Repel Flies With Herbs: Information On Fly Repelling Herb Plants

By: Amy Grant

It doesn’t really matter where you are located; flies seem to thrive almost anywhere. Truly, I think there is really nothing more annoying — except maybe mosquitoes. How can you win the battle without papering the house with fly strips or using toxic sprays to eradicate the pests? Believe it or not, there are herbs that repel flies with the additional benefit of looking beautiful and smelling fantastic.

How to Use Fly Repelling Herb Plants

The following fly repellent herbs can be planted just outside the door, in areas such as decks or patios where you tend to sit, or inside on the kitchen window — basically anywhere that you want to repel flies with herbs.

The fly repelling qualities of herbs are heightened when the foliage is bruised or moved about, allowing the essential oils — the fly bane — to release. Herbs that repel flies may also be of the dried variety and seem to work just as well.

Herbs that repel flies include:

  • Basil – Basil is a wonderful fly repelling herb plant with numerous varieties, ease of growth, and a heavenly aroma. Bruising a leaf and then rubbing it on your skin will provide protection from flies and other biting insects. Plant basil in containers or among the garden or border of your picnic area and flies as well as mosquitoes will stay away. Keep the basil plant healthy and bushy by trimming it back and use the pruned foliage in pesto, salad, or to flavor oil.
  • Lavender – Lavender is another herb that will repel flies (and mosquitoes) and looks gorgeous in border plantings or containers. Grow it in the kitchen garden to deter rabbits from munching on tender plants, such as lettuce and spinach. Lavender can be used in cooking and adds a floral/citrus flavor to the dish. You can also hang lavender fresh or dried in the closet or place in bureau drawers to repel moths. The benefits of lavender may also be used to repel fleas by crumbling a bit of the herb onto your pet’s bedding.
  • Rosemary – The strong aroma of rosemary will also repel flies, as will lemon balm. Interestingly, rosemary will also deter cats, so if you want to keep them from using your garden as a litter box, plant some rosemary.
  • Mint, Catnip, and Pennyroyal – Mint, catnip, and pennyroyal will all repel flies as well as being repugnant to ants and mice. These herbs work well dried as well, but be aware that pennyroyal can be toxic to pets and children.
  • Tansy – Lesser known tansy herb will repel flies, ants, fleas, moths, and mice. It resembles marigold flowers and has been used to adorn churches since the middle ages. They can become invasive, however, so keep them in bounds.
  • Bay leaf – Last on our list of using herbs to repel flies is the bay leaf. Bay leaf is not only useful to flavor stews and soups, repel the previously listed pests, but can also be used to keep weevils from invading dried goods such as flour, barley, cornmeal, oatmeal, quinoa, and rice. Just add a dried bay leaf to the containers of these grains.

Fly repellent herbs such as those above can be used fresh, dried, or made into a salve of their essential oil combined with beeswax and base oil. You can also blend fresh leaves from these herbs with vodka, strain, and then place in a spray bottle to mist areas, yourself, or pets (also livestock) to repel flies.

Using herbs to repel flies and other pests and vermin has been used long before we came up with toxic chemicals in a can. Not only do they beautify, but they are environmentally friendly with aroma therapeutic benefit — and no can to dispose of.

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How to Keep Insects Out of Herb Planters & Gardens

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Gardens and herb planters take a lot of work to maintain, so it stands to reason that you would be upset if they got attacked by insects. Bugs destroy vegetation by eating away at the leaves, roots or blooms, leaving you with a lifeless garden and unusable herbs. Keep pests at bay by using a combination of natural and chemical remedies so that you can enjoy your plants and the hard work you put into them.

Plant flowers around your garden that encourage beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps. Marigolds are one good choice. Not only do they give off an odor that tends to deter some small animals, but they also bring in beneficial insects that can help you control other insects within the garden, such as aphids. Place the flowers between herbs or mix them in with your other flowers to prevent insects from coming close. Dead-head the blooms as they die to encourage more so that you can keep them scaring off pests through the summer months.

