Our campus grounds can grow a variety of plants which repel mosquitoes naturally. Lemongrass is one of the natural repellents. Citronella (essential oil) in Lemongrass is the most widely used natural mosquito repellent found in sprays, candles, and lotions.
Ways to Plant Lemongrass To repel mosquitoes with its strong fragrance, we can plant lemongrass along walkways and near to gathering areas. Lemongrass can be grown in large planters so it can be moved around to keep mosquitoes at bay and for pest control. Lemongrass not only repels mosquito; it smells wonderful with a tinge of lemony fragrance. Attractive, easy-to-grow and often used in Asian cuisine (free herbs for students and staff) (very healthy to drink as tea too).
Replace Commercial Mosquito Repellent Spray Moreover, the chemicals in commercial mosquito repellent spray are not only harmful to the environment, it is also harmful to the students. A pharmacologist in Duke University, in studies on rats, found that frequent and prolonged DEET exposure led to diffuse brain cell death. DEET is common in commercial mosquito repellent. Hence, we should avoid using commercial mosquito repellent and opt for natural repellents instead. It is easy to use lemongrass as mosquito repellent. We just need to pluck and crush the leaves, thus releasing the oil, and rub them directly onto the skin.
Other Mosquito-Repelling Plants Another plant to grow is Catnip which is one of the most effective mosquito repelling plants and cats love it too. Catnip is very easy to grow - it is a member of the Mint family. A vigorous growing herb in the garden. It has low maintenance, will grow anywhere, and has attractive purple flowers in Summer and Autumn. Other mosquito-repelling plants to consider are Basil, Bee Balm, Citronella, Floss Flower, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Marigold, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Scented Geranium and Pennyroyal.
Student Engagement and Guidance The campus can have signage near the plants to teach students the use of lemongrass or other mosquito-repelling plants. Hobby workshops can engage students in planting these plants. This will help lower the execution cost and allow students to have the opportunity to learn gardening from a professional. It is a sustainable solution as these plants can be locally sourced, easily grown and do not harm the environment. Lemongrass is a native plant in Australia.
Let’s stop the mozzie and start growing a repellent garden!