The USDA has recently discovered certain compounds in the J. curcas seed that repel mosquitoes, a finding that is leading to a new, natural way of preventing insect infestation in certain areas. There are many different plants other than J. curcas that repel insects of all kinds. These plants can easily be incorporated into any landscape, patio, or garden. Not only are these plants helpful for combating pests that can often bite you or destroy your garden, they are also fragrant and attractive to the eye.
The Top Five Plants That Repel Insects
Plants that act as pest-deterrents can be grown outdoors or indoors, but most people grow them in the garden. If you have a vegetable, fruit, or herb garden, these plants may be used to discourage harmful insects from destroying your crops. Note that these aren’t treatments for insect infestation; they merely act as preventative measures and discourage certain pests from entering your garden.
- Marigolds – These beautiful flowers have a specific type of aroma that many insects, particularly mosquitoes, find disturbing. The smell of these flowers can be very offensive to small animals, as well, in the case of animal infestation in your garden bed.
- Catnip – Although this plant will more than likely attract cats, catnip is also helpful in discouraging mosquitoes from invading your garden. In fact, some estimate that catnip is ten times more effective in warding off mosquitoes than DEET, a common chemical found in most conventional mosquito repellents. Making a tincture of this plant or a strong tea from its leaves, and then spraying the mixture on clothing and skin can provide for a natural, safe mosquito repellent.
- Mint – This famous digestive aid can be grown to repel ants, cabbage moths, and fleas. Since it is an invasive plant, it is best to grow it in controlled and confined conditions, such as garden pots. Growing mint in a garden bed may be problematic, as it will compete with other plants for space.
- Rosemary – Rosemary contains oils that also act as powerful insect repellents, especially against mosquitoes. Combining this with catnip and spraying it on the skin or in a specific area may be helpful in keeping mosquitoes and other flying insects at bay.
- Lavender – Moths, mice, and ticks are often turned off by this herb, so it is best to plant it in beds that see an abundance of these pests.
All of these plants, excluding marigolds, can also be utilized in cooking, giving them double-duty power in your garden and kitchen. Using these plants for natural pest relief or prevention is a great start in keeping your home, garden, and lawn pest free. Remember that an infestation of certain pests cannot necessarily be treated with these plants alone, and depending on your specific situation a professional pest control company may be helpful in treating to the root of the problem.