Grow catnip to keep out aphids, ticks, spiders and more. Even though this is a favorite among cats, the plant is not appealing to certain insects. Cut and dry the leaves to sprinkle it among plants to keep it working for you after the growing season. You can also steep the leaves like a tea and spray the liquid on plants to deter bugs.

Plant onions among your herb or flower garden and let the odor do the work. If you want a little color, use ornamental onions from the onion family. They do the same thing as edible onions but also offer pretty blooms in various colors. Ornamental onions are a good way to keep out aphids.

Establish certain herbs in your herb garden to keep insects out. Use dill and basil to prevent issues with mosquitoes and flies, and tansy keeps away ants. Pyrethrum will deter mites, aphids and leaf hopping insects. Place these herbs among others to effectively block out the bugs.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth, also known as DE, around the plants to deter pests, such as snails, that cannot stand the microscopic sharp edges of this mixture. For insects with hard shells, DE absorbs fats and oils that protect the outer shell, the insects dehydrate rapidly. You can purchase diatomaceous earth that has been processed for insect control and has small amounts of insecticides that speed up the process however, food-grade DE also works as well, without any added chemicals.

Spray your garden with insecticide if you just can't seem to control your insect problems. You can also use neem oil or insecticidal soap. Use a garden sprayer to disperse the insecticide if using a liquid. Coat the plant with the spray, making sure to get the bottom of the leaves. Granules should be sprinkled around the plants to kill insects over a longer period of time. Read labels carefully before purchase, to ensure you get the correct product. Some insecticides might not be recommended for use on or around edible plants. Follow all directions when using a chemical treatment.

Tara Shore holds a Bachelor of Science in business finance and has written for online publications since 2007. She has professional experience in banking, accounting, travel and teaching. Shore is also a master gardener and a travel agent.

1. Thyme

Thyme is an herb you can rely on when insects are bothering your home. The herb deters mosquitoes, earworm, maggot, hornworm, and whiteflies. You can plant thyme in your garden easily as it can become accustomed to dry and shallow soil. If you want to repel insects successfully, you have to bruise its leaves for the chemical to be released. Once those pesky pests get a smell of thyme, they will fly or crawl away from your garden or property. When you have this herb, always be careful as the natural chemicals it contains might affect you. If you don’t want to take the risk, a pest control professional in Cornelius can help you.

Now, there are tons of strategies for rat and mice control.

One of the most reliable has to do with the use of natural means to repel them. This is where rodent-repelling plants come into the picture.

Read on to find out more about such plants and how they repel these highly destructive pests.

Rodent Repelling Plants

Certain plants can be deployed for rodent control. These have or possess repelling properties saving you thousands of dollars in pest control costs.

Apart from getting rid of the problem, they serve as preventive measures to keep rats and mice from making a comeback.

These plants include Sage, Lavender, Mint, Onions & Garlic, Tomatoes, and Black Pepper.

Others include Rosemary, Marigolds, Grape, and Oregano.

We’ll be discussing how these plants repel rodents and how to use them as well as chime in on possible side effects.

Sage And Rodents

Apart from being an inexpensive, yet highly effective remedy for rat and rodent control, sage plants are easy to plant.

Sage possesses strong aromatic qualities which, though pleasant to humans can be overwhelming for rodents. Sage belongs to the herb family of plants.

However complex your infestation problems are, this plant helps you gain back control.

  • How Sage Repels Rats and Mice

Sage works to repel rodents through its pungent smell. Rats are known to avoid areas where these plants are.

This creates an invisible barrier that protects your property from damage.

Besides getting rid of the problem, sage helps with maintaining or protecting your surroundings from repeat infestations.

  • How to Use Sage to Repel Rats and Mice

Keeping rats and mice at bay using this herb plant is only a matter of knowing what to do. You can either plant sage around your home in as well as have them potted and placed close to entrances.

Potted plants can also be moved to the most vulnerable locations of the building to keep rodents out.

