Our New Insect Repelling & Cooking Planter Box

I love keeping the back door open, but we don’t have a screen door and I hate flies in the house.  We have a temporary screen hanging with a tension rod but it does not keep all the flies out, especially with the dogs running in and out.

I knew the Citronella plant repelled mosquitoes, and remembering how bad the fleas were when we got here last August and in light of the warm winter I thought I’d look for flea and/or fly repellent plants.

I found what I was looking for and as a bonus, 
you can cook with them also!

It turns out lavender, mint and basil have both flea and fly repellent properties.  There were also several others, but these are non-toxic to both dogs and cats.

The consensus seemed to be that any variety of these plants would do the trick so we got an assortment.

from L to R
Greek Columnar Basil, Orange Mint, Peppermint, Apple Mint & Thai Basil

We set up the porch rail mounted planter box on Sunday and it’s now Thursday.  I only saw one fly today so it really does seem to be doing the trick.

It also doesn’t hurt that we have fresh herbs almost within arms reach of the stove.

It’s only been 4 days, but the Thai Basil has flowered and is looking beautiful!

A pleasant surprise coming home today and finding little purple flowers on the Thai Basil.

Next we’re going to pull up some of the ivy and try planting mint as a ground cover to help control fleas naturally.  We got Peppermint seeds ($2.88 for 300 seeds versus $4.00 for each plant) and this weekend I’m going to get them planted in a starter pack and keep transplanting and starting new ones until we use all the seeds.  Jerry & I like working together in the garden so it will be a fun project to try and replace the ivy with mint.

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