and lung complaints. Strong, sweet scents such as frangipani, jasmine, boronia and daphne are particularly irritating to sensitive noses, sometimes causing severe headaches. Similarly allergy sufferers can react badly to pollen from plants such as acacias and grasses. These are also gorgeous scented plants to many keen gardener lovers. Know who in your family has allergies, avoid planting these specimens near public right of ways or along front fences near public paths.
Many common garden plants have highly poisonous or irritating sap (eg. Oleander, Datura, Euphorbia and even many Grevilleas). Prickly plants such as cacti, some hakeas, roses etc. though useful in some parts of a garden, should never be used where people are likely to commonly brush past them. Some experts have estimated that as many as one third of commonly grown garden plants contain toxic chemicals