Sage leaves can be cut and scattered around entrances. Cracks must be sealed to ensure rodents don’t return after repelling them.

  • Side Effects

While sage serves as an excellent remedy for rodent problems, it can also pose risks.

However, not much is known about such risks apart from the fact that allergies may result. This will require medical advice and treatment.

Does Lavender Repel Rats?

Lavender is among several plants with rodent-repelling properties. Now, mice and rats don’t only cause damage in homes but also destroy particular plants such as vegetables. This is where lavender comes handy.

This plant gives off a pungent smell that is disliked by rats and mice.

  • How Lavender Plants Repel Rats and Mice

The strong scent given off by lavender, though pleasing to humans is detested by rodents. Using this advantage, you can save yourself the stress of applying costly rat extermination methods.

Lavender plants are easy to grow and tend too.

  • How to Use Lavender Plants

Have as many lavender plants as necessary around your home. These can either be potted or planted on raised beds. Place them along with entryways or paths most frequented by these rodents.

For vegetable plants most affected by rodent activity, plant lavender around such plants.

  • Lavender Side Effects

Irritations resulting from the use of lavender are uncommon. However, skin irritations or may result. When it does, seek medical advice as soon as you can.


Plants within the mint family have proven to be effective rodent repellents.

Such include catnip, spearmint, and peppermints among others. You should have these planted with other plants on your flowerbeds in addition to potting some.

  • How Mint Works to Repel Rats and Mice

As an effective remedy for getting rid of rodent problems, it’s necessary to have an idea of what it does. This plant gives off a strong scent which though pleasant to humans, is overwhelming to rodents.

All you need to do is have these around rat and mice-infested areas. Such problems should be gone in no time.

  • How to Use Mint

If you have an indoor herb garden you’ll love to protect from damage, you may want to consider adding some mint plants. The same applies to your home’s surroundings.

Having mint vegetation is likely to mark your home as unfavorable territory to rodents.

  • Mint Side Effects

Do mint plants have a side effect? Yes, they may. This isn’t absolute. It all depends on the individual using it.

For some, skin irritations among others may occur. However, such isn’t frequent.

Onions and Garlic

Onions and garlic are popular food ingredients. Although different, we’ve included both because they possess similar properties and can also be grown in similar conditions.

These two plants can be used in several ways

  • How it Works

Both rats and mice are very sensitive to smell. Plus, they hate the pungent scent of onions and garlic. The great thing is that such scents are pleasing to humans while rodents find it distressing.

It doesn’t matter whether these plants are fresh or not. It still achieves the same purpose.

  • How to Use Onions and Garlic for Rodent Control

A puree of garlic can be made and applied to your home’s foundations. This should go a long way to keep rodents out. Having them planted around your garden should help in repelling rats and mice.

  • Side Effects

Garlic and onions have rich nutritional value in addition to their rodent-repelling properties. So, do these have any side effects? Very little information is available on that. There may be allergies arising from eating these.

However, external use especially for repelling rodents has little to no side effects.


Tomato plants are among known rodent-repelling plants that will give you the much-desired relief you seek.

Have these planted around your garden and any other place having rodent issues? This plant can be used in several ways.

  • How it Works

Tomato plants are avoided by rodents. However, this isn’t in every case. This plant gives off a smell rodents hate. If you’ve tried this option with no result, consider other options listed here.

  • How to Use Tomato Plants for Rodent Control

One of these includes dispersing cut tomato plant leaves within the house. This serves to expel both rats and mice.

You can also have these planted along entryways or use companion planting techniques to protect other plants (such as vegetables) considered vulnerable to damage.

  • Side Effects

There could be associated sided effects with tomato plant use. This could be due to allergies or irritations though this isn’t as common. Nevertheless, when such an allergy is noticed, consider seeking medical help.

Black Pepper

Black pepper is another plant that rats and mice will want to stay away from. It can be deployed in many ways. One of these includes taking advantage of the sensitive sense of smell possessed by rodents.

