The 6 Most Effective Plants for Keeping Bugs Away

The spring and summer months are almost perfect for people like us who love to be outside and spend time gardening. We say “almost perfect” because of insects that can be bothersome to you, your pets and your garden. While there are lots of chemical products out there that are effective bug repellants, we like to try the natural options first since we know they won’t pose a threat to other living things. Check out these plants and herbs that are all excellent at keeping bugs away and offer several other uses in your home and kitchen.

1. Rosemary

As if you didn’t already love rosemary enough, here’s another great thing about this fragrant herb – flees and ticks don’t like it. No one really wants those pests around, but pet owners could really benefit from a plant that sends fleas packing. Consider placing rosemary plants around your home’s entrance, foundation, windows, and anywhere your pet likes to hang out. Many of our customers already love growing rosemary for their own use in the kitchen, so this is just another reason to keep this lovely herb close.

2. Marigold

A pretty flower that does double duty as a mosquito repellant? Sign us up! In addition to keeping the skeeters away, marigolds are effective at repelling rabbits and aphids, tiny bugs that can wreak havoc on your plants by sucking their sap. We suggest adding marigolds to your outdoor living spaces, vegetable gardens and near the entrances of your home.

3. Catnip

Next up on our list is a plant that cats love as much mosquitos hate. Studies have shown that the essential oil contained in catnip is up to ten times more effective at repelling mosquitos than DEET. There are DIY recipes for making your own bug repellant with catnip plants, but in a pinch you can just crush up the leaves a bit and rub them on your skin. As a bonus, you can use the fresh or dried leaves in toys for your cats.

4. Basil

More good news for herb garden growers! This extremely popular herb isn’t just a delicious addition to your pasta sauce or lemonade – it’s also a very effective insect repellant. Basil is great for keeping away the likes of mosquitos and common houseflies. As with catnip, you can just crush up the leaves to rub on your skin. Next time you dine alfresco at your house, try cutting up some basil leaves, bruise them a bit and scatter them on the ground around your dining table. Or try companion planting by placing basil plants near other plants that could benefit from their protective powers.

5. Lavender

If you love herbal home remedies, there’s a very good chance that you’re already growing lavender. What you may not have known is that it’s also perfect for repelling moths, fleas, flies and mosquitos from both you and neighboring plants. If you have a problem with houseflies, try planting lavender near the entrances of your home and even hanging cut sprigs near any doors that lead outside.

6. Peppermint

This summer, set yourself up for homemade mojitos and a bug-free life by planting some peppermint plants around your home. It’s known to be effective at keeping away spiders, mosquitos and ants. You can plant it near other plants that need protection or rub the leaves on your own skin or that of your pets for instant, natural insect repellant. Packard Farm carries all these wonderful plants, so be sure to stop in soon to arm yourself with natural insect repellant.

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