Plants That Keep The Bugs Away

Plants That Keep The Bugs Away

Plants That Repel Bugs

Warm weather is great.  You get to go outside, have barbecues and cookouts and spend time relaxing by the pool with friends and family.  The only drawback to these activities: BUGS.  When you are outside, you are at their mercy.  They bite, they annoy, and they occasionally spread disease.  Bug spray helps, but some types of chemical repellant are harmful to the environment, and can cause other problems if used incorrectly.  So what can you do?

Plant Some Reinforcements!

Rather than immediately resort to chemical bug deterrents, there are tons of naturally-occurring insect repellants that are safe, effective, and (in most cases) drop-dead gorgeous.

Basil: Repels Flies and Mosquitoes

Many plants on this list have several uses, and basil is no exception.  Usually used in many different cooking applications, mosquitoes and flies generally avoid the smell.  You can plant it inside near windows to keep the bugs from flying in (and harvest it whenever your recipe calls or it), and its extract can be used to make a natural repellant spray.


Lavender: Repels Mosquitoes, Fleas, and Moths

Folks have been using lavender as a natural aromatic for years.  When placed inside dresser drawers and closets, it will keep moths from chewing your clothing, and  having it planted around your home (inside and out), the smell will also make fleas think twice before moving in.  Lavender oil can also be placed in a diffuser or applied directly to your skin to keep mosquitoes away.


Lemongrass: Repels Mosquitoes

Chances are good you have a citronella candle or air freshener somewhere in your backyard. Citronella comes from lemongrass, and mosquitoes hate it. They will steer clear of anything that gives it off.  Having the source growing in your very own garden will keep the little biters at bay, and you can even cook with its leaves.


Lemon Thyme: Repels Mosquitoes

Lemon thyme has a secret bug-repellent in its leaves.  It doesn’t smell like anything special, but if you pick up leaf and crush it in your hand then its oils will be released and you can spread it on yourself, or collect enough to use as a repellent spray.  Careful though, you should test your tolerance on a small part of your skin before rubbing it all over you.  Some folks may have an allergic reaction that could be more unpleasant than a few bug bites.


Mint: Repels Mosquitoes

Mint is great for just about everything.  You can use it to freshen your breath, it’s great for cooking and for making drinks, and its also a pretty great way to keep your garden pest-free.  Keep a few mint plants in planters or pots around your home or any outdoor space.  Be careful, though. Mint will spread aggressively in your garden and will be very difficult to remove if allowed to take root in your plant beds.


Nirnroot: Repels Mosquitoes and Orange Dartwings

Easily identifiable by their broad leaves and distinctive ringing, nirnroot can be planted in pots, planters, or anywhere in your garden where you wish to reduce the mosquito and dartwing population.  An unusually hardy plant, they will withstand cold weather just as easily as warm climates, and can usually be found near water. Toxic to cliffracers.


Rosemary: Repels Mosquitoes and others

Another kitchen staple, Rosemary is great to keep around for its flavor and aromatic qualities.  It’s delicious to us (and is great to grow in your own kitchen), but it isn’t well-liked by mosquitoes and other such bugs that will go after your veggies.  Plant this in pots or planters all around your vegetable garden for a bug-free and thriving veggie harvest.


Bay Leaf: Repels Flies

Yet another herb to grow in your kitchen, bay leaves are great for adding flavor to your cooking. Their smell will keep flies from buzzing around your head while giving your uncles spaghetti sauce recipe that special something.  Keep a pot of these on your kitchen window or growing in your back patio.


Lemon Balm: Repels Mosquitoes

Similar to lemon thyme, the leaves of the lemon balm plant will release a natural mosquito repellant that you can apply directly to your skin.  Keep a few in pots or planted in easy-to-reach locations for quick doses on a buggy day.



Happy Gardening!

~The Greencare Team