Outside bugs can create massive problems. They eat away at your plants, swarm around you when you’re outside trying to enjoy your front or backyard, or even destroy your backyard garden. And in worst-case scenarios, bug bites can lead to more serious problems, including disease. Keeping away annoying pests can turn into an all-out war!
Of course, you can spray for pests using chemicals. But over-the-counter pest repellents come with problems of their own. Pesticides and bug sprays containing certain chemicals can leak into your plants. And if you are growing food, for instance, you definitely don’t want to consume harmful chemicals.
Thankfully, there are some natural ways you can repel pests and bugs, including by strategically placing certain types of plants around your yard and porch areas. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
1) Lemon grass
Lemon grass, which grows in multiple climates, is a great container plant that helps repel mosquitoes. As the name indicates, the plant emits a slight lemony smell. Plus, it’s very easy to grow.
An extremely versatile plant, basil helps keep flies and mosquitoes at bay. It has a very pleasant aroma and can be grown both inexpensively and easily. To make a DIY basil insect repellant, check out this formula here.
Peppermint smells absolutely heavenly to us. However, it is a turnoff to different bugs and pests. It helps keep ants, mosquitoes, flies, moths, and mice away. Plus, it grows fast.
Lavender is not only beautiful, its smell is extremely relaxing and soothing. But insects hate it. It helps deter mosquitoes, moths, and flies from coming around. Some lavender plants or strategically placed lavender bouquets will help keep these bugs away.
Catnip is a member of the mint family. While it’s infamously known to attract cats because it contains a chemical called nepetalactone, bugs can’t stand it. It helps repel mosquitos, flies, deer ticks, and cockroaches.
Rosemary is known to keep mosquitoes away — and most insects that are harmful to your vegetable plants. Plus, a powerful amount of the plant helps protect vegetable plants. These plants can be grown in a herb gardens, in containers, or in a flower bed.
7) Citronella grass
While some think citronella grass is the same as lemon grass, it’s not. You can plant this in a garden or in a planter to help repel flying insects, including mosquitoes.
8) Bay leaves
While you may think of spaghetti when you hear “bay leaves,” they do more than just add flavor to your favorite meals. They can also help keep flies and other flying insects (including wasps) away. They are also known to repel roaches.
A powerful organic compound, called pyrethrum, is contained in marigolds. It is a natural bug repellent. So try placing some marigolds around your front or back door, as well as in your garden, to help defeat bothersome bugs!
Sage is a perennial plant that grows well in both flowerbeds or in planters. Burning sage in a fire is also a great way to repel pests because they hate the smoke.
While petunias are an extremely beautiful flower, they also help ward off outside pests, including beetles, aphids, and squash bugs. Just make sure to keep the plant in a sunny area.
12) Lemon thyme
Lemon thyme, a herb that can be grown in all types of sunny environments, helps keep the mosquitoes away. The bugs despise the plant’s citrus smell. You can crush the leaves and apply to your skin as a bug repellent, but first make sure you do a small test first to ensure your skin isn’t irritated by it.
This plan can keep a wide variety of bugs and pests away, including ants, mosquitoes, ticks, silverfish, roaches, bed bugs, and beetles. The plant contains pyrethrins, a natural bug repellent.
Chives, and other alliums, helps protect your vegetables against flies, worms, and slugs. WARNING: It’s important to keep in mind that allium plants can be toxic to cats and dogs.
Trying to repel mosquitoes, cabbage moths, Japanese beetles, root maggots, or carrot root flies? Try planting some garlic. Garlic plants can also be placed close to roses to deter aphids. WARNING: It’s important to keep in mind that allium plants can be toxic to cats and dogs.
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Most of these options are easy to find at the plant or seed store. Some other herbs and flowers that help keep the bugs and pests away include dill, fennel, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, thyme, nasturtiums, geraniums, and floss flowers. You can experiment with different plants and flowers to see how effective they are!
And, remember, if you have pets, make sure you know which plants can be toxic to cats and dogs, such as alliums.