5 Plants That Discourage Common Pests

Keeping your yard and home pest free doesn’t require the use of vast quantities of insecticides. There are several plants that discourage common pests. Let’s look at five of those plants.


Basil is an effective deterrent for certain insects, including flies and mosquitoes. The leaves contain certain oils that kill mosquito eggs. The natural odor of basil seems to repel flies and mosquitoes.

Gardeners often plant basil next to vegetables that have issues with flies or thirps. Crushed basil leaves rubbed on the skin is a good insect repellent. Burning basil, fresh or dried, can keep pests away.


The herb that cats adore is also an effective repellent against mosquitoes, cockroaches, mites, ticks, and spiders, among others. It contains a compound known as nepetalactone that more effective than DEET when it comes to keeping mosquitoes at bay. A bit of catnip distilled in a bottle of water is an easily applied protector against insect bites.

Research is showing that catnip may be an effective natural deterrent against termites that helps support a healthy yard. While not proven as an effective alternative to traditional termite treatment, it can deter termites from tunneling.


Marigolds reign as the most well-known insect repellent in the garden. Planted among tomatoes, marigolds help to keep nematodes away. The trick is to plant plenty of them, early in the season. They seem to work best in thick bunches. The more, the merrier.

They are also effective for keeping your home pest free. A bowl of flowering marigolds placed next to entry points help keep mosquitoes out of the house and off the patio.


The chrysanthemum contains a somewhat familiar compound, known as pyrethrin, that’s used in many commercial insect control products. The good news is that you don’t have to go to the store to gain the benefit of that compound. Just grow a few chrysanthemums instead.

Mums help repel ticks, fleas, ants, and many other types of pests. Plant a few in your garden and keep some in pots on the porch.


Not only does it help you sleep better, lavender is a natural repellent against fleas, moths, and mosquitoes. It contains oils that many types of insects avoid. Even the plant’s smell, that many people love, is abhorrent to plenty of pests.

Grow lavender in your garden or in a pot. You can bring a bouquet inside for help keeping bugs outside.

These plants will help keep your patio, yard, and home safe from annoying, biting pests that make life miserable. However, they are not a replacement for fumigating your home.