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Bugs buggin’ you? Beautyberry said to deter mosquitos

Posted On: 05-18-2016

By Betty Nelander

Daily News Staff Writer

No one likes the sound (or bite) of mosquitos.

For those who want to combat the pests without the use of chemicals, there’s a natural remedy for the garden.

The Mounts Botanical Garden Facebook page this week posts information about one: the American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, in a link to ScienceDaily.

A Florida native, the beautyberry “not only is a mosquito deterrent but it fruits many times a year on new wood; following heavy pruning, all the way down the graceful branches. The porcelain purple berries are relished by many local songbirds,” the site says.

In fact, the beautyberry is effective not only against mosquitos but also ticks and fire ants, according to Mother Earth News.

The “plant has been a traditional folk remedy for repelling mosquitoes, horseflies, deerflies, ticks and other biting insects for over a century,” notes the National Gardening Association.

As a bonus, it is an attractive ornamental shrub and can be cooked into jam, according to a story in the Houston Chronicle.

Leaves can be crushed and rubbed on one’s skin. Individuals who are particularly sensitive should not use any plant on his or her skin without medical guidance.

 

 

Source: Betty Nelander, May 18, 2016, Palm Beach Daily News

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