Controlling insects in the garden and on your skin

Follow these simple instructions to keep insects from stinging you. And even if you aren't afraid of their stingers, they can still ruin your garden. Keep the following methods in mind to keep those annoying little guys from harming you or your garden.

Controlling insects in the garden and on your skin

Outsmarting stinging insects

You can avoid attracting stinging insects, such as bees, yellow jackets and mosquitoes, by being careful about what you wear or how you smell while gardening or sitting on the patio. Here are some suggestions.

• Stinging insects that strike during daylight hours are attracted to flowers coloured red, pink, yellow, orange and purple, so wear clothes in cool shades of blue, green, black, gray or white for yard and garden work.

• Many stinging insects are also attracted to floral and fruity scents, so forgo perfume, scented shampoo, scented hair conditioners and scented lotions.

• These insects are often repelled by herbal scents. Wear a broad-brimmed hat and tuck sprigs of rosemary or chrysanthemum or marigold flowers into the brim to repel insects. Or, if you don't want to wear a hat, put the sprigs into the pocket of a T-shirt.

Aspirin insecticide

  • Plant experts have experimented successfully with watering plants with aspirin-water as a systemic insecticide and promoter of plant growth.
  • Plants naturally produce some salicylic acid, which aspirin contains, as a natural protection.
  • When watered with the aspirin solution, treated plants absorb extra salicylic acid, which helps them repel sucking insects, and they produce strong, healthy growth.

What you need

  • 3 regular-strength aspirin (325 mg)
  • 19 L (5 gal) water

What to do

1. In a large watering can, stir aspirin into water until dissolved. Water plants as usual with treated water or put it in a spray bottle and use as a spray for foliage.

2. Treat plants twice monthly with aspirin water.

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