Insects have one of the most important ecological roles in nature…..
but you must admit: Bites from mosquitoes, gnats, flies, and no-see-ums are highly annoying. And when the squash bugs take over your garden, its heartbreaking! Learn about 6 plants that I use to help manage the insects in your garden, on you and your plants. As a bonus, you can use most of them to make your own natural bug repellent.
How Do Plants Repel Insects?
The smell of some herbs and flowers, resulting from the distribution of tiny molecules that contain essential oils, can help ward off bugs. High temperatures can cause the molecules to become volatile, evaporating the essential oils and turning them into vapors.
Disclaimer: This probably isn’t enough to make your garden totally insect-free but can help mage the population and make your time in your garden a little more enjoyable – without the use of toxic chemicals. In additional to the use of the natural plant remedies, one of the best things people can do to help control the mosquito populations is to eliminate any standing water, which is where mosquitoes breed
Even though these plants that keep bugs away can be beneficial for our lives, some plants are poisonous to pets. Please use the convenient searchable database on the ASPCA website if you have pets
that keep bugs away
Rosemary’s oils are as delicious to home cooks as they are unpleasant to many insects. The plant itself, its cuttings and oils are all effective repellents.
Rosemary is available in various forms. Plants can be grown in containers on a patio and shaped into ornamental pyramids, grown in herb gardens, or planted in landscaped beds, where some varieties can grow quite large.
Available in a variety of vibrant colors to spruce up any flower bed, petunias help control aphids, tomato hornworms, and asparagus beetles. Rather than repelling these pests, petunias actually trap them in their sticky stamens, where the insects die instead of harming your plants.
I think that this plant repels just about everything, except for cats of course! Use it to keep away flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants, and weevils. I use sachets of dried catnip to deter the annual parade of ants that invade my kitchen. My favorite variety of catnip is ‘Six Hills Giant’ because of its proliferation of sky blue blooms. Studies have indicated that catnip essential oils are more effective at repelling mosquitos than the chemical DEET
The marigold reportedly repels whiteflies, squash bugs, aphids, many beetles, and cabbage loopers. These flowers release an airborne chemical that repels predacious insects, protecting not just the nasturtium but also other plants in the grouping. Because many of the insects nasturtiums repel favor vegetables—tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, collards, etc.—this plant is great to use along the edges of vegetable gardens. Fortunately, nasturtiums do not repel the all-important pollinator, the bumblebee.
Another perfect, dual purpose insect repellant, especially good for mosquitos, flies, and asparagus beetles. You can grow basil in a pot or add it directly to your garden! Be sure to harvest it throughout the season and add it to your favorite dishes.
Humans are generally attracted to the smell of lavender, but mosquitoes, flies, and other unwanted insects aren’t.
Place tied bouquets around your house to help keep flies out. Plant it in sunny areas of the garden or near your home’s entryways to help keep these areas pest-free. You can also use oil extracted from the flowers as a natural mosquito repellent. As a bonus, lavender oil nourishes the skin and has a calming effect.