10 Plants that Keep Bugs Away (Including Mosquitoes)

Bugs are unending problem in our yards. They make it difficult to enjoy your time on patio or garden Mosquitoes, flies and other biting insects not only cause painful bites on your skin but also spread infectious diseases. Let’s get down to ideal plants that keep away bugs.

Bugs are a nuisance but most of them are harmless and sometimes beneficial in the nature. Using a bug zapper or chemical control indiscriminately kill all the insects including the non-targeted ones. This raises a great environmental concerns, the reason we should incline toward safe and natural pest control strategies.

Pest repellent plants are becoming important part of the strategy for controlling invasive bugs. Majority of these plants contain essential oils whose fragrant is hated by most insects including mosquitoes, gnats and flies. All you have to do is to plant them around your patios or garden to enjoy peaceful outdoor moments.

Plants that Keep Bugs Away

While there is no concrete evidence supporting the effectiveness of bug repelling plants, most people who have tried them have reported impressive results. These plants are attractive, produce wonderful scent and will also provide the much needed privacy on your patio. That means even if they don’t keep bugs away completely, you still have more to benefit from them.

1. Citronella grass

Citronella grass contain a special essential oil used as the main ingredient in the manufacture of mosquito repellents and perfumery products. The lemon scented leaves of this plant are also used in Asian cooking. Citronella grass can therefore be grown to repel stubborn pests.

Lemon grass thrive in direct sunlight and in well-drained soil. You can plant it well-spaced pots around your patio or directly in ground. This low maintenance plant will require watering during drought conditions to remain healthy.

2. Basil

Basil is an aromatic annual herb of the mint family. The leaves of basil plant produce strong scent that drives away bugs. Planting basil plant in your garden or in pots around your outdoor entertainment areas will definitely repel stubborn insects like flies and mosquitoes.

The leaves of these plants are also used for cooking and making at home mosquito repellents. To successfully grow basil, you’ll need moist, nutrient-rich soil that drains well. The plant thrives in direct sunlight and will need thorough watering.

3. Lavender

Lavender has a lovely fragrance though not attractive to mosquitoes, flies and other pests. The herb has also many culinary uses. Growing lavender at your patios or garden is a natural way of repelling bugs without the need for toxic insecticides. You can grow lavender in pots or directly in the ground.

Successful growth of lavender needs well-drained soil and direct sunlight. Avoid overwatering, too much shade and dampness. Once established, lavender is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal watering or pruning.

4. Mint

Mint is popular for dishes and cocktails but it can also be used to keep away bugs in your backyard. This plant can be grown both indoors or outdoors to repel mosquitoes, flies and even ants. In garden, mint is invasive and better if you grow it in pots.

This plant will grow either in direct full sun or partial shade. Although it adapts to variety of soils, grow it in well-drained soils enriched with organic matter. Due to its fast growth and wide-spread, you’ll need to keep picking its leaves to maintain its shape or size.

5. Marigolds

Marigolds is known to repel a great number of pests including mosquitoes, aphids, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms among others. You can grow marigolds in your garden or in pots and place near your patio or home entry. Well-draining soil and full sunlight supports healthy growth of marigolds. 

6. Rosemary

Rosemary is not only good at spicing up foods but also for keeping away bugs. This plant produce a strong scent that mosquitoes, flies and gnats cannot withstand. Rosemary thrives in hot dry climates. To add this natural pest repellent plant into your backyard, plant it in containers. Rosemary can also be shaped into a hedge to block wind on your patio or block neighbors view.

7. Sage

Sage is a member of mint family grown for many uses. Apart from forming colorful hedges in your landscape, sage is also great at repelling insects. Grow sage as a container plant around your patio or directly in ground in your garden. This plant loves medium to full sun and a well-draining soil.

8. Petunias

Petunias are very colorful plants to add in your landscape. These bug repellent plants can be grown in borders, containers, hanging baskets or even as a seasonal groundcover. Petunias produce scent hated by bugs including aphids, leafhoppers, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, and squash bugs. Petunias thrive in full sun and well-draining soils.

9. Catnip

Catnip is a strong-scented plant belonging to mint family. While attractive to cats, this plant repels stubborn bugs. Do not grow it if you have a problem with cats in your yard. Catnip essential oil is one of the strongest mosquito repellent. Grow catnip in well-draining soil and ensure it receives full to part sunlight.

10. Scented Geraniums

Scented geraniums fragrances range from sweet rose to pungent cinnamon. Its essential oil has also been used in perfumes, insect repellents and astringents. Scented geraniums can be grown in pots, indoors or outdoors, or in the ground. They prefer well-draining soil, full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

Additional Ways of Keep your Backyard Bug-Free

In addition to growing bug repellent bugs, the following are helpful tricks to keep away bugs from your backyard.

Get rid of standing water in yard

Any Standing water in your yard is a great setback in fight against bugs. This is where mosquitoes and other bugs breed. Unblock clogged gutters and drains, soak or remove stagnant water in sunken areas and remove any water collecting containers in your yard.

Keep everything kempt

Bugs including flies and mosquitoes love hiding in tall grasses, under overgrown tree branches and anywhere they can hide during the day. To discourage bugs in your backyard, keep everything kempt. Cut short overgrown grass and shrubs and collect all debris in the yard.

Treat water recreation points

Swimming polls, hot tubs and water fountains should be treated on a regular. Contaminated water easily attract mosquitoes and other bugs. Chlorine treated water does not attract mosquitoes.

Encourage natural predators

Many wildlife mostly birds feed on insects and allowing them in your yard can immensely reduce the population of the pests. Ladybugs are also beneficial in controlling a number of bugs and you should consider introducing them to help in managing the population of bugs in your garden.

Invest in bug repellents

While outdoors on your patio or garden, use mosquito repellents. Nontoxic bug repellents are made using essential oils and you can safely use them around your family. What is important is to read and follow instructions on how to use the product.

Remove things that attract bugs

Bugs are attracted to bright lights, dirt and food items in your home. One way of discouraging them is to ensure that you are using yellow bug lights on your porch or patio and you have done a thorough cleaning to remove dirt and food leftovers.

Contact pest control agencies

Contact nearby pest control agencies in your area for a lasting solution. They will fumigate your yard and recommend a sustainable pest control strategy to use. Although this will come at fee, you will enjoy the results of their job.

Final thought

Bugs are a great nuisance, they can ruin your outdoor moments or events. Although impossible to completely get rid of bugs in your yard, growing bugs repellents plants, keeping your yard kempt and investing in other safe bug repellent methods will provide a great relief.

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