Plants That Repel Pests, Bugs, and Insects Naturally


Basil | Source

Natural repellents

Pests, insects and bugs are part of nature. Some of them like house flies and mosquitoes carry disease causing germs. Some like termites destroy property. Some like mosquitoes and bed bugs annoy people, suck their blood and spoil their sleep. Some like thunderflies and corn borer destroy crops.

Many commercial repellants are available in the market. Unfortunately they are loaded with chemicals that can harm to human beings. It is advisable to find ways to repel harmful insects, bugs and pests.

Here is a brief overview of some plants that repel bugs, insects and pests.

Neem repels locusts. Extracts of neem leaves and neem fruits repel more than 200 species of mites, worms and insects. Oregano repels cabbage butterflies. Parsley keeps carrot flies and rose beetles at bay.

Lemongrass is an excellent natural mosquito repellent. Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. It is considered sacred by Hindus. This fragrant plant grows in many climates. Fresh basil is delicious in salads.

It is a good idea to plant basil next to the doors. You may also plant basil in containers and keep them by your picnic table or on your patio. Mosquitoes and flies hate basil to the core. Basil also repels whiteflies, aphids and hornworms.

Mint is well-known for its amazing aroma. It repels fleas, flies, rats, white cabbage moths, ants and mice. Mountain mint keeps ticks and chiggers away. Disceranda frutescens, a type of mint, is very effective against many insects.

It is advisable to plant mint around the foundation of the house as it protects your house from mice and ants. Catnip and pennyroyal also have similar effect. It is advisable to place shallow bowls of dried mint leaves in the pantry. This keeps mice away.

Wormwood repels intestinal worm, moths, earwigs, mice, flies and slugs. It is advisable to grow wormwood near cabbage. It deters cabbage moth. Wormwood also repels fruit tree moth. Boughs of wormwood between rows of carrots and onions deter flies.

Fleas, flies, ants, mice, gnats and mosquitoes hate pennyroyal. You may consider placing dried pennyroyal on your pantry shelves. This repels ants. Pennyroyal has proved its effectiveness as an insect repellant. Nicotiana is an excellent trap for gnats, aphids and white flies.

Bay leaves repel pantry insects like moths, weevils, cockroaches, ants and flies. They hate the fragrance emanating from bay leaves. Bay leaves also keep caterpillars and grubs at bay.

It is advisable to place bay leaves in contains of rice, flour and other dry materials. In fact one bay leaf in 50 pounds of wheat berries effectively keeps weevils away. Bay leaves protect barley, cornmeal, oatmeal, quinoa and rice.

You may tape bay leaves inside cupboards and shelves; or you may scatter a few leaves on the pantry shelves. This has proved effective in many homes all over the world. However, the leaves have to be replaced every few months. It is a good idea to use dry bay leaves instead of moth balls. Dried leaves can be folded into clothing.

Bay leaf can be grown outside in the summer. However, you will need to bring them indoors during winter. Otherwise they will perish. Dried bay leaves are available in the market.

Geraniums repel a wide variety of insects like Japanese beetles and mosquiteos. Their flowers also add color to your garden. Catnip keeps mosquitoes and flies at bay. It is 10 times more effective than DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide). DEET is used in many insect repellents. Pyrethrum chrysanthemums repel lice, fleas, ticks, bed bugs, cockroaches, ants and silverfish.

Rue keeps fleas and Japanese beetles away. Tansy repels mosquitoes, moths, flies, mice, ants, cockroaches, bedbugs and mice. It is advisable to grow tansy around doorways. Flowers of this herb resemble marigold. Feverfew is an excellent insect repellent. This is due to pyrethrin in feverfew.

Lavender is well-known all over the world for its wonderful aroma. It repels moths, silverfish, mosquitoes, fleas and flies. It is advisable to keep lavender sachets in the wardrobe. You may grind it into powder and sprinkle the power on your pet’s bedding.

It is a good idea to hang a bundle of lavender in your closet. Grow lavender in containers on your patio. People grow lavender in their kitchen garden as it protects spinach and lettuce from rabbits.

Santolina (commonly known as cotton lavender) is the best insect repellent among lavenders. It is usually mixed with English lavender. It is advisable to use lavender buds in cooking. Savory deters bean beetles.

Creeping lemon thyme repels mosquitoes and other insects and pests. It also prevents musty odors. Sage repels many garden bugs like moths, ants, slugs, sticks, carrot flies and cabbage moths that are known to destroy vegetable garden.

