Updated: Sep 6
It’s summer time, you know what that means, insects, lots of them, and bug bites. Whether you’re sweet and attract insects, or not, insects can be annoying and ruin your evening, so why not use natural methods to get rid of them. Conventional insect repellents can be sticky, full of chemicals, and smell bad, but not plants! Plants have a pleasant smell, add a beautiful aesthetic to any space, and also can help repel those unwanted insects. Some plant types are natural insect repellents because of the essential oils in the plants, which you can use to make homemade insect repellent. These plants won’t guarantee that insects will stay away, but they will definitely help! Here is a list of some of the best, insect repelling plants:
1. Herbs, such as Basil, Lavender, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Mint, Catnip, Sage, Bay Leaves, Dill, Chives, Fennel, Oregano, Thyme, and Parsley. Place these plants in areas outdoors where you sit so that the insects can stay away. Lavender helps to repel moths, mosquitoes, flies, and other insects. These herbs smell delicious to humans but not to insects! Lavender essential oil also helps to repel insects. Rosemary helps repel mosquitoes while also protecting vegetable plants from harmful pests. All of these herbs help to repel a variety of pests.
2. Ornamental plants, such as Alliums, Marigolds, Geraniums, Chrysanthemums, and Petunias all help to repel insects. Alliums can help repel a number of pests and insects and can help to protect the vegetables in your garden. Marigolds scents repel pests such as mosquitoes and aphids. Geraniums are great insect repellents, and there is even a variety of Geraniums called Mosquito Repellent Plant. These plants add beautiful color and smells to your space, while also repelling plants, making for great spaces to hang out and relax!
3. There are also plants that ingest insects. Carnivorous plants such as Pitcher Plants and Venus Flytraps help get rid of insects by trapping them for nutrients. These unusual plants can add a new aspect to your outdoor space if you live in the right climate where they grow.
There are also ways to make homemade natural insect repellents that aren’t full of chemicals.
Some recipes include:
- Boil a cup of water with a few cloves of garlic and a few tablespoons of dried herbs such as peppermint, catnip, or lavender. Mix then cover and cool the mixture, and then strain it and add a cup of isopropyl alcohol or witch hazel.
- Another recipe is to steep 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint, basil, and lavender leaves into a cup of boiling water. Once cool, strain and add a cup of witch hazel and shake to mix it together.
- Simple homemade natural insect repellent recipes are 1) 2 cups of witch hazel, 1.5 teaspoons of lemongrass or citronella oil, and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2) a cup of alcohol or witch hazel with 10-20 drops of essential oil such as lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, or lemon eucalyptus, and 3) a quart of vinegar with a ½ teaspoon of pennyroyal oil, a teaspoon of lemon eucalyptus oil, a teaspoon of orange oil, and a teaspoon of citronella oil.
These simple recipes are naturally made, healthier, and not full of chemicals like typical bug sprays and insect repellents.