Consultants say having the fitting crops can hold many biting bugs away


STILLHOUSE HOLLOW LAKE – “The incidence of vector-borne diseases has doubled,” says Dr. Tracy McNamara from the Western University for Health Sciences.

This fact has many of us recently wary of our number 1 vector, disease-carrying mosquitoes.

“Anything, mosquito repellent, I hit them as often as I can. We have a mosquito killer in our yard that attracts them and kills them on our porch, it works, it works,” said Steven Sewell of Temple.

He and his friends take care of their long bike rides and their greatest defense? Peddle faster than the beetles can fly.

“We have a creek that runs behind our house with some stagnant water and we go down to Belton to feed and get those little things that you put water in that attract them and then we dump or go out to prevent and then “we have these little candles,” said fellow cyclist Rod Houston of Belton.

Zappers, decoys, they all work together with a little protection.

“It’s dark when they come out. I usually wear long sleeves and pants and pull them around my neck a little, holding them off my neck,” said Frank Jennings, another Belton cyclist.

All to protect us from a species that comes in more flavors than Baskin Robbins.

America has about 250 different types of mosquitoes that fly its sky friendly. Of those, Texas has 85 of them and the 3 most dangerous mosquitos when it comes to spreading disease? Yes we have it!

And while bug sprays rank first on most of our mosquito repellent lists, some items from your local nursery are becoming increasingly popular.

“I’ve had a few people who bought multiples at once, and when I say multiples, I mean in the cans. They buy them in excess, I mean they work, so why not, right? ”Said Christina Clark of Westview Nursery in Waco.

Clark, a future Ag teacher, says lemongrass, basil, catnip, and mint work inside.

“What’s in these plants that makes mosquitoes hate them? Well, really, it’s just the oil that’s in the plant,” she explained.

The list goes on: lavender, sage, rosemary, garlic, fragrant geraniums, chrysanthemums, and the great grandfather of them all – citronella.

You have to work a little to make it work for you.

“So you have your plants, just take some leaves, crush them, rub them on your skin and it’s essentially like a candle without the mess. You can smell the spray very well. Yes. It works? She explained

We’re giving our biker friends Jennings, Sewell and Houston a better smelling alternative for their bike breaks during a mosquito season that more and more of us are worrying about.

“With all the rain we’ve had. Am I worried how bad this mosquito season is going to be? Now that you mention it, I haven’t thought about it, ”Sewell said.

Now that he’s started thinking about it, he hopes we can too and maybe use some of the standing water around the house to plant some lemongrass or a chrysanthemum.