By sprinkling black pepper in any form whether ground or fresh, rodents considers such areas as being hostile thus keeping away.

  • How it Works

Both black pepper plants and fruits irritate rodents. Rats and mice are attracted to food and will navigate their way using their sense of smell. However, when black pepper plants are introduced, rodents will perceive such territory as being hostile.

  • How to Use

Plant black pepper around your garden to serve as an effective repellent to keep them (rodents) away from vegetables.

In its grounded form, black pepper can be sprinkled along and around infested areas to choke rats and mice. They get irritated by this and retreat to safety outside your property.

  • Side Effects

Generally, black pepper is considered safe for use both as a food ingredient as well as a rodent repellent. You are unlikely to experience side effects with its use, but when you do, it’s important to seek medical advice.


Rosemary has been successfully tested on a wide range of pest issues including rats and mice. This plant has a strong aromatic quality which serves to irritate rodents while being perceived favorably by humans.

It also creates an unwelcoming atmosphere as rodents sniff around for possible food sources.

  • How it Works

The scent emitted by a rosemary plant serves to keep rodents at bay. We earlier mentioned that rats and mice have a sensitive sense of smell and can pick up different scents from a distance.

Having rosemary planted near an infested area makes rodents very uncomfortable.

  • How to Use

You can easily take back control of your home by planting rosemary along your home’s perimeter in addition to having it around entryways. These plants can be potted and relocated to areas having the most infestation.

  • Side Effects

Aside from the dangers caused by improper ingestion of rosemary (which has no repelling effect on rodents when consumed), rosemary plant poses little to no problem when used externally.

These are some of the many plants having rat and mice repelling properties. They are safe and effective in getting rid of the problem. Also, there are no adverse effects on the environment.

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8 Gnat Repellent Plants That Deter Them

One of the best ways to get rid of gnats is to prevent their establishment in your home or garden. Even the best pesticide is not as effective as prevention.

There are a lot of plants that are gnat resistant – meaning gnats hate them because of their smell, or that they contain poisonous substances that are dangerous to these insects.

To prevent gnats from coming near your garden, you may plant some of the species below


This is a perennial grass that is capable of reaching up to 6ft high. Citronella loves a warm climate, and you may either plant it in a big pot or a planter. It will not survive the winter, so you should plant it in a planter with a caster so that you can easily take it in when the frost begins.

Citronella is very popular for repelling all kinds of pests, especially mosquitoes. The strong smell is what sends the pests on their heels.

Examples are citronella candles and repellent torches. But then, you should still plant Citronella because its naturally strong scent is more potent than any of its bye products.


This herbal plant is often referred to as the bee balm. It is a perennial plant that is also popular for its strong scent.

Just like citronella, horsemint does not do well in freezing weather even though it is a tough plant. Therefore, it is better to plant in the crater so that when winter starts, you can take it in.

However, horsemint is a hardy plant that can survive very harsh weather conditions but cannot grow higher than 3ft. It grows well in arid and sandy soil, plus it can also survive salinity. This is why you see some horsemint plant by the beach or in coastal areas.

The strong scent of this plant is known to repel gnats and mosquitoes.

Apart from repelling pests, the leaves of this plant are also used to make herbal tea.


Marigolds are not perennial plants you will need to plant them every year.

This plant contains pyrethrum, a compound that is used in producing a lot of chemical pesticides.

Marigold is capable of surviving very harsh weather conditions. It will not only repel gnats and a host of other bugs like mosquitoes but will also exterminate them.

Therefore, it can either be planted as ornamental plants or planted to form a border, preventing gnats from living off your plants or your blood.

Marigolds only do well in fertile soil and they enjoy the downpour of sunlight. Most times, the plant reseeds itself. However, you can also pick the seed to plant in a different location.


This plant has a strong scent that not only repels but also exterminates gnats. It contains Coumadin, which is a substance used in producing chemical pesticides.

