9 Natural Pest Control Plants That Keep Bugs and Insects Away

How do you keep bugs and insects in check so they don’t overrun your home? There are many ways to control pests. I can immediately think of a few natural pest control plants that keep bugs and insects away.

9 plants you need in your yard or garden that repel bugs and insects

  • Spearmint (repels ants, beetles, fleas, moths, and rodents)
  • Catnip (repels ants, cockroaches, flea beetles, squash bugs, and weevils)
  • Rosemary (repels beetles, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, slugs, and snails)
  • Lavender (repels fleas, flies, moths, and mosquitoes)
  • Basil (repels flies, beetles, and mosquito)
  • Pitcher Plants (traps and ingest ants, bees, beetles, flies, slugs, snails, and wasps)
  • Chrysanthemums (repels ants, bedbugs, beetles, fleas, ticks, and roaches)
  • Venus Flytrap (trap and ingest insects)
  • Lemongrass (repels fleas, lice, ticks, and mosquitoes)

Each of the above individual plants repels specific bugs and insects. But before you start planting you have to identify which pests you want to control. After you have identified your bugs and insects all you have to do is grow the correct plants to repel them.

Forget about spraying pesticide it’s time to take an all-natural approach to pest control. Below is our list of the very best plants to repel your unwanted insects and bugs. Look over the list and decide what you want to plant.

Plant these, watch them grow and keep the bugs out of your garden, yard, and house too.

9 Best Natural Pest Control Plants

1. Spearmint

When it comes to repelling insects and bugs mint plants work really well. You can rub the leaves of peppermint on your skin or make a bug repellant spray using mint essential oil.

Be careful how you plant mint because it can grow out of hand. Our neighborhood Gardner says it best to grow mint in pots and I’d have to agree.

Mint is very versatile and can repel a number of bugs and insects. Say goodbye to a host of bug and insects including ants, beetles, fleas, mosquitoes, moths, rodents and squash bugs.

Mint has a pleasant smell, tastes great, and is one of the most powerful pest control plants. So be sure to pick some for yourself to enjoy.

2.  Catnip

Catnip is a natural option that is considered by many to be an effective repellant for bugs and insects. You can grow this herb yourself or use it in essential oil form.

I recently read a study in Science Daily, where researchers said catnip is 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.

Catnip is also effective at repelling ants, cockroaches, flea beetles, squash bugs, and weevils too.

But beware, this herb may attract your cat and the neighbor’s pet as well.

3. Rosemary

The herb rosemary is a great choice if you are trying to protect a vegetable garden. You can grow rosemary from a container indoors or outside in your herb garden.

To get rid of bugs and insects in your backyard just burn some dried rosemary and your unwanted visitors will not want to stick around. The herby smell will drive them crazy and they’ll have no choice but to leave you alone.

Plant and grow rosemary to protect your plants and repel beetles, cockroaches, flies, mosquitoes, slugs, and snails.

4. Lavender

Lavender has such a sweet and relaxing scent that it’s hard to believe it is a natural pest repellent. To repel bugs you can hang up dried bunches of lavender around the house or use it in its extracted oil form. Or just plant lavender outside near your entryways to keep the area pest-free.

So for next season forget about pesticides. Plant and grow some Lavender to control fleas, flies, moths, and mosquitoes.

5. Basil

At some point or another, you have used some basil if you know your way around the kitchen. Basil is one of the easiest plants to grow. Oftentimes you can find basil planted in a container and ready to buy at your local whole foods store.

I usually will let it grow for a while in the container and then move it to the garden when it really starts to grow. You can rub crushed basil leaves directly on your skin to repel unwanted insects or you can make your own basil bug spray using 100% pure essential oil extract.

Basil is good for flies, beetles, mosquito control, and one of my favorite natural pest control plants.

6. Pitcher Plants

Now the pitcher plants are a sight to see when it comes to pest control. Using itself as a natural bug and insect lure, pitcher plants trap and ingest any garden pests that come within grabbing range.

If you are looking to get rid of ants, bees, beetles, flies, slugs, snails, and wasps then pitcher plants will get the job done.

7.  Chrysanthemums

The bloom of the chrysanthemum plant contains pyrethrum which commonly used in natural insect repellents and dog shampoo. The plant is very helpful in repelling ants, bedbugs, beetles, fleas, lice, silverfish, ticks, and roaches.

Chrysanthemum called mums for short can be planted in containers or the garden. We like to place a few in containers and strategically place them inside the house.

When planting mums outside they should be placed in close proximity to the plants you want to protect. My local florist suggested they be planted 1 to 1-½ feet away.

8.  Venus Flytrap

The Venus flytrap is native to North and South Carolina. So if you live in these states this plant is a potential option for you.

We’ve seen these in movies so we know the plan traps and ingest insects. The plant really loves flies and can eat them all day long.

9. Lemongrass

Last but not least is lemongrass. The scent of lemongrass is a highly effective natural deterrent to mosquitoes. Be careful when planting lemongrass since it can grow up to 4 feet tall. It’s best that you plant it in containers to keep the plant from growing wild and out of control.

I prefer to use 100% pure extracted lemongrass oil and have found it to be a great option for repelling many blood suck insects like fleas, ticks, lice, and mosquitoes.

You can apply lemongrass directly to your outer garments to repel or combine it will distilled water or rubbing alcohol and spray it around the home. Another effective method for controlling infested backyards and patios is to burn lemongrass oil.

If you are looking for a non-hazardous option you might want to consider lemongrass.

What’s Next?

A few of these natural pest control plants and herbs smell and taste great to us humans. Despite this fact, they all do an excellent job of controlling and repelling the pest population. This keeps our yards, gardens, and home pest-free nature’s way.

So the next time you have a pest problem stop a minute and think. After a few moments of thought maybe you will decide to try one of these 9 pest control plants. Instead of spray pesticides or placing repellents.

Before we found plants that repel pests, we had lots of problems with all types of bugs and insects. It seemed as if things got out of control and little critters were running and flying all around our garden and yard.

We’d see ants, beetles, moths, and mosquitoes all the time. But not anymore, thanks to many of these plants. Give them and try and let us know how they worked out.

Related Questions

Which plants repel mosquitoes? The are several plants and herbs that repel mosquitoes so that you don’t have to worry about them biting you. We have found the most effective plants and herbs to be catnip, lavender, basil, lemongrass, and rosemary. Give these a  try if you are serious about repelling these pests.

What are some natural alternatives to pesticides? There are many other ways to control and get rid of pests without having to use pesticides. If you prefer to use something more natural here a few things you can do. You can repel bugs and insects using pest repelling plants like borage, fennel, garlic, parsley, sage, and thyme. You can also prepare a basic insect spray made with dishwashing liquid, water, and baking soda as this really works.


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Lynn Edwards

I founded DIY Pest Control Guide with the intention of sharing practical, user-friendly pest control strategies. If you need assistance, reach out to me at lynn@diypestcontrolguide.com - I'm here to help you reclaim your peace of mind.

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