6 Plants That Naturally Repel Pests


 6 Plants That Naturally Repel Pests

Warmer days and nights mean spending more time outdoors. Perhaps you have an outside patio or deck that you and your family enjoy summer meals on or simply late night chats. Either way, regardless of what region you live in you are going to encounter summer time pests such as mosquitoes! Mosquitoes are pests not only because they can bite and cause severe itch, but because they can carry diseases as well. Controlling mosquitoes is important, so perhaps you have invested in citronella candles and bug spray to keep them at bay. These are fine options and typically effective, however you may be exposing yourself to nasty chemicals and fire hazards. Instead, why not try a more natural option? There are many inexpensive and easy to grow plants that can help you repel mosquitoes and keep your outdoor living spaces pest free.

You don’t have to have a green thumb or be a botanist to enjoy the pest repelling properties of these plants. You just have to know which ones work and simply set them out in your space. Take a look below at some prime examples of mosquito repelling plants and see how easy it is to keep pests away the natural way.

6 Plants That Naturally Repel Pests

1. Citronella Grass
If you have heard of citronella oil, you now know where it comes from. Citronella grass has a lemon scent and is used in many household products. It is effective at repelling mosquitoes and because it is a perennial, you can plant it once and let it grow back year after year. It does best in USDA climate zones 10-12 and full sun. You can find seeds for this plant on Amazon for around $3.00.

2. Basil
Chances are basil is not a foreign plant to you. Traditionally you may have used it in your kitchen and recipes, but you can actually use it to repel mosquitoes and flies too. You need to really use it in bulk, for example in a large pot as opposed to just a small seedling. All varieties will work and are visually appealing since they usually bloom tiny white flowers. Basil can be bought as a starter plant for around $3.00, or in seed form a packet runs around $1.00.  You can find fresh basil plants at your local markets or gardening center and seed form at your dollar store.

3. Lemon Thyme
Lemon thyme is mega powerful when it comes to repelling mosquitoes. Plant it around your deck and allow it to flourish and do its job. You can also keep a pot on your picnic table as it makes a lovely centerpiece and will keep pests away. It is easy to care for grow, and should return year after year. This plant grows well in all zones as long as it has adequate sun and water. You can easily find this at your local gardening center for around $4.00.

4. Sage
Just about everyone is familiar with sage! Take it from the kitchen and to the yard to keep mosquitoes, beetles, and moths away. Sage is easy to grow with plenty of sunlight and regular watering, and is best when grown in USDA climate zones 4 to 8. Sage seeds can be purchased for around a $1.00 per packet, or a fresh plant can usually be found for around $4.00 at your local greenhouse.

5. Rosemary
Rosemary is another kitchen herb and is commonly known to repel fleas and mosquitoes. It flourishes in zones 7 to 10 and full sun. Plant it around your deck or use it in a centerpiece to repel pests. This plant grows well in all zones with proper sun and water. Fresh rosemary plants tend to be a bit more expensive, costing around $10.00 for a 5-6 inch planted pot. Your local prices may vary.

6. Lavender
Lavender has a lovely scent and is ideal for repelling spiders, ants and moths. It is beautiful to look at as it blooms a lovely purple color, and comes in a variety of types. Lavender has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb, and now you know how to use it to repel bugs. Just plant it in your flower beds and landscaping and watch the bugs stay clear! This plant does well in all planting zones with adequate sun and water. You can find potted varieties in different sizes, costing you anywhere from $6.00 and up.

As you can see, none of these plants are necessarily exotic. They are all common and easy to find and chances are you are familiar with them. So this summer, skip the chemical filled bug sprays and dangerous candles. Instead, add some of these plants to your borders and landscaping, or keep potted varieties around your deck and on your picnic table. As you can see, they can all be found for just a few dollars, so they are budget friendly too!

Don’t let mosquitoes and other pests keep you indoors this summer. Instead, pull out the plants and watch them flee!



  1. Laura S says:

    I love that you can buy citronella grass on Amazon!

  2. I had no idea plants could repel bugs!!!! Thank you for the information! I am going to have to look to see if these will work in the NW!

  3. I didn’t know that Lavender repels spiders. I found 3 ugly hideous black spiders when cleaning out behind the grill on patio. I’d plant some lavender to make them go away but we actually pulled out the lavender because it attracted too many bees. Guess I’ll have to “pick my poison” and go with the pest that bothers me less.

    • Audra,

      If you live in an area with a high bee population, you can always use peppermint oil mixed with water as well.

      There are a few other plants that work as well for Spiders!

  4. I’m happy to learn that I am growing 5 of these already in my garden! I just need to get some citronella grass growing and I’m set! I never knew these other herbs repelled mosquitos, but am glad I do now. I think I may divide up some of my larger plants and put them in pots around our deck, as well as having some in the garden space. Thanks so much for such great information!

    • Oh yes! We have them planted around our porch and have some in pots that we move out into the yard if we are having a gathering with the fire pit! Glad that you enjoyed this and I hope to see you around soon.

  5. I planted almost all of these plants last year but I never thought of them as an insect repellant. Good to know and I love your list! Great information. Pinned.

  6. Funny, I have most of these herbs growing in my garden, but didn’t know about the pest repelling properties! Thanks for linking got the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party! So glad you are here!

  7. This is very interesting, don’t have a very green thumb but I’ve started growing some vegetables, maybe I could use some of these in the veg patch as natural pest control.

  8. Good to know since I already plant most of these, but I must tell you that one bug that basil is not resistant to is the Japanese Beetle. The year we had them, they destroyed my basil and so much more, so be sure to get rid of grubs and subsequently, Japanese Beetles.

  9. Thanks for sharing these great, non-toxic ways to repel mosquitoes!

  10. Great list! I forgot about basil being a bug repellent. Not just for pasta!

  11. Thanks for all this information. I had no idea that some of these helped repel insects. Great Post.

  12. Thanks for the post! I have a lot of these already growing in my herb garden. So easy!!

  13. Oh I had no idea about basil and sage! How ironic, I’m reading your post today and I just planted sage and basil in bulk.

    Thanks for posting! I’m stopping by from the Craft Frenzy Friday.


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