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Repel Pests the Natural Way with Plants, by Kim Nichols Messer

There are many ways to deal with insects. I prefer to be as natural as possible. My yard is organic, so for me, pesticides are not an option.

I do sometimes use a Garlic Pepper Tea Solution for particularly bothersome bugs, but most often I use strategic planting to deter pests.



Many bedding plants will repel Mosquitos. Citronella Geraniums in a pot by the front or back door will reduce the amount of Mosquitos hovering around the entrance. Lantanas will also repel Mosquitos. Many herbs which may enhance a good meal, can repel Mosquitos.  Lemon Grass, Lemon Thyme and all Basils have oils which repel insects. Rosemary, Mints and Marigolds also repel Mosquitos.



Spearmint and Tansy are good for ants. Plant near strawberry plants to keep the ants away. Dried Mint in sachets or a perforated container, placed in the pantry will deter ants.  Catnip is also good dried in sachets to repel ants.


Snails, Japanese Beetles and Aphids

Garlic, Chives and Catnip will repel all three insects.


Fennel and Dill are multipurpose. Both are tasty seasonings which also repel aphids and snails, and as an added bonus, the  leaves are food for Swallowtail Butterfly Caterpillars. Nasturtium, another favorite multipurpose plant, is a peppery addition to a salad or when planted by tomatoes and cucumbers, repels aphids and whiteflies.


Chrysanthemums and Heirloom Marigolds are the all-natural insecticide. In flower form they repel many things such as roaches, silverfish, fleas and ants. When the Pyrethrins are extracted and concentrated, this format will kill the harmful insects.  Much care should be given to not harm Beneficial Insects such as Lady Bugs, Praying Mantis, Lacewings and Bees. 


I plant Bee friendly plants to encourage pollination of my vegetable plants and Citrus Trees.  Bee Balm and Borage are great for Bees.  I have a corner spot filled with different kinds of Salvias which Bees seem to really enjoy.  Bee happy!



And remember… Mexican Mint Marigold repels wild rabbits… Who knew?

 Bee on Peach Blossom