Ageratum is also known as the Floss flower. It is an annual plant that can reach up to 18ft high.

It brings out blue flowers that come with shades of pink, white, and violet. It does not necessarily require full exposure to sunlight to bloom and can do well under partial exposure.

Ageratum leaves hurt the skin therefore, if you need to crush the leaves to make the scent stronger, you shouldn’t be tempted to rub it against your skin.


An important thing about this perennial herb is that if you have cats around, you better not plant it. Alternatively, plant other types of plant resisting gnats.

Catnip is a natural gnat repellent it can also repel a wide range of pests including deer and rabbits.

One limitation of this plant is that it attracts cats, and these visitors are capable of ruining your garden for their love for catnip.

Another limitation of this plant is that the direction of wind affects its effectiveness. Sometimes the wind directs the odor elsewhere, thereby reducing the efficacy of the plant. So what most people do is to grind the leaves and then sprinkle it around their gardens.

And in homes, a catnip essential oil is sprayed around the apartments to repel gnats.

Apart from these limitations, catnip is very easy to grow, and its strong scent will repel almost all kinds of micro pests including gnats.


This herb is also an excellent gnat repellent as much as it repels other kinds of pests. The plant is widely recommended as a natural means of eradicating gnats, mosquitoes, and bugs.

Rosemary will do well in a warm and dry climate and can be planted in pots and containers so that when it gets colder, it can be brought inside.

One good thing is that this herb can be trimmed into any shape you want, in a bid to create a garden beauty while getting rid of pests that can damage other plants.

Moreso, rosemary is an excellent ingredient for your cooking.


This plant can serve as a companion plant for your vegetables. There are different types of basils and all you have to do is look for the right type to combine in your garden.

Basil is a herb, an effective repellent against gnats because of its odor. It is also capable of eradicating other kinds of pests similar to mosquitoes and flies.

This plant loves full exposure to sunlight, a damp place with proper drainage so that water is not stuck in one place.

Scented Geraniums

This is a highly recommended species that repels all kinds of bugs and mosquitoes. It is very effective in eradicating gnats both at home and in gardens.

Geranium has a lemon scent just like lemongrass, and also brings out beautiful flowers. The scent itself is what keeps gnats and other types of insect pests away.

The plants do well in a hot and dry climate and love full exposure to the sun. However, if you are in a colder climate, plant it in planters and trim them regularly.


Planting herbs that resist gnats is a much safer and more productive method of getting rid of the pest.

Considering how fast these pests multiply, even with pesticides, it is much difficult to control them once they are around.

Apart from the risk of contamination, if you use a chemical to get rid of gnats, you need to keep using it consistently because of the rate at which the pest reproduces. In the long run, you may end up with gnats that have developed resistance against the pesticide.

Therefore, in addition to growing gnat-repellent plants, it is essential to

  • Keep a clean and healthy environment
  • Get rid of stagnant water as quickly as possible
  • Space you crops to allow the free flow of air

Gnats are dangerous, mainly because they bite and spread diseases around. It’s not just about the bites that bring painful itches and swollenness it is about ensuring you, your family, and your pets stay safe and healthy using these plants.

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7 Herbs to Get Rid Of Flies Naturally

Last Updated on: October 24th, 2020 at 3:14 pm

Flies are one of the most irritating insects on the earth. Though they look harmless, in reality, they are one of the most deadly insects present in your homes. Flies are the carriers of dangerous diseases including salmonella (food poisoning bacteria), typhoid, and cholera.

These pesky little creatures are often hard to deter. But fortunately, there are some plants that fly hate. Actually, these plants generate some kind of insect repellent oils, they gradually bring small quantities of this oil to their leaves and release it into the air. And this is something that flies don’t like.

In this post, I am going to highlight a few such herbs that can help you to get rid of flies naturally.

1. Basil:

Basil is one of the most popular herbs, it is a multipurpose plant used generally in cooking but it also has a medicinal value. The word ‘basil’ comes from a Greek word “basileus”, meaning “king”. Basil leaves release out a subtle fragrance that flies hate.

