Bugs are natural consequences of living on our planet. But they can be a menace sometimes, and you may need one or two tricks up your sleeve to keep them at bay.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to place things that deter bugs around your home, for instance, plants and trees. Trees emit scents and compounds that can attract or repel insects.
So, you can choose which ones to plant depending on your purpose.
Trees that repel bugs have one property or the other that is capable of affecting bugs. It is rare to find garden plants that would kill insects on impact.
On the one hand, it wouldn’t be safe for good bugs and pets. On the other hand, these pests have their place in our ecosystem, so we cannot eradicate them.
What we can do is minimize their access to our homes and properties.
- Tree-repelling bugs typically have strong scents. You should ensure that people around you are not sensitive before you choose your plants.
- Most insecticides contain plant compounds. So, getting the real deal planted in your yard would definitely serve you well.
- Most plants repel more than one insect.
This article lists 12 trees you can plant around you to keep bugs away. It also covers some frequently asked questions about bugs and insects.
12 Trees That Keep Bugs Away
Trees are good for the environment, good for us, and suitable for animals. Some of them, however, favor us over pests.
Several trees have properties that bugs do not like interacting with. So, most insects stay away from such plants.
If you are looking to explore eco-friendly measures to repel bugs, here are some plants you should keep in mind.
Lavender is more than a pretty face and a pleasing fragrance. It contains a compound called linalool, which repels bugs.
This compound is quite effective, so several bug sprays have lavender. The essential oil from lavender leaves can even be used to make a bug spray in the comfort of your home.
Drops of lavender oil can repel bugs for up to eight hours. They enjoy sunlight exposure, so you don’t have to keep them in the house.
If you have a lavender plant or tree, you may have noticed that you can hardly find any bugs around it. Lavender works great for repelling moths, flies, fleas, and mosquitoes.
However, it doesn’t work on bees, as bees like lavender flowers. You can place the plant near your windows or garden to protect your home and other plants from bugs.
Lemongrass is a fragrant grass. Its long stalks may not be aesthetically pleasing for adorning your home front, but it’s proven good for keeping bugs away.
It contains citronella oil which you may already be familiar with. Citronella has a scent that attracts mosquitoes, which is why many insecticides include it in their formulation.
The citronella plant itself does an equally good job at repelling bugs, and mosquitoes in particular. It does not kill or harm pests but deters them from coming too close.
Chrysanthemums contain a compound called pyrethrum, refined as a key ingredient in several insecticides. It effectively deals with roaches, ants, flies, and fleas.
Its beautiful flowers can be used to create a border around your garden or flower pots. It is also much safer than emptying bottle after bottle of insecticide.
Chrysanthemums thrive in full sunlight and enjoy fertile loamy, or sandy soil.
4. Pitcher Plants
Pitcher plants aren’t trees but insect-eating plants. You could call it nature’s remedy for reducing pests.
They are quite pretty to look at but not easy to grow in gardens. They’ll do better in pots that sit in water saucers.
If you plant them in water saucers, you can be sure that the stagnant water will attract mosquitoes and other insects to the plant, and they will be gobbled up.
Pitchers have a special leaf called a pitcher that produces sugary nectar and a fragrance that draws insects in. When insects go in, they enter a slippery surface that leads to a small pool of water.
Its victims may drown or die of tiredness. Having a couple of these could help keep a couple of insects away.
Marigold grows quite easily, so nurturing it won’t be much hassle. Its bright orange colors are also great for brightening up the exterior of your home.
They can be grown in pots and placed strategically to create borders for gardens and entryways.
These flowers emit a smell that keeps away aphids, squash bugs, tomato hornworms, and mosquitoes.
So, you can place them as a defense in your garden, especially against nematodes, or to distract slugs.
They also attract pollinating insects, which is fantastic for the environment.
Basil is another tree that gives off a strong bug-repelling scent. Particularly for mosquitoes, it is known to interrupt their sensors and ability to locate meals.
