A Gardener’s Diary: Keep mosquitoes at bay

Jocelyne Sewell provides a couple of natural remedies for warding off mosquitoes as well as ants in the garden

I don’t mind the heat except that it keeps me from working in the garden after 10 a.m. until after supper and by then the mosquitoes are out and I am in. That makes for a short day. It is a good thing that we are early risers. There goes another day hoping for cooler and cloudier weather on the horizon.

The other day I got an e-mail about mosquito repellent without having to use chemical on your body. I am in the process of making it. As it takes four days before you use it, I cannot say if it works but here is the recipe if anyone wants to try it.

Home made mosquito repellent (also for ants and fleas)

1/2 litre of alcohol

100 grams of whole cloves

100 ml of baby oil or similar (almond, sesame, chamomile, lavender, fennel, etc)


Leave cloves to marinate in alcohol four days. Stir every morning and evening. After four days add the oil.

It’s now ready to use.

How to use: Gently rub a few drops into the skin of the arms and legs. Observe the mosquitoes fleeing the room. Repels fleas on pets too.

Also included was a recipe to get rid of ants once and for all. This also I have not tried yet but am working on it.

One cup sugar

Three Tablespoons boric acid or Borax laundry soap

Three cups of warm water

Mix the sugar and boric acid together and slowly add the warm water, stirring all the time so the mixture will not get lumpy. Store it in a sealed jar and whenever you see ants simply take a used soda bottle or milk jug lid. Put a cotton ball in the lid and saturate the cotton ball with your sugar and boric acid mixture. It will not take much, just enough to fill the lid; if you spill any over the edge leave it, as this will only attract the ants even more. When you see the ants drinking the mixture, DO NOT kill them, let them drink and take the mixture back to the colony. This should kill the entire colony. In a day or two the entire colony should be gone. If you have small children or pets make certain they cannot get to this mixture since boric acid is hazardous.

They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too but I say you can have your weeds and eat them too. If you have never tried them in salad you should at least try purslane (Portulaca oleracea). It is a refreshing green with a slightly acidic and nutty taste and a crunchy texture and it may be cooked like spinach or raw in salad .100 gr of purslane contains 3.5 mg of iron, more than any other plant except parsley, and this is all the more remarkable because the plant is 92.5 per cent water.

Mark your calendars. On July 20 and 21, BX Creek Daylilies will be holding their eighth annual open garden. Expect to see thousands of blooms on more than 900 registered daylilies, and just as many hybridized seedlings. The garden will be open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., try to go early to beat the heat. The garden is at 4617 Pleasant Valley Rd. Call Gail at 250-309-0528, if you would like to visit at any other time.

The next column will be written by Gail Morgan of BX Creek Daylilies. She will tell you more about these beautiful plants that everyone should have in their gardens.

For more information: 250-558-4556.

Jocelyne Sewell is an organic gardening enthusiast and member of Okanagan Gardens and Roses Club, appearing every other Wednesday.