Anti-insect Herbs. Fact, Fantasy or Exaggeration?
I actually asked this in my regular forum, Florida Gardening, but figured, "Hey, this is about herbs, so let's ask the Herb people!" So here it goes:
In the Garden section of a local paper there's an article that covers planting various herbs around your yard to help repel fleas, mosquitoes, flies, politicians and other undesirables. But after looking up some of the plants they mention, I read in one article that they work, another article says they don't and still another says that while they work, the area of coverage is negligible. Which brings to my mind my Tiki Torches. Last spring I bought three, filled them with Citronella oil and would light them at night to keep the mosquitoes at bay. And they worked! If you stood within 18 inches of a torch that is. (I actually sat a chair about 2 ft from one torch and watched as mosquitoes attacked the side opposite of the torch while leaving the side close to the torch alone.
The article lists these herbs as anti-pest: Wormwood, Pennyroyal, Rose Geranium, Citronella Lemongrass, Rue, Pyrethrum Daisy, and Lavendercotton.
So are these miracle herbs much like my tiki torches? They'll work if I plant one every 2 feet or so in my yard? Or do they truly repel pests? Or should I be planting some herbs at the newspaper's office to keep articles like this out of the Garden section?