Hooray, Spring is officially here! Temperatures are on the rise, leaves are filling in the sparseness of winter trees, and perennials are awakening from their slumber. Unfortunately, the onset of warmer temperatures also brings with it unwelcome guests into your home. Annoying critters such as stink bugs, fruit flies, gnats, and mosquitoes ruin what would otherwise be the perfect sunny day at home.
The good news is there are plenty of plants you can have around your home that will repel these insects while infusing some wonderful fragrance and provide fresh ingredients to your cooking. Sounds like a win-win, yes? Let’s cover a few you should consider growing.
BASIL & MINT
Who doesn’t love cooking with fresh basil? Basil and mint are flavorful additions to your favorite Italian dishes or a cup of tea. Insects, on the other hand, despise them. Place a few pots around your doors or keep these herbs flourishing in your sunny kitchen. Basil and mint are both easy to grow and have been used as pest repellents since antiquity. These smelly plants will repel pesky house flies, mosquitoes, and fruit flies.
Flies, fleas, moths, mosquitoes, beetles, and other pests are all scared off by lavender, making it an important plant to have around the house. In addition, the scent is intoxicating and calming, but you probably already knew that. A potted lavender plantation outside a door might be a good idea for folks with pollen allergies.
Because of its long stems, attractive look, and alluring aroma, lavender has long been treasured for its decorative purposes. This herb not only has a wonderful scent, but it also works wonders in the garden to keep pesky insects at bay. Natural oils produced by the plant repel a wide range of insects, including flies, moths, beetles, mosquitoes, and fleas.
ROSEMARY & SAGE
Both sage and rosemary are beautiful plants in their own right, and both have the potential to be effective pest repellents. Your favorite home-cooked recipes can benefit from the addition of these tangy herbs. Their dried leaves, when burned, emit a strong odor that repels insects like mosquitoes and flies. And sachets of dried herbs can be placed in your clothing drawers and hung in your closets to deter silverfish and moths as well.
The common marigold is a beautiful and effective bug repellent both indoors and outdoors. Insects like flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and midges don't like the smell it gives out. If you want to protect your beloved tomatoes, plant them near your food garden or store them in containers near your entranceways. The marigold is a natural pest deterrent because of its vibrant color. BONUS: Marigolds are also deer-resistant and can be used as a border by planting them along the perimeter of your garden.
When grown inside, catnip has a dual purpose. In addition to making your cat very happy, this is a great method to keep pests at bay. To keep mosquitoes away, essential oils like catnip's nepetalactone can be almost as efficient as DEET at repelling them. Cockroaches do not like the smell of catnip, thus it's a great deterrent. Keep mosquitoes at bay by growing this plant in a pot and scattering little sprigs of it throughout your house. You may also make your own bug spray by simmering catnip in water.
Aside from the fact that chrysanthemums are an excellent method to spruce up your home and garden, they're also an effective pest deterrent. You won't mind having a few brightly colored mums around the house because of their attractiveness. They may have a strange name, but these prolific little cuties can take on a wide range of pests with ease. Among their many victims are ants, roaches, ticks, fleas, silverfish, lice, and even bedbugs (though this is speculative).
From a flower that's simply there to look nice, that’s a powerful defense against these types of insects.
LEMONGRASS & CITRONELLA
Citronella, which may be found in both lemongrass and citronella, is responsible for the citrusy aroma of both plants. Bugs aren't a fan of the scent, no matter how enticing it may be to you.
The best place for this plant to thrive is in a pot on your porch or patio. Crush a leaf and use it on your skin as a natural mosquito repellent if you see pests flying around. To keep flies, ticks, ants, gnats, and mosquitoes at bay, place these plants near your doors and windows.
While you’ll want to make sure you do your research ahead of time to ensure whatever plant you want to bring home is safe for your dogs and cats, choosing the right plants and placing them strategically around your home can keep insects at bay while providing the chef in you with fresh herbs for cooking.