The city we moved to used to be all farm land. I know, I know, what city doesn’t have that in their history. Recently, I mean. It recently used to be farm land. In fact, there are still many farms on the outer limits of our city. A few alfalfa/cotton/corn farms, and a few dairy farms. The dairy farms are the worst! In the early morning hours you can smell those cows and the manure all over the city. You run to your car with your nose plugged and quickly set your vent to circulate the car air (not to bring it in from the outside). What’s worse than the smell? The flies!!! It’s not just that there are thousands of them, but they are aggressive little boogers. They’ll fly straight for your face and persistently attack as if they have a personal vendetta against you. It really makes being outdoors dreadful. We’ve tried those bags you hang that trap flies inside and our problem got worse! Sure they catch flies and trap them inside, but they attract the flies to kill first. The smell from those bags were a deadly mixture with the cows in the early morning. We needed a better solution. I set out to find how to deter flies naturally, without ugly bags that smell.
The test solution: Basil. Source: TLC. Pretty legit source, right? They list 7 herbs that deter flies naturally, but I thought if it’s going to work then I’ll start with what they list as #1. We don’t even have our garden up and ready yet, so they sit temporarily in pots in the backyard.
I took my dad, the master gardener, with me to buy Basil. According to the website, any kind of Basil works. For $3.49 a piece, I wasn’t planning on buying several plants. I wanted just enough to test before I invested in the idea. I bought 2 Basil, and 1 Rosemary. The site lists Rosemary as a natural repellent but I was super skeptical because my mom grows Rosemary in her garden and still gets flies. Still, I like the look and wanted to mix things up so that it didn’t look like I was growing weeds in a pot.
One is a Cinnamon Basil. Don’t you just love the sound of that? The plaque that accompanied this plant says that when full grown it gives off an aroma of cinnamon. All I could think of was Christmas! It would be full grown by Christmas and cinnamon is a popular seasonal scent!
The next is a Purple Basil. I selected this one because has such a pretty purple color to the leaves. This particular plant I grabbed doesn’t have much purple yet, but it was the only one in the store that wasn’t half dying.
I put these out Monday afternoon. I began being discouraged because I was planting them in the pots I was being attacked by flies. I thought I had just wasted money on something I’m going to neglect and kill anyway. My dad told me to give it a while for the aroma to circulate the area. He was right. By the time my husband returned home from work, the flies had drastically dropped in number. There were still some flies. But the aggresive ones had seem to disappear. Trying not to get too excited, we waited it out to see if this was a fluke evening. For all we knew, someone down the street was having a massive BBQ and the flies camped out there for the evening. We weren’t ready to take any chances and buy out the garden center.
We are on day 3 and still have no flies! Monday and Tuesday evening we were able to sit out on our deck and enjoy ourselves. The front of our house still has flies. A lot of flies. We get attacked at our front door as we frantically try to get the key in and unlock the door. I think I’m going to have to plant some Basil in my picket fence planter by the front door.
We have big plans for planting in the backyard. What started with this idea:
Has now grown to this idea:
We are very anxious to get a lot of basil plants up in here! 🙂