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8 Natural Insect Repellents

By Edited Jul 3, 2016 3 21

It's The Growing Season!

      It's that time of year again, when gardens grow, but with the growth of plants come the attack of ants and aphids. Possibly other bugs as well. Bug sprays might work, but they can ruin a garden. They can also poison one if they were to consume their produce that it was used on.

     That's where natural remedies come in to get rid of those pesky little bugs like ants, aphids and other undesirable creepy crawlies. I'm sure just imagining what harm those insects could cause to your prized tomatoes or rose bushes has you shuddering!

     Again, don't worry, there is help to be gained from these natural bug repellants. They're plants too. Which is great, because they're non-toxic, so wont harm you or your plants.

     Now before you get out your garden gloves and shovel and whatever other materials you might use, lets learn about those natural repellents. Plan ahead of time, not after, because a lot of damage could already be done by then. Not that you can't wait until after, but planning ahead for the plant pests will save you hours of frustration!


The Amazing Eight Bodyguards For Your Beloved Garden!

1. Catnip

       One of the great ant deterrents happens to be your cats favorite drug, Nepta cataria, or rather catnip. If you're reading this aloud to your cat, her ears are probably perked and she's looking at you asking where her catnip is at.

  • While the nepetalactone found in the plant, Nepta cataria deters ants, it can also be extracted and used as a mosquito, fly, cockroach and termite repellant. Catnip must be sounding good right about now to add to your garden, even if your kitty will want to gobble the plant up. Maybe just roll around in it anyway, if your cat isn't strictly an indoor cat. Oh and fleas don't like catnip either. A nice incentive for you to have around for you kitty to roll around in it.

  • Catnip is also one of the plants that repel mosquitos. It's not just good for keeping unwanted bugs away from your garden, but away from your entire yard, but you and your family too without having to worry about DEET which is found in many commercial insect repellents. It is however not the only plant that repels mosquitos, but well worth looking into.

2. Radish

       Another lovely plant that can help your garden thrive as it helps to deter aphids is the radish. Ladybugs are wonderful insects that can help with the aphid problem too. [3]

  • However its best to have native Ladybugs, but if one can't then just the radish plant will do. Not only will aphids not want radish and if planted side by side with your other produce, you'll also get some yummy radishes too.

  • So go get yourself some radish seeds and start planning on how best to use this plant to your gardens advantage.


How to Plant Radishes

3. Ground Cinnamon


    Ground Cinnamon
         Ground Cinnamon is yet another lovely natural ant repellent.[1] It can both be used inside the house to keep ants from coming inside and it can be sprinkled around the base of your plants. Plus it wont hurt you, your kids or your plants how wonderful is that?

  • If you'd like to test the ants dislike of ground cinnamon out, just find a trail of ants and sprinkle the ground cinnamon in their path. Just watch as they're stopped in their tracks. Although your kids who've seen The Ant Bully might think you're being an ant bully, you're not. The cinnamon doesn't hurt the ants. Which makes it a great ant repellent.

Why does Cinnamon Repel Ants?

4. Spearmint

          From the mint family, comes another great ant deterrent, spearmint. Ant's simply despise whatever it is in mint that has them worried. Spearmint can't kill them, but if you make a border around your garden or even your house, they'll not enter. At least not an entire colony of them, but the rare ant or two wont be able to do as much damage as a colony of hundreds of thousands. They shouldn't stay too long though, not with all that spearmint surrounding them.

  • It seems as though spearmint and other minty plants might be kryptonite to the little six legged pests.


On How to Grow Spearmint

5. Chrysanthemum

       A lovely flower to use is that of the elegant and colorful, chrysanthemum.

  • Chrysanthemum's are disliked by a variety of insects, not just ants. It seems to ward off cockroaches and lice and a few other bugs too.

  • Maybe its time to have your kids start wearing a chrysanthemum in their hair.

  • These beautiful flowers also seem to be disliked by silverfish, ticks, bedbugs and fleas as well which is wonderful for your garden. Just imagine how much more your garden can flourish with these eye appealing insect repellents around!


How to Grow Chrysanthemums

6. Marigold

         Surely, even if you didn't know about the natural repellents listed above, you've heard of the benefits of the marigold flowers. And, they're easy to grow.

  • Marigolds do attract spiders mites and snails, but they can kill bad nematodes and whiteflies wont get near them.

  • However in order for the marigolds to work as they should to get rid of some problematic insects, they need to be scented. You may not be able to see a nose on most insects, but they have one, whether its nostrils or antennae.

  • Not only are marigolds wonderful when it comes to repelling insects, they make a lovely splash of orange and red when planted around trees and houses.
  • The marigold flower, which contains Pyrethrum, gives off an odor which is offensive to a number of insects, including mosquitoes. Pyrethrum is a compound found in many insect repellents. So if one is looking for a good plant that repels mosquitoes too, look no further than the marigold.

