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Plants that deter insects? Suggestions appreciated

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LivinginSG
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Plants that deter insects? Suggestions appreciated

Postby LivinginSG » Mon, 13 Oct 2014 7:24 pm

Hi

Hope you'd be able to point me in the right direction re this. I'm looking to grow some insect repelling plants (e.g. Vetiver, Citronella, lemon grass etc...)

Anyone has any suggestions re types of plants or where I could get them?

Most lemon grass I've seen has had its roots cut off :(

Cheers

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:00 pm

Lack of roots is not a problem:
http://purplefoodie.com/grow-your-own-lemongrass/

A lot of plants work like this. I have a veritable forest of kang kong on my roof deck in California, by doing the above to $1 worth bought at the local asian super market.

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Postby nakatago » Tue, 14 Oct 2014 5:46 am

zzm9980 wrote:Lack of roots is not a problem:
http://purplefoodie.com/grow-your-own-lemongrass/

A lot of plants work like this. I have a veritable forest of kang kong on my roof deck in California, by doing the above to $1 worth bought at the local asian super market.


In that case, http://www.filipino-food-recipes.com/cr ... gkong.html

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 14 Oct 2014 7:50 am

zzm9980 wrote:Lack of roots is not a problem:
http://purplefoodie.com/grow-your-own-lemongrass/

A lot of plants work like this. I have a veritable forest of kang kong on my roof deck in California, by doing the above to $1 worth bought at the local asian super market.


I started off a stub of ginger root in the same way. Once I planted it out it was putting on an inch of green spear-like shoot a day. After a month it was a yard high!

...I'd never thought of doing the same with lemongrass. That could be handy as esp. in Europe it damned expensive stuff to buy from the supermarket!


@ LivinginSG. What insects are you trying to repel? If it's mosquitos, a condo management office should be dealing with it. If HDB I'd discuss it with them. Last thing anyone wants is dengue clusters...

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Postby curiousgeorge » Tue, 14 Oct 2014 8:58 am

Seriously, nobody mentioned Pandan yet?

Pandan leaves are widely used across SE Asia to deter cockroaches and other small insects.

Source: Ask a taxi driver

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Postby zzm9980 » Tue, 14 Oct 2014 9:00 am

curiousgeorge wrote:Seriously, nobody mentioned Pandan yet?

Pandan leaves are widely used across SE Asia to deter cockroaches and other small insects.

Source: Ask a taxi driver


That's the first thing I thought of, but I'm a bit naive about its uses. Does it work equally as well when planted, or only later when harvested?

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Postby beppi » Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:52 pm

I found that, against tropical mosquitoes, only highly toxic chemicals help. Forget about those "Citronella" and similar organic anti-insect thingies sold in the West (and of course the plants they are made from) and get a real dose of DEET!

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Postby aster » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 3:16 am

http://www.naturallivingideas.com/9-nat ... your-home/

Not that spiders are a main concern here in Singapore.

I happen to get the occasional little lizard, but I take it he likes to chew on other little things so he does more good than harm. :)

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Postby nakatago » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 5:41 am

zzm9980 wrote:
curiousgeorge wrote:Seriously, nobody mentioned Pandan yet?

Pandan leaves are widely used across SE Asia to deter cockroaches and other small insects.

Source: Ask a taxi driver


That's the first thing I thought of, but I'm a bit naive about its uses. Does it work equally as well when planted, or only later when harvested?


You can also put the leaves in while cooking your rice for fragrant rice. Boil the leaves to make drinks; tea, with grass jelly for a refreshing iced beverage or to flavor desserts.

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Postby Max Headroom » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 7:39 am

This auntie gave me a bunch of pandan leaves a while back. I put them next to my balcony door, which is always open, to deter any smart-alecky roaches from coming in.

A week later, I picked up the bunch to chuck it and a cluster of cockroach nymphs fell out. Not exactly proof of anything, but this whole pandan/cockroach thing has a pretty high urban myth ring about it if you ask me.

If you want something that's anti-bugs in the home and non-toxic? Get a cicak lizard. I have about 3 of them patroling the place and I see a wee one every now and again, so they're popping out babies, which is fine by me.

Yeah, they're turd-machines, but think about it, all those turds were bugs before, so the lizards are working their way through plenty of creepy-crawlies, including mosquitoes.

I'll take their turds in my stride. So to speak.

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Postby the lynx » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 8:41 am

This is my personal input, considering what I do for living.

Plants can repel insects but they can only do so much. Like what beppi said, the real ones that can kill/repel 100% are the synthesised chemicals like pyrethroids, DEET etc. After all, the scary DDT, dieldrin, and other insecticides are hailed from their ancestor, pyrethrum from a particular chrysanthemum species in Africa. Africans used to burn these flowers in evenings to kill/repel mosquitoes.

Pandan only works while it is fresh. Once it dries and loses the scent, the only use it has for, is as new home for cockroaches (like Max Headroom said).

If you still would like to consider plant alternative, consider lemongrass, pandan and neem. A friend of mine did a PhD about neem's effectiveness against mosquitoes (not sure in fresh form or crushed/incense form). But the same rule applies, once these plants dry up and lose the scent, time to chuck them away and get fresh ones.
Last edited by the lynx on Wed, 15 Oct 2014 9:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby PNGMK » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 8:55 am

Max Headroom wrote:This auntie gave me a bunch of pandan leaves a while back. I put them next to my balcony door, which is always open, to deter any smart-alecky roaches from coming in.

A week later, I picked up the bunch to chuck it and a cluster of cockroach nymphs fell out. Not exactly proof of anything, but this whole pandan/cockroach thing has a pretty high urban myth ring about it if you ask me.

If you want something that's anti-bugs in the home and non-toxic? Get a cicak lizard. I have about 3 of them patroling the place and I see a wee one every now and again, so they're popping out babies, which is fine by me.

Yeah, they're turd-machines, but think about it, all those turds were bugs before, so the lizards are working their way through plenty of creepy-crawlies, including mosquitoes.

I'll take their turds in my stride. So to speak.


+1 - don't hurt the Geckos. We leave ours be and we have no ants/roaches and very few mozzies. Tinny the cat takes care of the occasional locust or preying mantis.

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Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 9:08 am

Max Headroom wrote:If you want something that's anti-bugs in the home and non-toxic? Get a cicak lizard.


Can you actually buy these if you don't have any? Or just hope they show up?

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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 9:25 am

zzm9980 wrote:
Max Headroom wrote:If you want something that's anti-bugs in the home and non-toxic? Get a cicak lizard.


Can you actually buy these if you don't have any? Or just hope they show up?


The more insects you have, the more cicaks will appear...Good thing about them is that they are opportunist; once the critters are gone, they will go elsewhere for food so they won't stay around and poop all over.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:07 am

If you have patience, you can also train them to eat soft boiled rice from your finger tip as well. I've always got a couple around the house. Very few insects though and I'm on the 2nd floor and facing a park so they are doing a good job. :cool:


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