CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - For those planning a party on the patio this Memorial Day weekend, don't go overboard with the bug spray.
There are several plants that might keep the mosquitoes away, and many are quite popular right now at Plants Direct Nursery in Conway.
Randy Gaskins, owner of the nursery, suggested 10 plants for keeping the mosquitoes at bay.
First, Wax Myrtle. The plant has a little pungent odor when the leaves are rubbed.
It's a native, so that makes it really inexpensive as mosquito control for the area, Gaskins said. The plant can be used as a hedge for front or backyards, and it works really well in pots.
Second, Rosemary. This plant is known to add flavor to any homestyle cooking dish, but it can also repel mosquitoes.
"It's a great container plant, so it's really good for pots around your patio where your people would be hanging out for a party," Gaskins said.
Next, Bee Balm. It may attract bees, but not mosquitoes. The plant comes in several different colors and has a nice fragrant flower to it. Gaskins said it works as a repellent as well.
Society Garlic is another repellent. As the name suggests, it smells like garlic and, therefore, repels bugs as well.
Both Russian Sage and Lemon Verbena are known for cooking, but they have distinct smells that keep mosquitoes away.
Lavender is also popular, especially for indoors, but Gaskins said it also serves as a repellent.
The Dusty Miller plant has nice foliage color that helps repel the mosquito, according to Gaskins.
Lemongrass smells just like lemon when the foliage is brushed.
As for the most popular and effective plant, Gaskins said it is Citronella. It smells just like a Citronella candle when the leaves are rubbed.
"The more you rub it and somebody brushes against it, the better it puts off the smell," Gaskins said. "The plant is great to sit outdoors in a pot or plant by a deck, patio or backyard.
For keeping mosquitoes away, Gaskins said homeowners should get rid of pots buckets and anything else that holds standing water. He added it defeats the purpose of having mosquito-repellent plants.