Gardeners have dozens of environmental factors that they must take into account when tending to their outdoor oasis. To cultivate and promote growth, be aware of all the different things that will affect their flowers and plants. Changing weather, pesky animals, and invasive insects can become bothersome or even disastrous if not monitored. Many gardeners turn to chemical solutions to protect their precious gardens. Of course, these harmful pesticides can rid your yard of bugs that help your plants and herbs as well, so it’s best to find natural remedies to protect your garden before resorting to harsher methods. These nine plants to get rid of pests will serve as a great place to start!
Did you know that mint repels mosquitoes, ants, beetles, fleas, chiggers, and even mice and deer? You can use mint as a deterrent in many ways too. Placing fresh mint in pantries staves off bugs that like to snack and hanging dried mint in closets can get rid of moths and flies. By rubbing crushed mint leaves on your dogs and cats, pet owners will get rid of biting insects. It’s important to note that mint is an invasive plant, which means that if you plant it directly into an open bed, it will spread easily and quickly. Consider planting mint in pots or confining it to one specific spot only by applying mulch or first submerging your container to contain the fast-growing root system.
Petunias are annuals. These funnel-shaped, brightly colored flowers repel aphids, tomato hornworms, leafhoppers, and squash bugs. They also smell like licorice! These plants require minimal maintenance. They grow easily in garden beds, containers, or hanging baskets. They need sunlight to grow and thrive, so be aware of placement. Petunias attract caterpillars and slugs, however, so it’s best to be wary or keep a sharp watch.
Basil is regarded as one of the best natural insect repellents. The different elements in basil combine to produce its typical scent, which repels insects like mosquitoes by directly affecting their senses and removing their ability to detect targets. Namely, a compound in basil called estragole is used to kill mosquito eggs. Basil oil is also used as a repellent. Similarly, it’s become common for households to leave basil leaves on windowsills or terraces to keep blood-suckers away. Plant basil in pots around your garden or hang stalks by your house doors or patios to keep flying insects in check.
Roaches, ants, ticks, silverfish, lice, and more beware! Chrysanthemums are an effective insect-repellent due to pyrethrum, which has been known to kill flying and jumping insects. This compound is also found in many pet shampoos, indoor sprays, aerosol bombs, and insecticidal sprays. That said, pyrethrum is carcinogenic to humans if one were to come in contact with large quantities. To create a pest control spray naturally, mix the powder with water and dish soap.
Catnip contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which attracts cats but repels insects like mosquitos, flies, deer ticks, and cockroaches. The oil that comes from catnip can be used to craft a DIY insect repellent in a pinch when combined with rosemary, isopropyl alcohol, vinegar, glycerin, and water. Catnip can be up to 10 times more effective in preventing bugs and insects when compared to most commercial insect repellents. Catnip plants are super easy to grow but can become invasive if left uncontrolled.
Rosemary is one of the best of these nine plants to get rid of pests. Typically, gardeners use this herb to protect vegetable plants, though it can also repel mosquitoes and flies. It comes in many forms and is a recommended companion plant. Ward off gnats and other pests by placing it in patio containers or directly into your garden. By boiling one quart of rosemary in water, you can create your own DIY insect spray for outdoor or indoor use.
Citronella is an oil found in lemon grass that keeps mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs away. In a study done in Ontario in 2016, citronella was found to have reduced mosquito landings in the surrounding area by about 42 percent. In order to effectively use lemon grass to stave off bugs, you must crush the leaves and rub that solution directly onto your skin. Be ready to reapply the oil to your skin several times, however, as this is a short-term repellent. When you plant this herb, make sure you pick space in a garden with direct sunlight.
The smell of lavender repels moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitoes. Lavender tied together or potted in a bouquet or planted outside of entryways or inside of gardens will rid that area of pests and keep them outdoors. The oil can also be extracted and used as a repellent if applied to exposed skin. Additionally, one of the best part about this plant is that it has a calming effect that lowers your heart rate and makes it easier to sleep. Lavender can also be used to nourish the skin.
These beautiful flowers can protect your vegetables, flowers, and fruits from whiteflies, aphids, and cabbage loopers. Like rosemary, nasturtiums are a recommended companion plant. They release a chemical compound that repels some insects. Gardeners will plant nasturtiums in conjunction with cucumbers and tomatoes to keep cucumber beetles and squash bugs away. Alternatively, some insects are attracted to these plants, so nasturtiums can be used as a trap crop if planted safely away from your garden.
Gardeners have devised multiple ways to protect their plants and produce, many of which are artificial. These can be harmful and possibly repel important bugs like bumblebees. If you’re having difficulty keeping bugs and pests at bay, it’s best to try to find a natural remedy first! With these nine plants to get rid of pests and top soil from Top Soil Pros, you’ll have your best yard yet in no time.