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There are many summer plants that naturally repel annoying bugs. There is no need to use chemicals!  Find out what types of plants keep flies, mosquitoes, and other insects away.

We need spiders and other insects in our environment in order to keep plants and trees healthy. As the temperature gets warmer by summer, insects and spiders can get out of control and even come into our homes! When they become trapped inside, it is difficult to escape and they usually end up dead near windows.

There are many bugs are truly pests. They will damage or kill plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables. What do you do about it? You don’t have to break out the latest chemical killer! Try adding these lovely and fragrant herbs and flowers to your garden space today!

Image by jhenning from Pixabay

1. Rosemary

Rosemary is a seasonal herb that can be planted near vegetables and fruiting plants to stop insects from attacking your crops. It can be planted in containers and shaped into ornamental pyramids – think a mini Christmas Tree! It can also grow in mature garden beds.

Fresh Rosemary smells amazing and it can be harvested for cooking, add it to olive oil for dipping or take cuttings and dry it out. You can even make your own natural spray repellent by boiling a handful of dried rosemary in four cups of water for about 1/2 hour. Let it cool and pour into a spray bottle. Keep it in the fridge. Use it until it no longer has a strong scent.

Rosemary is a perennial in Zones 7 to 10. Bring your potted Rosemary indoors to overwinter in colder zones. Luckily, it grows quickly and easily, so be sure to have these seeds on hand.

2. Thyme

Like Rosemary, Thyme is a great smelling herb. Got to have Rosemary AND Thyme! Add thyme to grilled veggies and meats for an ultra-fresh taste! Thyme repels whitefly and stops delicate plants from being bullied by pests. Mature Thyme flowers and attracts beneficial bees!

Thyme’s natural properties can repel mosquitoes. Grab a small cutting, about a handful, of fresh thyme. Bruise (rub) the leaves slightly to bring out the strong scent. You may want to wear gloves if your skin is sensitive. Do this in the early evening when mosquitoes are most active. Put the cutting in a small vase on your table.

Thyme is a hardy perennial in Zones 5 to 9. It grows easily and spreads pretty quickly too. In the spring, I cut back the woody stems and the plant grows back bountifully!

Image by Ladislava Vantuchová from Pixabay
Image by Katharina N. from Pixabay

3. Dill

Dill has so many uses. Not only is it a great addition to pickles and other cool cucumber recipes, but it is a host plant for Swallowtail Butterflies. It’s also a great repellant for aphids, spider mites, squash bugs and tomato hornworms.

Dill is an easy to grow self-seeding annual in Zones 2 to 9 but can get very tall. Plant it near your tomatoes for natural support.

4. Mint

Mint is an easy grower indoors and as the weather gets warmer. Do be aware that mint can grow like crazy out-of-control, so potting mint might be an option in smaller spaces. Spiders and ants march away from a well-placed mint. And of course, add a few sprigs to your favorite beverage, including iced tea, Mint Julep or Mojito!

As mentioned here, Mint is easy to grow and spreads aggressively. Most varieties grow as perennial Zones 3 to 8.

Image by PommeGrenade from Pixabay

5. Marigolds

When choosing cheerful seasonal flowers to plant, Marigolds are a Must! Not only are they easy to grow, but they have a pleasant scent that’s not so pleasant to bugs. Mosquitoes and aphids hate the smell of marigolds! So do rabbits. They will avoid areas where they’re planted. They make an excellent companion plant for veggies.

Marigolds tolerate hot and dry conditions – many thrive! They do not like soggy soil. Be sure to deadhead to encourage more blooms. After removing the dried flower, open the pod and spread the seed for more marigolds that will last until first frost.

Marigolds are annuals in Zones 3 to 11.

6. Lavender

The classic scent of lavender is soothing and stress-reliving, but flies, spiders and other bugs hate it. Lavender originated from hot and arid climates, so it needs full sun and dry soil to thrive.

Lavender can be grown in the garden or in large pots – it needs plenty of room. Take clippings and dry lavender to be placed throughout your home to keep moths and other insects away.

Of course, Lavender has a plethera of other beneficial uses. Grow some today!

Lavender is a short-lived perennial in Zones 5 to 9.

Image by Rebekka D from Pixabay
Image by Jan Haerer from Pixabay

7. Citronella

Grow Citronella naturally! It is a common scent added to candles and oils KNOWN for keeping mosquitoes away. It is a member of the Geranium family and will produce pretty pink flowers. Get the most out of it’s repellant properties by taking a cutting and rubbing the leaves to release the scent (like Thyme).

Citronella is an annual in most zones, it will grow as a perennial in Zones 10 to 12.

Which one of these plants have worked for you? Have one that’s not on the list? Let us know in the comments below!
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