Homeowners choose plants for their properties based on a number of variables. Some may be into growing their own foods, while others desire their gardens to be an awe-inspiring mélange of bright colors and alluring scents. There is no wrong reason to plant a fresh garden, but some plants offer extra benefits, such as repelling insects.
Insects can be a nuisance and a threat to individuals’ overall health. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, insect-borne diseases are viral and bacterial illnesses that develop from insect bites. Mosquitoes, sand flies and fleas are some examples of insects that can pass on disease. Fever, chills, headache, and muscle soreness are just a few of the more common symptoms linked to insect-borne diseases.
The good news for avid gardeners is that certain plants can help repel insects and provide the additional benefits like fresh food and aesthetic appeal that so many people love.
• Basil: The aroma of fresh basil is enough to compel any gardener to make a place for it in their garden. But there is more to fresh basil than its scent, as the Farmers Almanac notes it can be used to repel mosquitoes and moths.
• Lavender: Fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and moths are not fans of this aromatic and colorful member of the mint family. Bees tend to be drawn to lavender, a durable plant that many garden centers recommend in areas prone to drought or hot summers without much precipitation.
• Mint: Mint is another plant that is instantly recognizable for its aroma. But mint lovers may not realize that it is also great for keeping ants at bay. Mint also can be used to repel mosquitoes, but gardeners with no experience planting mint should plant it in pots. That is because the Farmers Almanac notes mint is an especially aggressive spreader that can quickly take over a garden. Separating mint in pots can prevent it from bullying its way into other plants’ domains.
• Lemongrass: Lemongrass is a tropical grass that is so fragrant it is often used in perfumes. Lemongrass contains citronella, which many people associate with repelling mosquitoes. A potted lemongrass plant can repel these unwanted guests, keeping them away from decks, porches and/or patios all summer long.
• Chrysanthemums: The Farmers Almanac recommends using chrysanthemums, which repel a range of insects from bedbugs to fleas to ants, as border plants around a home. That is because they contain the natural insecticide pyrethrin, which can serve as something of an insect-repelling boundary around a home.