Plants-Natural Insect Repellents

Can you recommend some plants that might keep bugs and insects away. I have small children and hate to cover them in insect repellent but am really afraid of diseases these insects might cause. Thanks in advance, Amy

Hi Amy,

I know what you mean. Summer is here and so are the mosquitoes, gnats, and no-see ums. I don’t like spraying myself  or any of my grand kids with sticky, smelly, insect repellent every time we go outdoors so I put insect repellent plants around my porch and small pool  area.

Here’s a list of my favorite insect repelling plants; it includes both flowering plants and herbs. The oils in them act as natural insect repellents. These plants are inexpensive and easy to find. I keep them in pots, like light weight “smart pots” so they can be moved around easily or plant them around my vegetable and flower gardens to protect my plants.

Basil: Repels mosquitoes and flies

Citronella Grass: repels insects

Lavender: Repels flies and mosquitoes.

Lemon thyme: Repels mosquitoes.

Marigolds The scent from marigolds repels AphidsSee a picture, learn to identify, and read about Aphid houseplant pests in the Glossary of, mosquitoes, and sometimes even rabbits

Mums: These flowering plants contain pyrethrum. Pyrethrum is used in insecticides and in aerosol insect bombs. Mums repel ants, Japanese beetles, lice, fleas, ticks, bedbugs, spider mitesSpider Mites, members of the Acari family, are small insects about 1mm in size. The most common indoor plant mite is the red spider mite (also called the two-spotted spider mite.). These pests lay their eggs on the under surface of leaves and produce fine webbing especially where the leaves are attached to the stem. Spider mites are hard to see with the naked eye, and may appear only as small red dots. They are more often recognized by the gritty feel of the leaf when you run your finger down it’s length, or by the appearance of discolored leaves due to the sucking action of the mites. The best way to prevent spider mites is to keep your plants clean and dust free. Treat spider mites by spraying every ten days for a month with a product such as Safer Insecticidal Soap..

Peppermint: Great minty aroma and it repels mosquitoes.

Petunias: These pretty plants repel AphidsSee a picture, learn to identify, and read about Aphid houseplant pests in the Glossary of that can destroy flowers and vegetables.

Rosemary: Place pots of this flowering plant in the direct sun. The plant repels insects and the leaves can be used in cooking.