Written by: Samhati Bhattacharjya
World Mosquito Day, which is observed every year on Aug 20 across the globe, was first established in 1897, after Sir Ronald Ross discovered the link between mosquitoes and malaria transmission. This particular day is aimed to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented, as well as fundraising for research into the cure of malaria. However, World Mosquito Day also commemorates the groundbreaking work of the British doctor.
Although World Mosquito Day is not one of the most celebrated international days, but it surely is an important one, especially after the sudden rise of mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and zika. The doctors have been urging the members of the public to be careful and to avoid breeding places in their houses by emptying, covering, or treating any items that hold water.
There are a number of chemical products in the market that claim to wipe out mosquitoes. But, the scientists have proved that those products can eventually harm us more as those use harsh synthetic agents. Thus, it’s high time that we should find out a natural way to combat such pest problems. On the occasion of World Mosquito Day, we have listed down 5 anti-mosquito plants and flowers that can be the best mosquito-repelling plants to plant in the garden.
Lavender: Flowers are definitely a treat to the senses, but Lavender is one such flower that can keep mosquitoes at bay. The oil of this flower is a known mosquito repellent and is a common ingredient in topical creams that ward off mosquitoes. In order to drive out these disease-causing insects, one can use either the flower or its oil on the skin.
Four o’ clock flower: This flower is also known by its scientific name Mirabilis jalapa or the marvel of Peru. The four o’ clock flower is a common sight in most of the Indian nurseries that we have around our houses. The flower has a unique tendency to bloom at around 4 pm every day. Scientific evidence suggests that the flower extracts were known to be effective against An. stephensi, Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus breeds of mosquitoes and killing their larvae.
Marigold: The marigold flower used as one of the key ingredients for all religious purposes across India. It is already quite known for being an excellent medicine for all sorts of skin conditions. But, at the same time the extracts of marigold exhibits good mosquito repelling qualities. Experts say that these flowers contain pyrethrum, an ingredient that is often included in insects sprays.
Rosemary: These flowers are extremely effective at repelling mosquitoes. Rosemary flowers can be grown both inside or outside the house and surprisingly this plant maintains its effectivity even after trimming.
Tulsi flower: The sacred holy basil or tulsi plant is present in almost every Hindu household as it is revered for its religious significance and health benefits. People generally use the sap of the plant for treating skin diseases. But, it’s is a rare known fact that the flowers of the tulsi plant are equally therapeutic, especially when it comes to warding off mosquitoes. One can crush the flowers and rub the fragrant remnants on the skin to keep the mosquitoes away from biting you.