  • For those whom are looking for a plant that repels mosquitoes, the marigold can be placed near the entrance of ones home and the windows. The scent of the marigold alone may keep mosquitoes from entering the house. However, do be aware that marigolds also can attract wasps.

Growing Marigold Tutorial

7. Garlic

        Now surely you've heard of the health benefits of garlic, but did you know they're also a wonderful insect repellant? Perhaps you already knew that, especially if you own an animal, particularly a cat or a dog.

  • People oft try getting their pets to consume garlic so that the fleas wont want to be nibbling on them.

  • It's great for gardens too as garlic repels aphids. Were you to have a rose bush, growing garlic around it, or at least on either side of it could help with getting rid of any aphid infestation.

  • It's like garlic is a super plant not of this earth.


Information on Growing Garlic

8. Lavender

  • Lavander
         A sweet scent permeates your garden with Lavender. It's wonderful when the insect repelling plants look not only beautiful in your garden, but also smells wonderful.

  • This plant with its lovely pale tint of violet blooms helps repel moths and fleas from the garden or home. This is also one of those plants that repels mosquitoes, which is always a nice addition to the garden.

  • While it's a wonderful insect repellant, it's also inviting to some insects. However the insects it invites are usually beneficial to the garden. So while it repels the bad insects, it brings in the good insects and thus helps your garden to flourish like never before.

  • Lavender isn't just an insect repellent, but used for various other reasons, including aromatherapy.

More About Lavender

What do you Imagine all the Plants can do Together?

      Each of these lovely or delicious natural insect repellent plants and spices work well alone, but imagine what one can do with all of them working together. That however would take some strategic planning and figuring out whether the plants are harmful to each other or not.

     Which each plant comes many benifits, some don't just repel ants or other pesty insects wanting to munch on your garden, but some are plants that repel mosquitoes that want to make a meal of yo, your family, friends and pets.



Jun 15, 2012 1:05am
Thank you for some great tips!
I love the Marigold. Another tip about Marigolds is to grow them between onions and carrots. The Marigolds will keep away those insects that otherwise attack carrots and onions.
Jun 22, 2012 1:16pm
And thank you for the extra information on the Marigolds. I remember my grandmother always had them around her trees. I didn't see ants around them, but sometimes I'd see slugs/snails.
Jun 15, 2012 10:02am
Congratulations on the feature, good information!
Jun 22, 2012 1:15pm
Thank you Introspective. I'm always surprised to get featured. Especially since I haven't been on here in about a week or so.
Jun 17, 2012 5:04pm
Great article with lots of good ideas for gardening!

Congrats on being featured!!

Jun 22, 2012 1:14pm
Thank you. I still haven't gotten my own garden started this year unfortunately.
Jun 17, 2012 5:04pm
This comment has been deleted.
Jun 18, 2012 7:22am
I am in the process of reverting to all things natural and organic, so I really like this article. Thanks for the information!
Jun 22, 2012 1:13pm
You're welcome, I'm glad its useful information.
Jun 18, 2012 5:07pm
looks like I need to stock up on cinnamon
Jun 22, 2012 1:13pm
Cinnamon is great, but some of the plants are more effective. I still see ants after using the cinnamon, but a whole lot less than I did before.
Jun 20, 2012 3:04pm
Aphids are so annoying when I find them on milkweed, and the ants protect them. So maybe I'll try some of the ant repelling spices and let the ladybugs do their thing! Thanks.
Jun 22, 2012 1:12pm
You're welcome. I'm glad you've found some use of this article. I know I don't like aphids and when we try growing even just a few tomatoes or roses aphids or other bugs like to eat them so that we can't eat them or enjoy a nice center piece.
Jun 23, 2012 1:13pm
Fabulous info. Thank you
Jun 23, 2012 6:22pm
I'm glad you think so. Thanks for commenting.
Jul 19, 2012 10:55am
I never thoughts plants and flowers can be Insect Repellants too. thanks for such a excellent information
Sep 20, 2012 12:34am
ya its very useful information for me!!!!!!
Oct 6, 2012 9:22pm
I'm glad you've found the info here useful.
Sep 30, 2012 1:45pm
Thanks for the useful information, great article!
Oct 6, 2012 9:23pm
Thank you, I was hoping it would be useful to others and am glad to see I wasn't wrong.
Oct 4, 2012 5:21am
Very nice article with lots of useful information - I always plant marigolds among my tomatoes as they attract pollinators - regards - B.
Oct 6, 2012 9:25pm
And I love tomatoes, although I don't grow them myself, yet. I think marigolds are a gardeners must have though considering they're as beneficial as they are repellant in a bugs world.
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  1. "All-Natural Ant Repellant." The Dollar Stretcher. 16/05/2012 <Web >
  2. "Keeping Ants Off Flowering Vines, Vegetables and Flowers." Gardening Knowhow. 16/05/2012 <Web >
  3. "Radishes Stop Aphids and Ants Don't Like Spearmint." Active Rain. 16/05/2012 <Web >
  4. "Pest Control Plants." P. Allen Smith Garden Home. 16/05/2012 <Web >

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