Homesteading Hacks: 15 Plants That Keep Bugs Away

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Living a homesteading life brings you closer to nature, but it also means dealing with an array of bugs. These pests can be a real nuisance in the home and garden. Fortunately, some plants can help keep them at bay. These plants, often with strong scents, might seem mild to us but are overpowering to insects. Utilizing these plants, whether in your garden, as potted plants, or even in essential oils, can provide natural pest control.

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The Power of Plant Scents

Certain plants emit strong scents that, while barely noticeable to us, can be overwhelming for insects. Many bugs cannot stand these smells and will avoid areas where these plants are present. This makes using plants or their essential oils an effective method to deter pests. Incorporating these plants around your living space or using their concentrated scents in essential oils can be a game-changer in pest control.

flowers that deter pests

Bug-Repelling Plants

Lets dive right in to the top 15 plants the help repel bugs!

1. Lavender

Lavender’s calming aroma is a staple in many households, but mosquitoes, moths, and fleas despise it. These bugs can cause itchy bites and damage clothes and fabrics, making lavender an essential plant for any homesteader.

2. Basil

Basil’s pungent scent is great for cooking, but mosquitoes and houseflies find it unbearable. These pests can be relentless indoors and outdoors, making basil a handy plant to have in your garden or kitchen windowsill.

3. Rosemary

Rosemary’s woody scent is perfect for seasoning, and it doubles as a mosquito and cabbage moth repellent. These pests can ruin garden crops and disrupt outdoor activities.

homemade bug repellent for garden

4. Mint

Mint’s refreshing aroma is great for teas and desserts, and it also keeps mosquitoes, ants, and spiders at bay. Ants can invade kitchens, while spiders can cause panic and house fires.

5. Marigold

Marigolds are vibrant and cheerful, and they effectively repel aphids, mosquitoes, and whiteflies. These insects can devastate garden plants, making marigolds a beautiful and functional addition.

6. Catnip

Catnip is famous for driving cats wild, but it also repels mosquitoes and cockroaches. Cockroaches are particularly unwelcome indoor pests, and catnip can help keep them out.

7. Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums contain pyrethrum, a natural insecticide that repels a wide range of bugs, including roaches, ants, ticks, fleas and bedbugs. These pests can spread diseases and cause discomfort, making chrysanthemums valuable in pest control.

plants to keep mosquitos away

8. Lemongrass

Lemongrass contains citronella, a common ingredient in insect repellents. Mosquitoes are particularly sensitive to its scent, making lemongrass an effective natural repellent.

9. Garlic

Garlic’s strong odor can deter mosquitoes, aphids, and Japanese beetles. These pests can cause significant damage to garden plants, making garlic a must-have for any homestead.

10. Petunias

Petunias are not only beautiful but also effective at repelling aphids, tomato hornworms, and asparagus beetles. These bugs can destroy crops, so petunias are a great addition to any garden.

11. Citronella

Citronella is famous for its mosquito-repelling properties. Often used in candles and sprays, having the actual plant around can provide continuous protection against these biting insects.

plants that repel japanese beetles

12. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaves have a strong scent that repels mosquitoes, flies, and spiders. These pests can be annoying and disruptive, making eucalyptus a beneficial plant for your home.

13. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal is a lesser-known herb that effectively repels fleas and ticks. These bugs can cause serious health issues for pets and humans alike, so pennyroyal can be a great preventive measure.

14. Sage

Burning sage can help keep mosquitoes away. This aromatic herb is not only useful in cooking but also in keeping these pesky insects at bay during outdoor gatherings.

15. Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are great for flavoring soups and stews, and they also repel flies, roaches, and ants. Placing bay leaves in cupboards can help prevent infestations of these unwanted insects.

marigold pest control

Best Ways to Use These Plants

In the Home

  1. Herbal Sprays: Create sprays using essential oils from these plants. Mix a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle and use it around entry points and living areas.
  2. Potted Plants: Place potted versions of these plants near windows, doors, and other entry points to deter bugs.
  3. Dried Cuttings: Use dried cuttings of these plants along baseboards or in sachets hung around the house to keep insects away.
rosemary plant and mosquitoes

In the Garden

  1. In-Ground Planting: Plant these bug-repelling plants around the perimeter of your garden and among your crops to create a natural barrier against pests.
  2. Companion Planting: Integrate these plants with your vegetables and flowers to protect them from specific insects.
  3. Herbal Sprays: Make garden sprays from essential oils or plant extracts to treat areas prone to insect activity.

By incorporating these plants into your home and garden, you can naturally reduce the presence of bugs and enjoy a more comfortable and productive homesteading experience.

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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