Say goodbye to mice, mosquitoes, and other insects in your garden with plants that naturally deter them.
Insects are vital for the ecosystem; however, these insects are very annoying and some of them can even cause serious health issues.
So, to keep them at bay, we rely on store-bought sprays and gels; however, a lot of them contain harmful ingredients, one of them being DEET. This neurotoxin may keep the insects away from you, but it’s not harmless to your health.
Plants are a much safer choice.
Having them in your outdoor garden can help you reduce the presence of annoying insects. This is a natural method so you can get rid of those unhealthy store-bought insect repellents full of toxins.
How Do Plants Work in Keeping Insects Away?
The smell of some flowers and herbs is a result of the distribution of small globules that have essential oils. These globules help in keeping insects at bay.
When the temperatures are high, the globules become volatile and evaporate the essential oils. For centuries, people have used the natural ability of plants to repel insects and it’s also a common practice today.
Plants have been our allies for centuries in controlling pests and insects so why stop using them now?- Let’s learn more about the eight best plants that will help you deter mice, mosquitoes, and other insects from your garden!
8 Best Plants to Reduce Presence of Mice, Mosquitoes, and Other Insects in Your Garden
Basil is the star plant when it comes to repelling insects. It works best against the flea beetle and the cabbage webworm.
It has four volatile compounds that also help keep mosquitoes away (citronellal, limonene, nerolidol, and estragole).
You can use fresh basil to prepare a DIY insect-repellent spray. Combine four ounces of boiled water with four to six ounces of fresh basil leaves.
Leave the mixture to steep for several hours before you take out the leaves and squeeze all of the moisture out of the leaves into the liquid.
Add four ounces of vodka to the basil water. Mix and close well. Keep it in the fridge and apply it as an insect repellent on your skin when you’re going outside.
Lavender may be one of our favorite aromas out there; however, mosquitoes, flies, and other insects dislike it a lot!
In fact, insect repellents with lavender essential oils are praised as having 80.9 percent repellency against the mosquito species A. stephensi.
You can also benefit from lavender’s insect-repelling properties by tying bouquets of lavender in the sunny parts of your garden or near areas where you’re spending time outside.
You can also apply lavender essential oil as an insect repellent for the skin. It will nourish and calm down the skin too.
- Lemon thyme
This herb is great at repelling mosquitoes when crushed. It has 62 percent repellency of DEET.
Prepare the leaves by cutting off a few stems and rubbing them between your hands.
Another great way to ensure they protect you from insects is by burning several sprigs while preparing a barbecue or using the campfire.
You can also plant it in your garden: it’s a non-demanding plant that thrives in a sunny location and doesn’t require deep soil.
Citronella is the natural oil present in lemongrass and it’s a popular natural insect repellent.
Citronella candles and insect-deterring products are therefore very popular. This ornamental can reach a height of up to four feet in one season only.
According to studies, its repellent effects against A. culicifacies, a mosquito species, are 100 percent.
Another lemongrass type that’s also a great insect repellent is citronella grass. Plant it in a pot or in the soil in an area that is sunny and well-draining to keep insects at bay.
The oils of rosemary are praised as highly effective in the fight against insects. You can make a natural repellent using a quart of dried rosemary combined with a quart of water and leave it to steep for half an hour.
Then, strain it into a container with a quart of cool water. Keep this repellent in the fridge and spray it on the exposed body parts before you go outside.
You can also grow it in pots or herb gardens and hang some sprigs near sitting areas.
Mosquitoes can’t stand the smell of mint.
Its leaves, stems, and flowers contain aromatic characteristics and its oils can be combined with apple cider vinegar and vodka to prepare an effective mosquito repellent.
You can also place pots with the plant near the patio and sitting areas.
Mint does great when grown in pots instead of in the ground due to spreading quite aggressively.
And, once it establishes in the soil, it’s not easy to remove it.
- Pitcher plants
These carnivorous plants lure insects inside their “pitcher”, a type of leaf, via nectar, fragrance, and color.
When the insect is inside, it falls into the water and drowns from tiredness and the plant consumes it.
Ants, wasps, bees, slugs, snails, and flies are the common food for the pitcher plants.
This plant requires a sunny and moist area and usually does best in pots that sit in saucers of water.
- Floss flowers
These flowers contain coumarin. This chemical is used as an ingredient in some store-bought insect-repellent sprays.
Mosquitoes dislike it a lot and by planting these flowers, you will keep annoying bugs away.
They look awesome and grow pink, blue, and white blooms in summer and fall. They prefer fertile soil in flower beds and rock gardens.