Nestled among the plants and the pests on a three-acre lot in North Austin are secrets to a scratch-free summer.

Zoanna Payne is an expert of the natural solutions at Red Barn Garden Center.

“A lot of us are starting to question that we're seeing the reports that roundup has all these caustic chemicals and it's doing harm to us,” she said.

Turns out there are about a dozen plants that help keep mosquitoes away. And they all tend to be pretty fragrant:

  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Marigold
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lavendar
  • Garlic
  • Lemongrass
  • Clove
  • Tea Tree

“There are some plants like the citronella and the lemon grass are wonderful about repelling the mosquitoes,” said Payne.

Marigolds are one of about a dozen plants known to repel mosquitoes. However, they only provide about 2 feet of protection. So it's best to keep them in containers so you can move them around closer to you.

Try peppermint even marigolds but they'll only provide protection to about two feet around you so it's recommended that you keep those plants in containers so you can move them around you.

“You can also take a piece of the plant and rub it on you. The plants are great, but you have to remember to release their qualities,” she said.

Another tool, cedar chips, yes turns out those Cedar trees may be good for something.

Cedar Chips

“It's about the cedar oil and garlic oil something about the oil is wonderful about keeping the mosquitoes away from you,” she said.

Yes, there's even a garlic spray.

“It does have the nice garlic smell to it, but it doesn't last very long,” she said.

Those oils tend to be the best. Payne likes the Patio Egg.

Deet free mosquito repellant

“I’ve been using it for quite a few years. It gives you about a 200-foot radius and lasts for a long time. It's one of the most passive things I've got when people say to me I just want to sit outside enjoy a glass of wine and not be eaten, that's my favorite thing to go to,” said Payne.

Several tools to help you enjoy this summer.

“If we had one product that would take care of it all that would be fantastic and we would sell the daylights out of it but that's just not the way it is,” she said.

For now, it's a combination that can keep your family outdoors, chemical and itchy free.