No matter the season, incessant insects can be the bane of any gardener’s existence. While some of these creatures can help your perfect garden thrive, others will eat away at the leaves or make it almost impossible to enjoy spending time in your yard. And although spraying some insecticide may be an easy solution, it’s disastrous for helpful pollinators like bees (not to mention our own health, by association). If you’re dealing with insistent pests, you don’t necessarily have to call in an expert. The U.S. pest control industry is predicted to bring in $13 billion by 2020, but getting rid of unwanted insects is a DIY endeavor you may be able to handle. In addition to making your own spray from natural ingredients, you can also make some strategic choices about what you plant in your yard. These pest control plants should keep those pests away — and they’ll make your garden look even better, to boot.
Embrace the Herbs
Planting herbs throughout your garden can be a great way to ward off mosquitoes, flies, beetles, and others. Basil is a popular option indoors as well as out. And as a bonus, it’ll make everything smell incredible (and you can use it in your cooking). Catnip is also quite effective, as it deters pretty much every creature (except for kitties!). Aphids, ants, weevils, and Japanese beetles will hightail it in the other direction. And since it looks attractive and has a pleasant odor, you’ll enjoy it, too. Chives will repel certain types of flies and beetles — and will make an excellent addition to any dish. And while dill will actually attract wasps and hoverflies, it will keep away spider mites, aphids, and squash bugs. If you’re thoughtful about where you plant it, you can use it in your garden to lure certain bugs away from specific vegetables you want to preserve. Finally, mint and lemongrass are believed to be a natural mosquito deterrent due to their odor — but they’ll make for delightful flavors in your kitchen.
Lavish the Lavender
Lavender is an excellent addition to any garden. The bees love it a lot, which means you’ll help to preserve this vulnerable population of pollinators. Its color and odor are both very appealing, which is a double thumbs up. You can use the dried blooms in a bunch of creative ways. But best of all, it can keep fleas, moths, and mosquitoes from “bugging” you. By planting lavender near sitting areas and along paths, you can reduce your risk of being bitten or being bothered when you’re outdoors. This may be especially helpful if you live in an area where fleas are prevalent and you have pets to protect.
Mull on Marigolds and Mums
Marigolds are already a pretty popular plant due to their gorgeous autumnal hues. But they’re also renowned for their pest-repellant properties. There’s likely a specific type of marigold that’ll tackle the insect problem you’re experiencing; some are great for getting rid of nematodes and flies while others will keep away mosquitoes other pests like rabbits. They also help to improve the health of the soil.
Just be aware that they can attract certain bugs like snails and spider mites. If these are a major concern in your garden, you might want to plant them only in certain areas. Chrysanthemums also come in many of the same pleasing colors as marigolds do. These plants can repel many insects, including ticks, roaches, beetles, silverfish, and mosquitoes. These two flowers would complement each other beautifully in any green space.
While this list of pest control plants is by no means exhaustive — there are countless other plants that provide a natural pest repellant — these may be the easiest and most attractive options for many homeowners. Even if you don’t have an overly green thumb, you can handle these herbs and flowers. By coming up with a plan that incorporates these plants, you’ll soon have a beautiful, pest-free garden to enjoy.