Does the thought of bloodsucking parasites make you squirm and recoil in terror? Are you scratching yourself right now just thinking about it? Though small and wingless, such bloodsucking insects, such as fleas, have the strength to jump quite a distance compared to its body size. Ticks can drop onto passersby and then hold on with a firm grasp to humans, animals, and birds. Once on their prey, these parasites will feed on blood biting constantly and mercilessly until they die, drop off, or are removed somehow.
Dogs, cats, other animals, and even people are not off limits to the wrath of such little nasty parasites. Fleas and ticks do not only cause itching; severe discomfort including scratching, biting, and restlessness; and skin irritation in pets, but their bites can lead to more serious health conditions or transmit diseases like flea allergy dermatitis, bacterial infections, tapeworm, heartworm, anemia, and the plague. To keep pets safe from bloodsucking ticks and fleas, start by growing plants that repel them from your garden, home, and out of your and your pets’ lives!
Rosemary is an earthy smelling evergreen herb bush that deters a number of annoying bugs and insects. Besides having the power to chase away mosquitoes and flies, rosemary is good at repelling fleas and ticks from the area it is planted in. A dog or cat brushing pass a rosemary bush will be coating its fur in the oils giving him or her added pest protection.
Chrysanthemums are beautiful flowers to have in your garden that deter both fleas and ticks as well as other insect pests. The chemical pyrethrum is a naturally occurring organic compound found in chrysanthemums, also called chrysanthemum extract, that disables the nervous system of fleas, thus fleas staying away. Plant the flowers randomly around other plants and along the edges of your yard to create an attractive barrier that also scares off pests.
The fleabane daisy does indeed live up to its name! This lovely flower from the daisy family is tall which makes it perfect for working into your garden not only as landscaping, but for its ability to repel fleas and ticks. This plant is also known to work as a natural repellent against mosquitoes, gnats, and flies. For added protection, rub a light coating of the fleabane daisy’s leaves on your skin or your pet’s fur.
It’s important to remember that while the strong scent and taste of some fresh herbs and flowers keeps pets from chewing on the plants, it’s possible for these insect repelling plants to be toxic to pets if ingested or if it touches sensitive animal skin. Grow plants out of the reach of pets or watch to see if pets are coming in contact and reacting negatively.
Plant any of these pest repelling plants (or a combination of) in pots to enjoy an insect-free patio or take indoors. Another useful way to keep plant leaves and flowers is to dry them, then crush them into small tabletop containers, or hang them intact around the house for pest protection with a pleasant scent all day long.
Green Monsters: There are many more tick and flea repelling plants. What are some of your favorites?
Image Source: Lee Haywood/Flickr