16 Best Plants That Naturally Repel Bugs

Pests and insects are part of nature. Some of them, like houseflies and mosquitoes, carry disease causing bacteria. Some similar termites will destroy our property.

Why repel bugs naturally

There are many commercial pesticides on the market that can kill these pests. Unfortunately, these pesticides are full of chemicals that may be harmful to humans. It can also have a devastating effect on the beneficial insects in your garden.

The best way is to use plants to repel pests. In addition to the unique fragrance of these plants to repel pests, some essential oils in plants are more natural repellents. 100% natural and harmless, it can not only protect your family from rodents and insects, but also add more beauty to the garden. The most important thing is to prevent the health problems caused by spraying insecticides.

In this article, we will discuss 16 best plants that naturally repel bugs, such as marigold, mint, lavender, basil and onion.

These plants that repel bugs can be divided into four categories:

  • Herbs that keep bugs away
  • Insect repellent flowers
  • Carnivorous plant
  • Vegetables that keep bugs away

Herbs that keep bugs away


Artemisia, also known as wormwood, is a perennial herb. Wormwood is a kind of antibacterial and antiviral drug, which can inhibit and kill bacteria.  The Wormwood leave has strong fragrance. You can distribute the crushed Wormwood Leaves in your outdoor living environment. It can effectively keep the annoying insects away.

Artemisia can repel mosquitoes, flies, intestinal worms, moths.


Basil is a kind of herbal medicine. It can also be used as insect repellent. Most species are annual herbs. The pungent smell of basil leaves is the reason to prevent the growth of pests. He is often used to drive away flies and mosquitoes. According to health research and cell biology, published in Tanzania in 2009, lemon basil and cinnamon Basil can effectively expel Anopheles gambiae, a mosquito that can carry malaria. You can plant basil on the balcony and small courtyard to repel mosquitoes. It is very well kept. You can also extract essential oil from basil and make mosquito repellent spray. If you spray a little near mosquitoes, you can get rid of them.

Basil can deter mosquitoes, house flies, whiteflies, aphids and asparagus beetles.


Catnip is a kind of herb, perennial herb. It comes from the mint family. It can grow in large quantities either as a commercial plant or as a weed. It contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which attracts cats but repels mosquitoes, flies and cockroaches. Cat peppermint essential oil can be used to produce DIY natural mosquito repellent spray. The latest study found that catmint is ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical used in most insect repellents. It is a good non-toxic substitute for traditional chemical spray.

Catnip can repel ants, aphids, cockroaches and mice.


Lavender is a small perennial shrub. It contains linalyl acetate, linalool and other effective ingredients, which can release our pressure and calm our nerves. It is often used in self-made cleaners and beauty products, and is highly praised for its beautiful fragrance. Although people like the smell of lavender, mosquitoes, flies and other harmful insects hate it. So its smell can protect your home, pets and other plants from insects. Lavender can be made into oil, applied to the skin or mixed with other oils to repel mosquitoes.

Lavender can repel mice, mosquitoes, flies, moths and beetles.

Citronella grass

It is famous for its unique smell, and is one of the best plants to expel mosquitoes. Citronella, also known as lemongrass, is a perennial herb of citronella in Gramineae. When the citronella plant is crushed, it will release oil with strong fragrance. The oil in citronella oil can be directly put on the skin, playing the role of natural insect repellent. Citronella oil can also be mixed with other oils and liquids to make mosquito repellents. It is the best choice for family biological mosquito repellent.

Citronella can repel mosquitoes, flies, fleas, etc.


It contains menthol, menthol and other medicinal ingredients. It has a special fragrance. The fresh smell of menthol oil is very popular, but mice and ants can’t bear the smell. This smell will stimulate their nose and cover up the tracking information left by them. Because they usually follow these traces to find food, so we can add a some peppermint oil is in it.

Mint can repel fleas, flies, mice, cabbage moths, ants and spiders.


