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The Top 10 Plants that Repel Bugs

Pests are attracted by carbon dioxide and sweat released from our skin. Not only are their stings and bites painful and dangerous, but they also can they carry viruses and pass infections like West Nile, Zika virus, and Chagas when they strike. Many pests can also cause damage to your home, yard, and outdoor buildings or structures, such as decks or wooden playground equipment.

Fortunately, there are plenty of beautiful, useful flowers and herbs you can plant around your home or business that will help repel bugs! Such plants release chemicals that send pesky bugs packing. In many cases, you can apply the plant oils to your skin to reap these benefits. To use the oils efficiently, crush a handful of leaves between your palms and rub them over your skin.

Ask your landscaper about the best options for naturally deterring pests on your property!

Field of lavender

1. Lavender

Lavender is very versatile and very hardy! It repels moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitos. Lavender essential oils are used in aromatherapy to help soothe stress and insomnia. This plant loves full sun!

It also has practical uses. Tuck dried lavender into drawers and closets to keep moths out of your clothes, and your laundry smelling fresh and pleasant.

It's easiest to release the essential oils by crushing the leaves. Rub them between your hands, and smooth over your skin.

Citronella plant

2. Citronella

Citronella is a well-known mosquito repellant and makes a lovely addition as a landscaping plant.

It’s very tolerant of summer stressors like heat and drought and loves full sun.


3. Basil

Basil is a practical, multifunctional addition to your backyard! It repels flies, mosquitos, and the oils kill mosquito larvae. Plant basil near water features to help deter mosquitos from breeding.

This herb is a staple in Italian cooking, and the leaves are used in a variety of recipes and dressings. It's easiest to release the essential oils by crushing the leaves. Rub them between your hands, and smooth over your skin.


4. Alliums

The Allium family includes chives, leeks, onions, garlic, scallions, and shallots. Alliums repel slugs, aphids, carrot flies, and cabbage worms.

They’re handy for both cooking and pest management! Plant them wisely though, as Alliums can be toxic to household pets.


5. Chrysanthemums

Not only do chrysanthemums made a beautiful addition to your yard, but they also repel roaches, ants, fleas, lice, and ticks.

Chrysanthemums release compounds called Pyrethrums, the same chemicals often used in insect repellants. These are very useful for sending pests packing.

Petunia in a hanging pot

6. Petunias

These bright, pretty flowers come in a wide variety of colors and variations! They also deter aphids and beetles.

Petunias make excellent garden plant companions to protect your vegetables from pests.


7. Marigolds

These yellow and orange flowers are both cheerfully colorful and excellent for deterring garden pests that damage vegetable plants.

They are frequently used in companion planting to deter slugs and aphids.

Mint plant

8. Mint

Mint is great for repelling ants, but beware! Mint grows invasively and will take over any bed it's planted in, so be sure to plant it in pots.

This herb has a variety of uses, for both cooking and aromatherapy. Mint is also excellent for soothing upset stomachs!


9. Geraniums

These lovely flowers range from purple to bright pink and grow well both in beds and hanging pots.

They’re good for repelling mosquitos and are well-suited to hot, dry and sunny conditions.

Rosemary plant

10. Rosemary

The savory herb is excellent for repelling mosquitos! It’s great for cooking and loves full sun.

Throw a sprig on the grill to release an aromatic smoke that also functions as an insect repellant!

The Grounds Guys of Abilene

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