In sunny fly-infested areas, you could use potted plants of basil to deter flies. You can use them near external doorways or near your picnic tables. One important thing about the basil plant is that it should always be watered at the root and not on the leaves as this will produce a stronger fragrance.

If for some reason you are unable to use fresh basil, then you could also use dried basil. You can keep dry basil leaves in a muslin tea bag, near the infested area.

2. Bay Leaf:

Bay is another herb that is used in cooking and also has a medicinal value. Bay Leaves generally have a bitter taste, but their fragrance is something for which they are used in cooking. Bay also produces a subtle scent that flies hate. Other insects like moths, roaches, earwigs, and mice also hate the fragrance of bay leaves.

You can grow Bay Plants in the infested areas, to keep the flies away. Dried bay leaves are equally good in repelling flies away.

3. Lavender:

When it comes to fly control, Lavender has its own special place. Lavender has a heavenly fragrance and lavender buds are used for cooking purposes. The sweet smell of Lavender repels flies, moths, and fleas.

You can grow lavender in your garden to repel outdoor flies. For inside, you can hang some dried lavender near the infested area to discourage flies.

Lavender Oil can also be used in making homemade fly repellents.

4. Mint:

Mint is a useful and inexpensive herb that also can repel flies. You can use mint in both forms i.e. in fresh or dried form to deter flies. Apart from flies, mint is also helpful against mosquitoes, ants, and mice.

You can keep crushed mint leaves in a shallow bowl, to keep flies away. If you want, you can also fill a few muslin teabags with dried crushed mint leaves and keep them in the infested areas.

5. Tansy:

Tansy is another flowering herb that does a good job of keeping flies and gnats away. It is more suited to grow outdoors, apart from flies it is also effective against moths, ants, mice, mosquitoes, roaches, mites, and bedbugs.

Tansy looks like Marigolds, it is also known to have cleansing properties. It should be noted that Tansy contains a volatile oil which can cause dermatitis in certain people.

6. WoodWorm:

Woodworm is an herb, bitter in taste, and has insecticidal abilities. Woodworm plant has grayish-green leaves with yellow flowers.

Woodworm is known to repel ticks, flies, and moths. You can plant this herb near your entrance to repel flies and other insects.

7. Rue:

Rue is a woody plant, which has disinfectant and insecticidal properties. It can repel flies (particularly fruit flies), mosquitoes, and a number of other insects naturally. Rue can grow up to 2 feet tall and has bluish leaves.

Rue leaves in crushed form can also be quite effective against flies. But be careful while dealing with this plant as it causes skin irritation in some individuals.

So, this was a list of few plants that can deter flies. By using them, you can choose an environmentally friendly way to repel flies and save your children from the harmful effects of chemicals sprays.

7 Herbs That Deter Flies Naturally!

I have always disliked flies. I just didn't know how much until we moved to acreage and began to raise chickens and goats. An irritation with flies turned into a hatred of them. It was a giant battle to keep them out of the kitchen. I even hired a couple of my children as hit men. a penny a fly.

That probably would have worked pretty well except I failed to figure in the over-zealousness of children. After a few days of rampant fly swatting which included locations like the warm platter of cookies, the dog, and Dad's head it became apparent that either we would need protective gear or another solution should be found.

Protective gear can be hot in Texas in the summer. We opted for another solution.

Herbs That Repel Bugs

There are herbs that repel flies as well as other pests. They tend to grow easily, are drought resistant, and are often dual purpose. Who knew?

It works. Here are some of the best herbs for repelling insects of all kinds. Order a few seeds when you are checking out your seed catalogs this winter and plant some eco-friendly, dual purpose insect repellent. Herbs seem to work best if they are moved around once in awhile. It brings the oils to the surface of the leaves and releases more of what it is that the pests don't like. Just brushing against a growing plant or stirring up the leaves of a dried one should do it.

