bright orange-yellow marigolds bloom in the sun

5 Plants To Repel Common Garden Pests

Everybody hates those pesky bugs and critters that eat away at our beloved gardens. Spraying harsh chemicals is an option, but there are natural ways to repel garden pests. Here are some plants that do double duty as pest deterrents and as beautiful backyard decor.

  1. Lavender

    Not only does lavender look and smell delightful, but it naturally repels ants, mosquitoes, flies, fleas, moths, gnats, and spiders. You can plant it around your backyard to keep it pest-free, or if you live in a small space, you can plant it in pots and set them around your doorways on your porch or balcony. You can also dry lavender and set the sprigs in your windows to keep bugs from entering your home. Dried lavender can also be placed into sachets and used in place of mothballs in your closets. Lavender definitely smells better than the pungent smell of mothballs.

  2. Marigolds

    If you are growing tomato plants, marigolds are you new best friend. They will protect your tomatoes from aphids, flies, horn worms, and nematodes, which can spoil your tomatoes. As an added bonus, marigolds also deter mosquitoes so you can keep them planted in pots around any outdoor seating areas or dining areas. Mosquitoes and black flies are kept at bay due to the strong scent of the marigold blossom. Marigolds can also repel deer from chowing down on your tomatoes because the smell of the flowers is unpleasant to them.

  3. Garlic

    Garlic is very easy to grow in your own garden and tastes even better than the garlic you can buy at the store. But garlic also works twice as hard in your backyard by keeping slugs, ticks, beetles, grubs, snails, and mosquitoes away. It will also deter rabbits from eating your veggies because they don't like the strong smell that garlic plants emit.

  4. Citronella Grass

    Everyone knows about those smelly citronella candles found at home improvement stores that repel mosquitoes, but citronella grass is less commonly available. This grass is great at keeping mosquitoes away from your home and it smells like a fresh lemon. Make sure you plant it in the ground because it will come back year after year. Mosquitoes and black flies hate the citrus smell of citronella grass so your outdoor space will be safe and pest-free.

  5. Mint

    Mint repels aphids, moths, and cabbage worms. The strong smell of mint keeps most of these pests away from your garden, but this is one plant you should keep in a container because of its tendency to spread. Mint grows so quickly that it will take over your yard. Mint also deters mosquitoes. In fact, you can even pinch a leaf or two off and rub it over your skin as an alternative to bug spray.

Last Updated: April 20, 2015