Mosquitoes, gnats, flies – they really know how to turn an awesome summer evening into a wash, but there’s hope! Some well placed plants in your garden can help you fight back against all of the pests that are common in your yard and help you keep that friend who is a bug magnet a little bit more comfortable once the creatures get swarming about.

You likely already know about marigolds and citronella plants, but there are more – so many more – and most of them are not only easy to grow, but pretty and fairly hardy.  So here’s our list of plants to make your outdoor space a little less buggy!


An Herb or Tea Garden

Chances are you love fresh herbs, and you love having them on hand.  Not only can having herbs growing make your cooking delicious, but it can make the outdoors more liveable, sans creepy crawlies.  Basil, lavender, dill, rosemary, lemon balm, chives, oregano and more all help to not only repel house flies, but they’ll keep the mosquitoes at bay as well.  Just keep pots of them around the spaces where you sit and you’ll have awesome herbs, some beautiful herbaceous smells and best of all, they’ll keep the critters away.



Chives, leeks and shallots are members of the Allium family, but there are so many other options that can serve as both a beautiful, ornamental plant in your garden, as well as a broad spectrum natural insecticide.  Allium giganteum is one of the first varieties that springs to mind.  These beautiful plants offer a large purple flower that sit atop stalks that can grow more than 6ft tall.



Everyone thinks of mums once fall rolls around and they want to take advantage of the crisp smell and beautiful fall colors, but chrysanthemums are also amazing at repelling a wide variety of bugs, garden pests and even bedbugs.  Mums are great to keep away roaches and Japanese beetles too! These hardy plants require little attention, and can fill out an empty bed quite easily.  They’re also great to just keep in pots so you can move them around wherever the bugs are lurking!



While these pretty little plants won’t help you with a mosquito problem, they have a wide array of bugs that they keep at bay.  They’re wonderful to plant around food crops or roses, as they keep away cabbage loopers, whiteflies, squash bugs, aphids and many beetles.  Nasturtiums repel bugs by releasing an airborne chemical that can protect not only themselves but any plants around them as well.



Everyone knows the petunia.  Known for it’s versatility, bright colors and easy care; it’s one of the most popular choices for spring planting and with good reason.  Not only are they beautiful and happy reminders that the snow has dissipated, but they have amazing bug repelling properties.  They make another great addition to a vegetable garden and have been long known for their pesticide properties.  They’ll work miracles on bugs like aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs.