Our patios, decks, porches and yards offer the rare opportunity to extend our living space, and to be truly at home in the outdoors. From Landscaped grounds to the tiniest urban balcony, nearly any exterior area can be the setting for a comfortable outdoor room, but pesky bugs are quick to drive a party indoors. Many slather themselves in a synthetic chemical cocktail in efforts to keep biting, stinging nasties at bay. But there are plenty of reasons to stay away from traditional insect repellents and use more natural deterrents such as plants. For a chemical-free way to keep insects at bay in the warmer spring/summer season here are some easy-to-grow plants that can help deter bugs and insects. Planted near the doorway, these 7 natural plant options deter mosquitoes, flies, and uninvited guests in the garden and home without harming people, pet’s or the environment.
MARIGOLDS are hardy annual plants which have a distinctive smell which mosquitoes, and bugs, like aphids find particularly offensive. Marigolds prefer full sunlight and reasonably fertile soil. Although marigolds can be planted from seed, starter plants are inexpensive. Potted marigolds can be positioned near entrances to your home and any common mosquito/bugs entry points, such as open windows and furnished courtyards and balconies. The smell may deter mosquitoes and bugs from going past this barrier.
ROSEMARY Is also a herb that contains wonderful properties to keep fleas and ticks away. The woody smell keeps all the unwanted bugs away that’s why permaculture farmers love planting Rosemary throughout their fields. Grow rosemary in pots then shift it indoors in winter, since the plant does not tolerate long periods of cold climate. To control mosquitoes in warmer months, place rosemary plant pots in the yard and they can be moved about as you please.
LEMON BALM This easy-to-grow herb also has several additional applications, from infused teas and vinegars to green salads. Lemon balm also keeps the mosquitoes at bay as its leaves contain citronella compounds. You can grow lemon balm in your garden and allow them to thrive, leaving less room for mosquitoes to want to linger. To keep mosquitoes at bay, you can also rub crushed lemon balm leaves on your skin.
LEMON GRASS contains natural citronella essential oil to repel mosquitoes and stable flies, which prey on domestic animals. Lemongrass is widely used as a culinary herb in Asian cuisines and as medicinal herb in India. It works in a similar way as a potent natural insect repellent, with the added benefit of antibacterial and antifungal properties.
LAVENDER offers practical protection from mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and moths. Lavender can be planted near entryways or freshly cut and placed in a window to keep bugs outside. Lavender has been used for centuries to add a pleasantly sweet fragrance to homes and clothes drawers. Although people love the smell of lavender, mosquitoes, flies and other unwanted insects hate it.
BASIL repels houseflies and mosquitos naturally. Simply get your garden area some pots of basil. As one of the most pungent of herbs, basil makes an outstanding natural mosquito repellent, giving off a scent without the leaves having to be crushed or touched.
PETUNIAS repel aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs. . They are popular mostly because they are available in a variety of bright colors, require such minimal maintenance they are almost foolproof to grow and can be grown in garden beds, containers or hanging baskets. Plant them in sunny areas near vegetables and herbs such as beans, tomatoes, peppers and basil.