While I absolutely love the great outdoors, I could definitely do without having to deal with all of the bugs. I know that they’re necessary for the ecosystem, but that doesn’t mean that I like them or want them in my garden and my house. Mosquitoes are the worst culprits, although there are plenty of other bugs that I’d be all too happy to keep away.
However, being an old-fashioned gal, I prefer not to just drench myself, my house, and my yard in chemicals, so instead I look for more natural repellents. Imagine my surprise when I found that there are TONS of plants that repel insects–mostly herbs. Since I love the idea of growing my own herbs, this was a match made in heaven!
Now, it should be noted that these plants definitely aren’t the only ones that repel insects–in fact most herbs will repel some kinds of insects. However, these are the ones that I’ve found to be the most useful not only at repelling insects but also using around the home and kitchen.
Although humans find the fragrance of lavender soothing, it will repel moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitoes. You can either plant it in a sunny area near the home or hang the dried flowers in the house. It can also be used as a tea, is great with chi, and useful for herbal medicine.
Mosquitoes hate the smell of citrus, and lemongrass is aptly named for its intense lemon smell. Lemongrass naturally grows in warmer climates like Florida, and is one of the natural ingredients of citronella candles. It’s also delicious as a tea and to season pork and chicken.
This plant also repels mosquitoes, although when it flowers other insects may be drawn, so it’s best to clip the flowers before they bloom. Also, mint should always be planted in a pot as it is aggressive and difficult to remove once established. It can be used in tea and salads.
In addition to repelling mosquitoes, rosemary also repels a handful of other insects that are harmful to vegetable plants. For this reason, it’s a common choice for companion planting. Rosemary, of course, is excellent for cooking as well.
Unlike the others on the list, sage has a more mild smell. It repels a variety of insects including mosquitoes, cabbage moths, and carrot flies. It grows very slowly, however, so buying a starter plant is a good idea. Sage can be used in Italian cooking and is often used for seasoning pork, chicken, duck, and more.