Plants that Keep Pests Away

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One organic and environmentally friendly way to reduce pest infestations in your home is by using the right plants. Not only do they lookg great, but they have natural defenses that are the bane of annoying bugs. Use these 5 plants repel bugs and enhance your home’s look as well.

Citronella Grass for Repelling Mosquitoes

Citronella Grass
Image via Flickr by adaduitokla

Citronella grass is one plant that repels bugs. It’s an aromatic perennial grass that grows well in both acidic and alkaline soil. It can thrive in shaded areas of the garden as well. Plant this grass near windows or walkways to prevent bugs from entering the home. This aromatic grass repels several insects including mosquitoes, gnats, ticks, and black flies. Technically, there are several plants which are referred to as Citronella, but the species which has insect-repellent properties is Cymbopogon winterianus. Citronella oil also is derived from this species.

Marigolds (Tagetes) to Save Your Tomato Garden

Marigolds
Image via Flickr by jan1020

Marigolds look great in the garden and are effective at repelling certain types of pests. This annual herb is used as a cover crop to prevent pests from attacking other crops in the garden. Specifically, marigolds are used to reduce the amount of nematodes in the soil. Nematodes damage plant roots by forming galls. Be sure to plant the right type of marigold — the Tagetes genus is effective at reducing nematode population. There are several species that are used for this, including Tagetes erecta and Tagetes patula.

Catnip is Great for Cats but Pests Hate it

Catnip, or catmint, is a perennial herb with insect repellent properties. It also makes household cats active and energetic, which may cause some people to mistakenly hit the panic button on their system from home security during the night. This plant is effective against several types of insects including mosquitoes. This herbaceous perennial grows two to three feet in height and thrives in dry conditions. The fragrant flowers attract butterflies and typically bloom from May to September. Plant it near doorways or crush the leaves and spread them on windowsills to repel mosquitoes.

Tansy (Tanacetum) Plant Ferns Are Aromatically Anti-Pest

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Image via Flickr by maureenlafleche

If ants are a problem in your home, consider adding a few plants from the Tansy genus to your garden. Tanacetum vulgare is one species that reduces the ant population. It’s also effective at repelling flies and mice. The aromatic leaves are fern-like, and the showy, yellow flowers blossom in the summer. It looks great in the background or against walls, especially in cottage gardens. This weedy perennial herb grows well in most types of soil.

Ageratum is Both Toxic and Repellent

One more plant that will keep pests away is Ageratum. Its aromatic scent repels mosquitoes and moths. The Ageratum conyzoides species blends in nicely with other garden flowers, but it shouldn’t be grown with crops due to its toxic properties. Avoid crushing the leaves of this annual herbaceous plant.

Plant these five plants around your house to keep pests away. Most of them repel mosquitoes, while others repel flies, moths, and gnats. What other houseplants do you use to keep annoying critters at bay?

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