There are about a million kinds of basil and new varieties being introduced all the time. Basil is a beautiful fragrant plant that grows easily in most climates. It even tolerates the dry, Texas heat pretty well.

Most people know fresh basil is delicious in pesto, tomato based dishes, and salads but did you also know that it is one of the best ways to keep flies out of your house? Just plant basil next to the doors, use as a foundation planting mixed in with your flowers, or plant in containers. The flies will stay far away.

You can grow basil in containers by your picnic table or on your patio and cut a nice size bunch of it to decorate the blanket with when you go to a remote picnic spot. As an added bonus, mosquitoes don't like it either. Choose your favorite, all the basil that I have tried works equally as well.

You can grow bay outside in the summer but you will need to bring it indoors during the winter months. You can buy dried bay leaf at the store if you find you are unable to grow it the dried variety that you put in stews and soups works as well as the fresh for keeping pests away. You can put one bay leaf in fifty pounds of wheat berries or organic white flour and it will keep the weevils out of it. If you don't happen to buy flour in those quantities you can add a bay leaf to a smaller sized container with similar results. Other items that it will protect are:

Most cereal products will be just fine for months with the bay leaves to protect them. Scatter a few leaves on the pantry shelves to repel moths, roaches, earwigs, and mice. Flies seem to hate the smell of bay leaves, too. Who knew they had such sensitive olfactory nerves?

Lavender smells wonderful and if you have never used lavender buds in cooking you should give it a try. In small amounts it adds a wonderful floral and citrus flavor to baked goods, meats, and even vegetables. Lavender also repels moths, mosquitoes, and fleas.:

  • Hang a bundle of it in your closet or lay a few sprigs of it in with the out of season clothes you are storing.
  • Grind it to a powder and sprinkle it on your pet's bedding.
  • Grow it in containers on your patio to repel mosquitoes.
  • Grow it in your kitchen garden to keep rabbits out of your lettuce and spinach.

Mint, catnip, and pennyroyal planted around the foundation of your house can keep both ants and mice out of your home. Neither of these pests seem to like the smell and all but the most determined will head to a better smelling yard. You can also place shallow bowls of the dried mint leaves in your pantry to discourage mice. Pennyroyal is also repugnant to fleas, ants, flies, and mosquitoes. Just be careful of it because large amounts of pennyroyal can be toxic to pets and children. You can place dried pennyroyal on your pantry shelves and it will keep ants away. Just a quick warning about mice. They love anise. Keep anise in jars or it will draw mice to your pantry no matter how much mint you have out! You can use anise to bait live traps with excellent results.

Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, not only for cooking and grilling but because it has a number of uses medicinally and as a household herb. As it grows it repels mosquitoes. Try planting it around your patio or any area that you use in the evenings to keep the air smelling fresh and the mosquitoes on someone else's property. Rosemary also repels cats, so planting it around the kids sandbox is a good idea. You can use rosemary springs under the cushions to keep the cats off the furniture but beware - the oils in the rosemary can stain the cushions. Be sure they are the one sided type.

Sweet Woodruff has long been used to deter carpet beetles and moths. Just lay it beneath wool carpets (or other types). It may also deter ants. An added benefit is that it releases a sweet scent when you walk across your rugs.

Tansy is another little known herb that repels flies, ants,fleas, moths, and mice. Its flowers resemble marigolds or yellow Bachelor's Buttons and it makes a great foundation planting. Tansy was traditionally used by churches as a strewing herb in the Middle Ages.

Original, Green, and Frugal

Herbs were the original household cleaners, disinfectants, and bug repellents. They had been used for thousands of years with good results before humankind came up with toxic chemicals in a can. These herbs are not only better for the environment they actually improve the environment. Herbs continue to work for you when you have finished with them and discarded them to the compost heap. They enrich the soil, add nutrients, and some (like Valerian) attract beneficial earthworms. Next time you are tempted to reach for the fly spray, reach for the basil instead.

Watch the video: How to Get Rid of Flies and Mosquitoes

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