Rosemary repels lice, moths, carrot flies, mosquitoes, sliver fish and bean beetles. Both fresh and dried rosemary are effective. It is advisable to plant rosemary around your patio. It keeps the air fresh.

Sweet woodruff repels moths and carpet beetles. It is a good idea to place it beneath carpets. It emits sweet aroma and also keeps ants at bay. Chives repel garden pests like aphids, flea beetles and ants. It prevents apple scab and black spot in roses. It is an excellent trap plant for aphids. It also controls Japanese beetles. It is easy to grow and maintain chives.

Onions repel ants, aphids, flea beetles, carrot flies and mosquitoes. Garlic is a powerful and natural insect repellent that repels many flying and crawling insects like mosquitoes, onion flies, Japanese beetles, grubs, black flies, weevils, aphids and red spider mites. Borage repels insects that feed on tomatoes. Radish repels cucumber beetles.

Celery is found to be effective against garden pests like white cabbage moths. Potatoes repel Mexican bean beetles and beans repel Colorado potato beetles. It is advisable to grow beans and potatoes close together. But they should not be interplanted.

Marigolds repel many garden pests like tomato hornworms, whiteflies, cucumber beetles, bean beetles, asparagus beetles and nematodes. They are easy to grow and maintain and add to the beauty of your garden.

Nasturtium is an annual edible flower. It repels whiteflies and squash bugs. Anise repels slugs, snails and aphids. Mixture of two tablespoons of red pepper and six drops of dishwashing soap keep ants away from the kitchen. Sprinkle this mixture at entry points and on ant trails.

Coriander repels red spider mites, moths and aphids. Dill keeps carrot fly and cabbage moth at bay. Eucalyptus keeps cockroaches away. Lemon verbena repels flies and midges. Nettle controls black flies.

Yarrow repels pests like ticks, fleas and mosquitoes. Fennel controls aphids, slugs, snails and spider mites. Marjoram repels whiteflies. Tomatoes keep cabbage worm away. Nicandra traps aphids, gnats and white flies. Flax repels Colorado potato beetles.

It is always advisable to use the above-mentioned plants to repel insects, pests and bugs. It is a natural way and a safe way to keep them at bay.

French marigold

French marigold
French marigold | Source

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Comments 14 comments

Lizolivia profile image

Lizolivia 2 years ago from Central USA

Very useful information. I grow many of these plants in the garden such as coriander, marigold, thyme, basil, rosemary, nasturtium, chives and mint. I didn't know about bay leaves repelling weevils in dry grains and the red pepper with dish liquid mixture to repel ants. Thanks for the helpful tips.

srirad0675 profile image

srirad0675 2 years ago Author

I am glad that the hub was useful.

Howard 17 months ago

In your introductory paragraph Srirad you mention Thunderflies (in the UK) but not which plant is the best deterrent. Can you offer more advice please? I have a problem with them crawling into my large computer monitor behind the clear and then dying inside to remain there forever...! Very annoying...! So I will need to place around the monitor whatever plant you suggest, is that practical?

srirad0675 profile image

srirad0675 16 months ago Author

Basil is effective against most of these.

Donna 7 months ago

I've just seen a site showing carpet beetles feeding off the sweet woodruff plant, with statements by other people saying they've found this also. Your site says sweet woodruff repels them though! I'm not sure what's correct now - please help. Thanks.

srirad0675 profile image

srirad0675 7 months ago Author

Well, the fact is carpet beetles hate sweet woodruff. They run away from this flowering perennial plant.

CLD 6 months ago

I have raised beds for my garden, do I have to grow these things inside or can I place additional pots around the boxes or sprinkle the herbs on the garden? What is best?

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srirad0675 3 months ago Author

If you can manage to grow them indoors, if you have space, light, etc, nothing like it. You just need to ensure their good health.

Hlalani 3 months ago

how do i keep my neighbors's chickens away from my garden. how do i get dogs to stop relieving themselves in my garden. are there natural herbs that can be used?

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srirad0675 2 months ago Author

Put up chicken wire.

srirad0675 profile image

srirad0675 2 months ago Author

Put up chicken wire.

srirad0675 profile image

srirad0675 2 months ago Author

Put up chicken wire.

Alicia 8 weeks ago

Great info, thanks for sharing!

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srirad0675 8 weeks ago Author


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