Wormwood, also known as artemisias plant (or scientifically, Artemisia absinthium), is often grown in Northern Africa, as well as Canada and the United States, however today, it can be found all over the world. It is widely known as an ingredient in absinthe and other alcoholic beverages. However, it is also used in making perfumes as well as in herbal medicine to help people experiencing loss of appetite and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. But did you know that this plant can also be used for repelling unwanted pests or insects?
Wormwood is said to be particularly effective against common garden pests, fleas, moths, ants, flies, slugs, mosquitoes, worms, aphids, and even mice. This is attributed to its thujone and sesquiterpene lactone content. Now if these organisms have ever been bothersome to you and if you have thought about purchasing chemicals to get rid of them, then you might want to pause and consider using the common wormwood instead.
Table of Contents
Steps to Use Artemisia Plant as a Repellent
1. Plant Your Own Artemisias Plant
Obtain some seeds and sow them in soil that is well-drained and receives a sufficient amount of sunlight. The pH level for growing wormwood must be slightly acidic (ideally 5.5). Let the seeds germinate for around nine weeks. Once the seedlings have grown, transplant them to a plot of land outdoors.
Ensure that there are about one to two feet of space between plants. Water your wormwood plant regularly, particularly during the summer. Ideally, you must wait until two years before you harvest since according to experts, it is only after two years that wormwood plants have completely matured and gained full strength and potency. After harvest, you may use the stem and the leaves to make natural repellents against pests, parasites, and insects.
2. Plant It Alongside Other Plants
It might take as long as two years before you can use wormwood as a repellent in your house, but did you know that it can already function as a repellent against pests and insects even while it’s still growing in your garden.
It can ward off aphids, caterpillars, flies, and coddling moths, so position it strategically near plants that are often affected by these pests such as fruit trees, potatoes, and carrots.
3. Make Some Tea
Get some wormwood leaves and let them dry. Once dry, obtain about 1 teaspoon and put it into a mug. Add a cup of boiling water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Let it cool down.
Once the temperature is a bit more tolerable, put it in a container and use this to replace your store-bought insecticide or pesticide spray. This is particularly effective if you are targeting ants.
4. Make a Teabag
This method is ideal if you are dealing with moths. The first step is to cut a small piece of fabric into a square that you can tie up into a bag later on, then put in some dried wormwood, spearmint, tansy, thyme, and cinnamon sticks. Sew or tie the edges of the bag up, wrap it up with a string and hang it in the place where you want to repel months.
5. Make Your Mixture
If you want to use wormwood as a natural repellent if you are heading outdoors, grab some wormwood leaves, shred them into pieces and mash them using a mortar and pestle. Once the juices of the leaves have emerged, add some apple cider vinegar, then put the resulting mixture in a bottle. Spray the mixture onto your skin as needed. If you don’t have a bottle, you may put it in a jar and whenever needed, you can dampen up a piece of cloth with the mixture and rub the moist cloth all over your skin.
6. Turn It Into Powder
Obtain some wormwood stems and leaves and leave it to dry for several days. Once dry, crush it using mortar and pestle until you produce a teaspoon of wormwood powder.
Mix it with one teaspoon each of crushed dried rosemary, rue, and fennel seeds, then, rub it all over your pet’s hair to get rid of ticks and fleas. You may also mix the resulting powder with your laundry detergent to keep pests, ticks, and fleas away from your carpets.
7. Rub It In
To repel flies, pick some wormwood leaves and simply rub it on your arms and clothes.
8. Extract The Oil
You can do this if you have the appropriate apparatus and chemicals for the essential oil extraction technique called steam distillation but most often, if you’re just a garden enthusiast like most of us, then you probably don’t. This brings us to the sixth tip, which is to…
9. Purchase Wormwood Essential Oil
The essential oil that one can obtain from wormwood can also be used as a repellent, however, the extraction process isn’t something that one can do at home and so the easiest way to get it is to purchase it.
There are many sellers of wormwood oil online and in malls. Some stores even sell it mixed with the essential oil of other plants that have repellent properties. Just take your pick!
10. Harvest And Dry
Cut off a bunch of wormwoods and dry them up by putting them upside down. Once they have dried, put them in your cupboards, cabinets, or drawers, or wherever your target pests often are.
Wormwood--otherwise known as the artemisias plant--may be very beneficial particularly if you want a natural alternative to pesticides or insecticides available in the market, but be careful because planting and utilizing this plant also has its downside. For example, it is suggested that it should be planted away from edible plants because it may inhibit their growth. Also, it would be good to plant it in a place that children and pets cannot access since it may be poisonous, particularly if consumed at high doses or extremely long periods and in the wrong way. But do not worry. If you grow and use it correctly, you are surely going to be just fine.