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Consumer Watch: Mosquito free yards this summer

Keeping mosquitoes at bay using plants. [Pixabay]

‘Little pests’ is putting it mildly because mosquitoes are out in full force, but you can keep them out of your yard.

“Everybody is watering their yard more frequently, as much drought as we've had, so here come our little friendly pests,” says Dan Wagner, general manager Precure Nursery and Garden Center.

Mosquito season is here, and a sampling of mosquitoes, in Oklahoma County, has already tested positive for West Nile in June. The Oklahoma City-County Health Department tells Fox 25 they also had 60 test pools showing West Nile virus last year.

There are pesticides to keep mosquitoes away, but you can also keep them back by using certain plants. Natural oils from plants in your garden can keep mosquitoes away, and Wagner says customers are always asking to know about the winning plants.

“That's kind of a mixture of everything we have. you have your peppermint, citronella, lavender,” says Wagner.

Here is a checklist of the plants that will provide you some mosquito protection:

  • Peppermint
  • Citronella
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass.

The plants should last through the summer. You can plant them in your garden or set them in pots to make them more mobile. If you use a larger pot, these plants can grow quite large. Try to place them near doors or wherever you plan to sit and hang out with friends and family. If you don't have much of a green thumb, Wagner says there are products that come with the repellent oils, and no plants.

“Anything with Bonide that has the gold shoulder is a natural repellent. So, if you go and look at the ingredients in this mosquito beater, you will find basically every plant that I have listed,” says Wagner.

To protect yourself from West Nile virus, follow the City County Health Department's advice: the 3-d's and a "p" of mosquito safety.

  • DRAIN standing water on your property so mosquitoes wont' breed
  • Use DEET repellent on your clothes
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants
  • PROTECT yourself - limit outside exposure and check window screens.

West Nile symptoms include fever, headache, body ache, and sometimes a rash. It does require medical care, so if you feel sick, visit your doctor. West Nile virus can affect anyone, but infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

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