You might consider planting some herbs that repel insects if you’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors but are being chased back inside by pesky mosquitos or other flying pests. Of course, insects are an integral part of the food chain. But you can take steps to avoid being a mosquito (or other biting insects) buffet.
Nature already has the tools to help you keep many bugs at bay. And while we all know it’s not going to be 100% effective or work immediately, some careful planning can help you create a relatively bug-free sanctuary zone. It can even give you some simultaneous culinary inspiration.
One of the advantages of using these natural insect-repelling plants is that they not only serve a functional purpose but also contribute to the overall aesthetics of your garden. Their foliage, flowers, and delightful scents are easily incorporated into existing flower beds, herb gardens, or even container gardens, providing both practicality and visual appeal.
Herbs that repel insects naturally
The first thing you might consider planting is basil. While we find its aroma delightful, it’s unappealing to insects like mosquitoes. The active compounds in basil, such as linalool and eugenol, act as natural repellents. No bug smooshing necessary!
Not a big basil fan? Well, lavender is another good choice. Its purple blooms and calming fragrance are loved by humans but disliked by mosquitoes, flies, and moths. Planting lavender around your garden borders or near seating areas can provide a fragrant barrier that keeps these unwanted visitors away. But just so you know, the flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. This makes it a double win for some people – unless you don’t like bees.
Finally, mint is a great choice as an insect repellant. Its strong scent, derived from menthol, is highly effective at repelling both mosquitoes and ants. Planting mint strategically around your garden or near outdoor seating areas can be a great bug barrier. However, it’s important to note that mint can be invasive, so you may want to contain it in pots or planters to prevent it from taking over your garden.
Nothing is perfect
Gardening with these insect-repelling plants offers an eco-friendly alternative to chemical insecticides. By opting for natural repellents, you avoid exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.
To make the most of these insect-repelling plants, consider their placement within your garden. Plant them strategically near entrances, seating areas, or any place where you want to deter insects. Harvesting their leaves and flowers can also release more of their repellent properties. Crush a few leaves of basil or mint and rub them on your skin as a natural insect repellent when spending time outdoors.
Of course, herbs that repel insects may not provide complete protection against all types of pests. Therefore, it’s advisable to employ additional measures such as wearing long sleeves, using mosquito nets, or employing non-toxic insect repellents when necessary.