Plants that keep the bugs away

Plants-That-Repel-MosquitoesKeep insects at bay naturally by planting herbs and flowers in your garden!

Some pesky insects are harmful to your beautiful garden and can be very frustrating. Rid yourself of them the eco-friendly way to enjoy a thriving garden.

Spraying insect repellents in the home is toxic and unhealthy for your family – especially in the kitchen where you prepare food and most tempting – especially for ants.

Here are simple ways to grow your own plants that will keep those bugs away:

Plants that repel mosquitos

MosqitoesMany herbs naturally keeps mozzies away, such as:

• Basil
• Cedarwood
• Citronella
• Eucalyptus
• Garlic
• Lemongrass
• Marigolds
• Onions
• Peppermint
• Rosemary
• Thyme

Basil and Rosemary work well for these little blood suckers and they are easily grown. Plant these herbs in your garden and in pot plants inside your home to help deter the mozzies.

Plants that repel ants

Plants that repel insectsAny strong scented herbs will deter ants to a certain point. Some of these include:

• Basil
• Bay leave
• Catnip
• Cinnamon
• Cloves
• Lavender
• Mint
• Oregano
• Rosemary
• Sage
• Tansy

The herbs that seem to work the best to deter ants are mint, catnip, tansy and lavender. Grow them in your garden and when fully grown, cut off pieces and sprinkle them on window sills and the crevices where the ants come in from.

Mint is readily available in SA, however, bear in mind that they tend to "takes over" in the container where they are grown which means maintenance by cutting them back regularly.

Catnip is a great spreader that likes full sun and regular watering. It grows with very little attention on any fairly dry soil, although will do just as well on fertile soil that is protected from cold winds. Although they prefer to be planted in full sun, they will also grow in partial shade. If you plant your catnip in sandy soil you will get a stronger flavour from the leaves than if you plant it in clay soils.

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant of the aster family, native to temperate Europe and Asia.

Spicy powders may also work in getting rid of ants naturally, and include:

• Black pepper
• Chilli powder
• Pepper

Sprinkle the powder along the trail or in a line across an ant entrance. Alternately, mix chilli powder with water to form a paste and block up the opening with the paste. This will make sure the ants go in a different direction.

Plants that repel flies

The plants below, generate oils that release into the air and deter flies. Basil and marigold are the most effective.

In sunny, fly infested areas, plant some of the herbs below in pots and always water them at the roots and not their leaves, as this will produce a stronger fragrance. Dry herbs can also be used. For example, you can place dry basil Plantsleaves in a muslin teabag and hang near the fly infested area.

• Basil
• Marigolds
• Mint
• Rosemary
• Rue
• Tansy
• Wormwood

Most of the plants and herbs listed can be bought at nurseries – always call first to check if they are in stock.

Learn more about making your own eco-friendly sprays for insects.

Written by Kayla Myburgh for Home Inspirations. Sources: John Suart from Growing Stacks, Do it Yourself, Healthy Living, Money Crashers, Get rid of Flies

Photograph credits: The Trailerblazer, Sutherlands, Learnist and Pinterest.

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