6 Plants That Repel Insects


Insects are a friend to no one. In certain areas of the country it can be very frustrating and irritating to even go outside because the mosquitoes, gnats, and other insects are so bad. I have a good friend in North Carolina that says the mosquitoes are very bad there right now.  It’s a constant worry, especially when you have children, to let them be outside without protection. There are a couple of options that you have. My first go-to is essential oils. I get a lot of people that ask me if they actually work. They sure do. 

In addition to personal coverage you can also take measures around your home to grow plants that naturally repel insects. There are a lot of different options but when I checked around online these 6 seem to be commonly recommended. Of course, if you’re allergic to any of the plants below there are a lot of alternatives available…just search around.

On a rather important side note…Most of these plants also attract bees!


Lavender is a favorite scent to a lot of people. That is why you can find lavender scented lotions, perfumes, bath products, etc… Granted those don’t contain real lavender most of the time but you get the idea. When I was reading online I found that some suggested that Lavender will not only repel mosquitoes but also deter deer, rabbits and other wildlife that frequent gardens this time of year.  I’m going to have to try this one and recommend it to my Mom because she is constantly fighting the deer getting into her garden.


Chrysanthemums are fairly easy to grow and are a nice flower to use as a ground cover as they seem to grow really well bunched together. They are susceptible to aphids (grow them by garlic, chives, or spearmint to help deter the aphids) but very good at repelling root-knot nematodes and Japanese beetles. root-knot nematodes usually affect woody and herbaceous plants as well as carrots, onions, potatoes, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and some fruit trees. The Japanese beetles eat fruit and several garden plants and grasses. If you struggle with these pests then you’ll want to plant chrysanthemums around your garden to deter them.


Marigolds are not one of my favorite flowers but they do offer some great benefits around the garden. Like the chrysanthemums, Marigolds are also very good at deterring the nematodes. They also have a nectar that syrphid flies like. These flies are good in your garden because they prey on aphids and other insects that attack garden plants. Some say they also repel cabbage worms. I also read that they can help with White Flies.


Citronella is known to repel mosquitoes. It is usually added in candles, bug repellent, sprays, etc… Citronella is very similar to Lemon Grass but is not the same thing. Citronella has an intense citrus-like scent and is usually grown for extraction of its aromatic oils. It’s fairly easy to grow and like I said is great for deterring mosquitoes. I’ve heard that some people will crush up the citronella leaves and then rub them on their skin to repel bugs.


Pennyroyal (aka mosquito plant and squaw mint) is often used to repel bugs. Planting it around your home discourages them from taking up residence in your yard and garden areas. From what I could find online it is also a great way to keep fleas off of pets. You can braid it into a flea collar and slip it around your pets neck. Pennyroyal is often used in bug repellents so you can see the value it brings to adding them to your landscaping.


Feverfew is great for repelling moths, flies, ants, mice, mosquitoes, cockroaches, mites, and bedbugs. It is also commonly used in insect repellents and also to treat insect bites. I’ve heard that they can repel bees as well though, so make sure you post them around BBQ areas or sitting areas but not necessarily in your garden where we want bees to be pollinating.