So, planting basil trees can help confuse your bug enemies and discourage them from accessing your home. People often use basil oil to protect their skin from mosquito bites, which works quite fine.
Basil leaves also have a compound that can kill mosquito larvae before it hatches. What better way to control the spread of mosquitoes in your area?
Its fresh leaves can be crushed to draw out basil oil and make a bug spray. Mix it in some water and spray it in the areas where insects usually crawl through.
Insects like whitefield, thrips, aphids, potato bugs, and mosquitoes can be easily deterred with basil trees.
The best part of using trees like mint is that they serve multipurposes. You can repel ticks, ants, and mice with mint, and it’s also an extra herb for cooking or tea!
Mint has a strong smell. Although it isn’t necessarily unpleasant to humans, insects find it unbearable. It’s always a good thing to have greenery around your home.
Why not choose plants that will keep your home pest free? The stronger the scent of the mint, the more effective it will be at repelling bugs.
So, you can plant mint around your patio or along the walls in your yard. Dried leaves can also discourage pests from sneaking in through holes and cracks.
If you already have a rosemary tree in your home, here’s one more way to put it to good use. Its woody scent keeps flies and moths away and can be trimmed aesthetically pleasingly.
If you do not have rosemary among your plants, here’s why you should consider it. Rosemary is a natural repellent for mosquitoes and worms.
All you need to do to enjoy an evening cookout free of flies and mosquitoes is throw some fresh rosemary in the fire. The scent will spread and keep insects at bay.
Catnip thrives almost anywhere and can even take over your garden without care. You may know them as weeds, but they effectively repel bugs.
Catnip is similar to catmint, and both are effective mosquito repellents. They release a chemical called iridoids, which repel roaches and mites and can be activated in the air when cats chew them.
Catnip is safer if you do not want to bother about controlling a wild plant. It has a soft lavender-blue color and grows in clusters.
Sages belong to the same family as mints. They share that strongly scented nature, and theirs is also capable of repelling bugs.
Sage leaves also produce oils that can be sprayed around the house to chase bugs away. They are quite handy for cookouts and fires.
You could just throw a couple in the fire, and the scent will ward off mosquitoes, beetles, carrot flies, and snails. So they can protect your vegetables from pests.
Nasturtiums are edible flowers with beautiful petals. They don’t repel bugs; instead, they attract them to themselves.
So if you use nasturtiums as bug repellents, you must not plant them so close to your garden or windows. Instead, place them strategically on the edge of your garden or along walls.
Planting them in your garden would mean you intentionally invited bugs to feed on your vegetables and flowers. And placing nasturtiums close to your windows would draw flies and insects into your home.
12. Bee Balm
Bee balm is a great choice for bug-repelling trees if you have bees or want your home to attract butterflies.
Also known as horsemint, this plant releases fragrant oils that keep bad bugs away while inviting butterflies to perch on its beautiful shades of red, lavender, or white.
Depending on the type of insects you wish to keep away, you can choose any of these plants and trees. Most of them are easy to nurture and can be planted in pots.
This strategy is particularly significant because it will not put any insects or animals at risk. Instead, it will divert them from you to places where they may or may not be welcome.
You may choose one of these plants and grow them strategically or make yourself an array of different bug-repelling flowers.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind of Bugs Does Peppermint Oil Repel?
If there were a king among bug-repelling oils, it would be peppermint oil. It has quite a reputation among bugs, insects, and flies, and that’s because of its strong smell. Here are a few of them:
- Bed bugs
- Squash bugs
What Is the Best Method To Keep Bugs Away?
There is no one size fits all approach for repelling bugs. You may have to try a couple of approaches and keep a bug-repelling routine to have a bug-free environment. Here are a couple of tips:
- Plant bug-repelling plants in your garden or yard.
- Keep your yard clean and clutter-free.
- Drain standing water, and avoid overwatering your plants.
- Ensure that your wooden structures have a cement or stone base that keeps them from directly contacting the soil. This helps to reduce termite infestation.