Basil to Keep Flies Away

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Many herbaceous plants with strong aromatic essential oils are known to repel the smaller flies such as gnats, some varieties of lavender repels mosquitoes, some varieties of mint repels ants and Basil may repel flies.

There are a gazillion varieties of basil, it's a fragrant herbaceous plant that is grown by multiple cultures Internationally. In North America we are most familiar with our Basil pesto and pasta sauces, salads and so forth. Various types have subtle differences in taste as well as size, and general overall appearance and many others have characteristics that make them useful to us Humans.

One purported property of Basil is its ability to repel flies. Growing some basil indoors some say will keep those annoying flying adult maggots away. Outdoors planted in pots by your picnic and barbeque area it is said to keep the flies away from your Potato salad and hot dogs, they taste horrible when they drown in your punch bowl !


flies

Supposedly the aroma derived from Basils essential oils is repugnant to these flying nuisances, just as them drowning in our fruit punch is repugnant to us.


There is some scientific evidence to back this Basil / Fly scenario up [1], mostly generations of folk lore that may have some basis in fact. Many herbaceous plants with strong aromatic essential oils are known to repel the smaller flies such as gnats, some varieties of lavender repels mosquitoes, some varieties of mint are repulsive to ants and even mice, and Basil so the legends go - will repel flies.

Adding some dry crumbled basil leaves to the soil of potted plants will help suppress gnats that are harbored within the soil.

A simple recipe for a basil based spray calls for combining 5 ounces of fresh basil leaves, 5 ounces of boiling water and allowing it to steep over night. The following day strain out the leaves and squeeze the dicken out of them to extract the essential oils lingering within. Naturally you'll be squeezing the leaves over the water and combining the oils and water. Add 3 to 4 ounces of a non aromatic liquor such as Vodka and use it as a repellant spray indoors or out.





Related Articles

Lavender Repels Mosquitoes Different types of mosquitoes react to varying stimuli. Most mosquitoes are active at dawn or dusk, some hunt your blood during daylight. The aromatic scent of lavender , you would think should attract insects. Lavender oil, however, actually repels mosquitoes and gnats.

Flies Adult Flies themselves are rarely a major nuisance in vegetable and flower gardens. The larvae are the problems, maggots and leaf miners. The immature stages of flies that feed on roots, foliage, flowers, fruits and vegetables.

How to Grow Basil How to Plant, Grow, Care for, harvest and store Basil. Basil is a bushy annual that averages 1 to 2 feet tall. The Basil leaves have culinary uses, most commonly in tomato dishes such as pesto, salads and tomato dishes.

Basil Varieties. There are over 50 varieties of Basil as well as some plants that are not true basil but are grown as such due to similar characteristics. Some varieties have a hint of citrus, while others have a cinnamon or a licorice-anise flavor. Some have purple leaves but most are green.



Foot Note

1. Insecticidal Activity of Basil Oil, trans-Anethole, Estragole, and Linalool to Adult Fruit Flies of Ceratitis capitata, Bactrocera dorsalis, and Bactrocera cucurbitae Basil plants (Ocimum spp.) and their prospects in the management of fruit flies.