Beach county combats mosquitoes with greenery

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Beach county combats mosquitoes with greenery

An experiment will be carried out in Goseong County, Gangwon, to eradicate mosquitoes using scented plants. Goseong County announced Tuesday the idea is to maintain a mosquito-free beach.

Every summer, Goseong has looked for methods to drive mosquitoes away from vacationers, and it will see if insect-repelling plants such as Pelargonium graveolens, daisies, lavender and basil are the solution.

Goseong is planning to place 7,362 potted insect-repellent plants to the Song Ji-ho Beach campsite and nearby shopping areas to determine whether these plants are really capable of repelling mosquitoes. The biggest hopes are being pinned on Pelargonium graveolens, which are also known as rose geraniums or rose-scent geraniums. It is known that mosquitoes dislike the rose-like scent the plant gives off.

Apparently mosquitoes can be kept out of homes by placing this plant near doors or windows. Lavender has been used to repel insects since the ancient Roman times. Nowadays, it is widely used in natural insecticides.

Pennyroyals are another type of plant that is effective at keeping insects off. Originally from Europe, this plant is a type of herb that belongs in the same order as mint. Retaining poison at a height of 15 to 30 centimeters (5.9 to 11.8 inches), it has mostly been used to keep domestic pests away.

Catnip, which gives off the scent of mint, has a mosquito-repellent compound called nepetalactone in abundance.

The scent of basil, containing cineol, also repels mosquitoes. Basil is also used in preparing Italian dishes, so it is considered a plant well worth growing at home.

“If the experiment at Goseong works, it will become a valuable reference for research involving insect-repellent plants,” said Ko Jae-young, an agricultural researcher at the Agricultural Research and Extension Services in Chuncheon, Gangwon.

BY PARK JIN-HO [enational@joongang.co.kr]

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