Rosemary is a perennial traditional cooking herb. It can be used as a cooking material and also has medicinal properties. At the same time, rosemary is also a very excellent mosquito repellent. It is very suitable for planting in arid areas.

Rosemary can deter lice, moths, carrot flies, mosquitoes, bean beetles, cockroaches, slugs, and snails.

Flowers that repel bugs


In plant taxonomy, it is a perennial herb of Compositae and chrysanthemum. Height 60-150 cm. Chrysanthemum is a short sunshine plant, which can bloom early under short sunshine.

Chrysanthemum can repel mites, lice, ants, beetles, insects, cockroaches and even bedbugs.


Marigold is the most popular annual plant. It can bring brilliant colors to the garden. By giving them enough sunlight and well drained soil, the seeds can germinate quickly in a few days and bloom in about 8 weeks. It can attract bees, butterflies, ladybugs and other beneficial insects for the garden, protect your garden from harmful nematodes in the soil, and help protect your vegetables from predators and pests. It is said that French marigold has the best insect repellent effect.

Marigolds can repel tomato moth, plant lice, whitefly, mosquitoes ,cucumber beetle, bean worm, asparagus beetle and nematode.


Calendula is an ornamental plant of daisies. It can not only repel mosquitoes, but also has effects on flies, insects and so on. It can drive away all kinds of pests. It also contains a common compound in commercial bugs spray, which can effectively drive pests away.

Calendula can repel asparagus beetles and moths.


Geranium is also a great choice to repel mosquitoes. Its flowers are very beautiful, and with a strong aroma, it seems to smell like lemon, reminiscent of vanilla, can resist a variety of pests. Anemone bamboo likes warm, sunny and dry climate.

Geraniums can repel mosquitoes, flies, Japanese beetles.


Petunia is a kind of perennial herbaceous flower, which is not cold resistant. The most suitable temperature for growing is 13-18 ℃. Petunia belongs to the plant with long sunshine. On the premise of sufficient sunshine, it takes more than 100 days from sowing to flowering. Now it is a very popular family culture flower all over the world.

Petunia can repel leafhoppers and aphids.

Carnivorous plants

Pitcher plants

Pitcher is the general name of all species of pitcher, belonging to tropical insectivorous plants. The leaf structure of pitcher is complex, including petiole, body and tendril. The tail of the tendril expands and reversely curls to form a bottle. The bottle cover of the bottle body can secrete fragrance and attract insects. The mouth of the bottle is smooth, and the insects will fall into the bottle, be drowned by the liquid secreted from the bottom of the bottle, decompose the nutrients of the insect body, and gradually digest and absorb them.

Pitcher can prey on flies and mosquitoes.

Venus flytrap

A carnivorous plant similar to its distant relative, pitcher. It has a short stem and is a perennial herb. At the top of the leaves there is a catch like a “shell”, which can secrete nectar. When a bug intrudes, it can be caught at a very fast speed, digested and absorbed. If we can take good care of it, we can live for at least 20-30 years.

Venus flytrap can prey on flies and mosquitoes.

Vegetables that keep bugs away


Like rosemary, chives are one of the most popular insect repellent herbs. When crushed, it has a strong onion smell that keeps mosquitoes away. These plants may be the most suitable companion plants for carrots and roses to resist carrot flies, aphids and black spots.

Chives can repel aphids, carrot flies, Japanese beetles, ants, fleas.


Garlic is a kind of plant that is easy to grow and one of the most commonly used natural pesticides. It can drive away aphids and other insects. Like chives, their pungent smell keeps mosquitoes away. We can chop garlic and sprinkle it around outdoor living areas. It can also be mixed with natural aromatic oil to produce mosquito repellent spray.

Garlic can repel Japanese beetles, root maggots and aphids.

Final thoughts

It is always recommended to use these plants to repel insects, pests and insects. It’s a natural and safe way to get rid of insects.