- Plant catnip, rosemary, and pennyroyal. These herbs contain other oils that repel mosquitoes. Pennyroyal is also disliked by fleas and ticks.
- Plant marigolds, which stave off a number of flying insects.
- American Beauty Bush
- Lavender repels moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitoes.
- Lemongrass – Citronella is a natural oil found in lemongrass, an ornamental that can grow up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide in one season. (It’s worth noting that lemongrass isn’t just the name of one plant; it’s the umbrella name for plants in the Cymbopogon family, which also includes citronella grass.) This grass with wonderful culinary uses is hardy only in South Florida (Zone 10), so almost everyone else will have to grow it as an annual. It does well in a pot or in the ground in a sunny, well-drained location. Use its fragrant, narrow leaves in chicken and pork dishes and to flavor soups and salad dressing. Many Asian recipes call for lemongrass.
- Lemon thyme – Repels mosquitoes. This hardy herb can adapt to dry or rocky, shallow soil and will thrive in your herb garden, a rock garden or a front border as long as these are in sunny locations. The plant itself will not repel pesky mosquitoes. To release its chemicals, you must first bruise the leaves. To do this, simply cut off a few stems and rub them between your hands.
- Mint – Repels mosquitoes. Mint is best grown in pots rather than the ground because it spreads aggressively. Once established in the garden, it can be difficult to remove. Cuttings of mint in mulch can help broccoli, cabbage and turnips. The leaves are commonly used to flavor minty iced tea. The aromatic properties found in the leaves are also present in the stems and flowers. With a little work, the plant’s aromatic oils can be extracted and combined with apple cider vinegar and cheap vodka (or witch hazel) to make a mosquito repellent. Containers of mint strategically placed in the garden or on the patio will help keep nearby plants insect free.
- Catnip – Though catnip is an herb, it’s one that people usually don’t eat. Cats love it, of course. A member of the mint family, it contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which attracts cats but repels insects such as mosquitos, flies, deer ticks and cockroaches. Essential oils from catnip can be used to make a DIY natural insect repellent spray like this one. Catnip plants are relatively easy to grow. You can plant from seeds or as plants outdoors in the spring or fall. It grows to 3 or 4 feet tall and blooms small lavender flowers. Be careful, however, as catnip can become invasive and take over your garden.
Other herbs that repel bugs
- Bay leaves: Repel flies. When you grow this plant, you won’t have to rely on the dried leaves from stores to add flavor to roasts and soups. Just pick the leaves as you need them.
- Chives: Repel carrot flies, Japanese beetle and aphids.
- Dill: Repels aphids, squash bugs, spider mites, cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms.
- Fennel: Repels aphids, slugs and snails.
- Lemon balm: Repels mosquitoes.
- Oregano: Repels many pests and will provide ground cover and humidity for peppers.
- Parsley: Repels asparagus beetles.
- Thyme: Repels whiteflies, cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, whiteflies, tomato hornworms, and small whites.
Chives and garlic chives, leeks and shallots and plants in the Allium family.
Including the dramatic Allium giganteum whose flower heads adorn stalks up to 6 feet tall, are regarded as a broad-spectrum natural insecticide. They repel numerous insects that plague vegetable gardens, including slugs, aphids, carrot flies and cabbage worms. Plants that will benefit from the proximity of alliums include tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi and carrots. They also will keep aphids off rose bushes. Alliums include small-growing herbs such as chives and garlic chives, leeks and shallots.
The ingredient in chrysanthemums that makes them so effective as an insect repellent is pyrethrum. (Photo: Costel Slincu/Flickr)
Repel roaches, ants, Japanese beetles, ticks, silverfish, lice, fleas, bedbugs, spider mites, harlequin bugs and root-knot nematodes. The ingredient in chrysanthemums that makes them so effective as an insect-repelling companion plant is pyrethrum. Because pyrethrums can kill flying and jumping insects, they are used in America’s most commonly available home and garden insecticide and are frequently used in indoor sprays, pet shampoos and aerosol bombs.
Aphids, mosquitoes and even rabbits don’t like the smell of marigolds.
The scent from various types of marigolds repels aphids, mosquitoes, and even rabbits. The roots of marigolds are well-known among farmers to repel nematodes, though those qualities require a year to take effect. They have even been proven to repel whiteflies away from tomato plants, according to a study published in 2019 from Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences. Researchers discovered that marigolds release limonene, which slows down whiteflies when they are flying around tomato plants.
Nasturtiums release an airborne chemical that repels insects.
Repels whiteflies, squash bugs, aphids, many beetles and cabbage loopers. Nasturtiums could be considered the poster child for companion planting, which is growing a variety of plants close to one another for the benefits each brings to the others. Nasturtiums release an airborne chemical that repels predacious insects, protecting not just the nasturtium but other plants in the grouping. Because many of the insects nasturtiums repel favor vegetables — tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, kohlrabi, collards, broccoli, cabbage, and radishes — nasturtiums are an ideal choice for planting along the edges of vegetable gardens. Fortunately, nasturtiums do not repel the all-important pollinator — the bumblebee.
Some people think of petunias as nature’s pesticide. Repel aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs. Some people think of petunias as nature’s pesticide. They are popular mostly because they are available in a variety of bright colors, require such minimal maintenance they are almost foolproof to grow and can be grown in garden beds, containers or hanging baskets. Plant them in sunny areas near vegetables and herbs such as beans, tomatoes, peppers, and basil.
Geraniums can repel leafhoppers and other types of insects. One type of geranium, Pelargonium citrosum, is known as the Mosquito Repellent Plant. When in bloom, they have pretty flowers with a lemon-like fragrance that can help keep bugs at bay. These plants grow fast and like sunny, dry climates.
Info here was partially extracted from