Plant a repellant

Published: Tuesday 30 November 1993

IRKSOME mosquitoes? Forget mosquito repellant mats, grow a geranium instead, and have the odour of citronella waft the annoying creatures away. An Australian company has developed a new plant -- Mozzie Buster -- a cross between an African geranium and citronella grass, which they say is an extremely effective mosquito repellant.

The Chinese have used oil of citronella to discourage mosquitoes for centuries, and the Australians say their Mozzie Buster emits a citronella like odour naturally. They claim a medium-sized plant can keep mosquitos away in a 10-sq-m area. The Japanese are taking to the plant and Phytotech, the Australian firm that helped develop the hybrid, also plans to market the plant in other parts of Asia.

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