The Popular Flower That Helps Keep Pesky Chiggers Out Of Your Yard

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The Popular Flower That Helps Keep Pesky Chiggers Out Of Your Yard

The Popular Flower That Helps Keep Pesky Chiggers Out Of Your Yard

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Many pests can infect your yard without you even knowing it. For example, you may not be aware that you have chiggers until you go out into your garden one day and come back with red, itchy bites. However, there is a well-known type of flower that can prevent pesky chiggers from taking over your yard.

The larvae of harvest mites, chiggers are a type of arachnid. As adults, harvest mites feed on other insects and insect eggs. However, in the larval stage, they have to rely on feeding off living animals, including humans. Most of the time, you won’t even be able to see them because they are so tiny, though these little red parasites are sometimes visible when they are grouped together. This often happens since the eggs of harvest mites are typically laid in one single spot. Since chiggers are so difficult to detect, your best defense is keeping them out of your yard altogether.

Repel chiggers naturally with marigolds

Marigolds flowers

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Preventing pests from infesting your garden is always better than trying to remove an existing infestation. Chigger bites are intensely itchy, so it’s important to guard against them for yourself, your family, and your pets. One easy way to do so is by growing plants in your garden that naturally repel chiggers.

Plant marigolds in your yard, as they are a natural chigger repellent. They are easy to grow under full sun with proper drainage. Their beautiful flowers typically last from spring to fall. Additionally, they repel mosquitoes and attract ladybugs, which feed on aphids, another plant killer.

You can help the marigolds do their job even better by keeping your garden clean and reducing the ability of harvest mites to lay eggs in overgrown shrubbery. Mow your grass regularly, keep it low, and remove any pockets of plant shelter where harvest mites might lay eggs.

Other plants that keep away chiggers

Eucalyptus plant

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Chiggers do not enjoy strong-smelling odors. For that reason, planting a eucalyptus tree can help keep chiggers out of your garden. Eucalyptus plants are evergreen, so they can stay on your front porch all year long. You can plant a eucalyptus tree in a porch planter, in a pot, or right in your garden.

Other scents that chiggers simply do not like are citronella, tea tree, jojoba, geranium, and lemongrass. These scents give off a strong odor that repels chiggers as well as other bugs. They can often be found in bug repellents as well as essential oils.

Additional plants that naturally repel chiggers are catnip, lavender, and chamomile. These plants are all low maintenance and can grow well even in poor soil. Though marigolds are annuals and only last for one season, Roman chamomile, catnip, and lavender are perennials, so they will grow back each year.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.