There are plants that repel pests by emitting odours to deter and confuse insects. Their success in repelling insects will greatly depend on numerous factors like proximity, the breeze, and quantities of plants.
Odours can be released even when you just brush past the plant or water it at a specific time of the day. The effectiveness of the plant’s pest-repelling odour can be enhanced by placing them in areas like pathways, doorways, dog kennels, and near outdoor eating areas.
But prior to using insect-repellent plants, be cautious and do research on their capacity to trigger human allergies. There are some that can irritate your skin while others, when ingested, are toxic. If you want to use these plants around kids and pets, do comprehensive research first to ensure safety.
How Do Insect-repellent Plants Work?
Plants often used for their repelling properties are those that contain volatile oils. This means that when they are brushed against or crushed, they emit a strong odour.
Sometimes, the oils of such plants are extracted in order to make essences and these can be used as natural insect repellents.
A List of Insect-repellent Plants
Basil – Basil is known to repel flies and mosquitoes. It can be grown in pots in a shady spot near the back door. It protects beans, tomatoes and cabbages.
Tansy – Tansy is a very strong-smelling herb that repels flies and ants. Plant it near windows or outside your back door. You can also pick the leaves and rub
them on your pet’s back to get rid of fleas.
Lavender – Lavender, with its strong scent, will protect plants from insects like the white-fly. Lavender planted near and under fruit trees will deter the codling moth. It can also be used to mask the scent of a rose from aphids. Bear in mind, though, that not all species of lavender can be used; the weed species must be avoided.
Marigolds – If you plant marigolds randomly in your garden, flying insects can be confused by its scent. You can use it to repel whitefly and carrot fly. If you plant it in between rows of beans, it can deter a range of beetles and spider mites.
Sage – Though it attracts bees, sage will repel many pests like ants and mice. Also, it prevents the proliferation of onion maggot. You must grow it in pots and
place it near doorways.
Wormwood – Wormwood has a very strong pungent scent that can deter insects. It is good at repelling white cabbage moth.
Keep a better balance in your garden by planting insect-repellent plants. These plants won’t just keep your garden healthy, but will also promote biodiversity.