Slug On Flower

After spending hours planting carefully chosen flowers or tending lovingly to a vegetable patch, the sight of creepy crawlies will make any garden lover’s heart drop. While some can be hugely beneficial, helping to pollinate and cultivate various plants, there are many that quite rightly earn the title, ‘pest’!

Although there are many ways you can attempt to eradicate these unwanted visitors chemically, this can also have an adverse effect on the plants you’ve painstakingly maintained. Fortunately, there is an abundance of non-toxic ways to deter pesky bugs, flies and rodents, mainly in the form of plants. So, instead of using pesticides and potentially damaging products, why not consider incorporating some of these rodent and insect repellent plants?

Your Complete Guide To Insect Repellent Plants

Whether you have always been a keen gardener or have taken up the hobby during the pandemic, one thing that is always beyond frustrating are those nasty pests. While using chemical products can resolve this problem quickly, like many, we believe strongly in protecting nature, wildlife and animals around us. This means that almost all of our suggestions will simply deter insects or rodents rather than harm them.

Thanks to mother nature, the natural resources we can choose from to repel pests are plentiful. And, as experts in commercial landscaping in Aylesbury and the surrounding areas, we have a wealth of knowledge on the qualities of different plants. To lend you a helping hand in your garden creations, here are the top plants that could prove to be an ally to anyone with green fingers:

Plants That Repel Flies:

Plants That Repel Bugs:

Plants That Repel Rodents:

Bug On Daisy

Plants That Repel Flies:

Plants such as sunflower, fennel, and parsley attract flies as they offer an excellent food source; however, this results in stunted growth or discoloured leaves. Try using some of these plants that repel flies to resolve the issue:

1. Basil

Although this may not be the prettiest of plants, its benefits to gardened areas, not to mention the kitchen, are endless. The strong smell that emanates from this herb helps to keep the following bugs away:

  • House Flies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Mosquito Eggs

The best way to keep basil in the garden without ruining your landscape is to keep a pot on your kitchen window ledge, which can help to keep pesky flies and mosquitoes away during the summer months. It’s also great in containers by the back door, where it’s easily accessible for use in the kitchen. In fact, Epicurious has 87 easy and super tasty recipes including basil, so you can also use it to create delicious things to eat!

Basil plants can be picked up from garden centres and well as in the vegetable aisle in supermarkets. We would recommend taking a look at the selection of basil plants on D.T.Brown. Alternatively, for those that like to see their plants grow from seeds, you can find basil seeds on Sowseeds and a guide on how to grow them on Gardeners World.

basil plant

2. Lavender

While many people love the smell of lavender, whether it be essential oils or lavender pillows, most bugs and insects hate it. In fact, the only insects to enjoy the scent are bees, which are very beneficial in terms of pollination. The most common pests to be deterred by this vibrant plant are the following:

  • Fleas
  • House Flies
  • Moths

Being a perennial herb, in essence, this plant is drought resistant and, once established, will stay in place almost all year round. Lavender World have a lovely selection of pot grown lavender and shrubs to choose from, so you can select the best option for your outdoor setting.


3. Carnivorous Plants

These sound pretty lethal, and in the pest world, they are! Not only are they alluring and beautiful to look at, but carnivorous plants also prove to be very effective in literally capturing and ingesting garden pests such as these:

  • House Flies
  • Mosquitoes
  • Moths

Usually quite exotic in appearance, these plants need to be placed in a sunny area in order to keep moist and do their job effectively. A popular carnivorous plant is a pitcher – the largest plant in the group. Their funnel-like appearance traps their prey and makes it almost impossible for them to escape. The plant then digests the insect and uses it for its own nutritional gain – brutal! 247 Pest Control has a great article detailing the best carnivorous plants when considering garden pests.

Pitcher Plant

Plants That Repel Bugs:

From slugs and snails to beetles, bugs are, by far, a gardener’s worst enemy. Luckily, there are many plants that repel bugs while also adding a vibrant touch to your outdoor space, many of which we use when working with clients to design their commercial landscaping in Northampton or any of the other areas we cover!

4. Petunias

Commonly considered as nature’s pesticide, petunias are available in an array of bright colours. While they may look pretty and delicate from the outside, these flowers are fantastic at repelling a range of undesirable pests, including:

  • Aphids
  • Tomato Hornworms
  • Asparagus Beetles
  • Leafhoppers

Not only are they easy to grow in an abundance of settings, such as containers, flower beds and hanging baskets, they also give off a liquorice-like scent that helps to drive away pests. If you’re looking for help in planting your petunias, then J. Parkers has a fantastic guide that we think will come in handy.


5. Chrysanthemums

One of the most effective pest repellents a gardener can buy is the chrysanthemum, which contains an ingredient named pyrethrum that effectively drives away many bugs, including:

  • Ants
  • Japanese Beetles
  • Ticks
  • Silverfish
  • Lice
  • Spider Mites

The pyrethrum can kill jumping insects, making them forceful enemies to garden pests. The ingredient is so effective; it is commonly used in natural insecticides used to spray on all varieties of flowers, plants and vegetables to ward off pests.

With over 130 years of experience in growing Chrysanthemums, Woolmans have a great selection to choose from!


6. Borage

This pretty star-shaped flower will self-sow once seeds have been planted and reappear each year. It is an excellent addition to any outside space since it not only attracts beneficial pollinators such as bees and wasps to your garden but also repels pests that can get to your lovely garden vegetables. These include the following:

  • Tomato Hornworms
  • Cabbage Worms

As well as doing a great job in keeping pests away, borage actually helps to build up the resistance of any surrounding plants. If herbal teas are something you enjoy, the leaves are also great to use in this way and are said to help battle stress, prevent allergies and strengthen the immune system. The Homestead Garden has an easy recipe you can follow if you’d like to use this multi-talented flower in tea. You can buy Borage at a great price from Suttons, and you’ll be reaping the benefits before you know it.


7. Calendula

A close relation to the Marigold, this flower not only attracts many of the good guys, including hoverflies that help to keep pests such as aphids in check but also deter the following not so helpful insects:

  • Asparagus Beetle
  • Tomato Hornworm

Calendulas make a beautiful addition to any flower bed, along with proving to be an asset to all avid gardeners in terms of pest control. You can pick some up in various quantities and colours from Sarah Raven.

Calendula plant

8. Geraniums

These delicate flowers may not look it, but they are incredibly robust and help to repel a whole host of garden pests, including:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Japanese Beetles
  • Leafhoppers
  • Corn Earworm

It is said that geranium essential oil is great to drop on the skin if you are prone to mosquito bites during the summer months, so why not invest in some for yourself as well as your Garden? You Garden have some of the plants on offer, providing you with the perfect opportunity to add their purple hues to your garden.


9. Mint

While many people like to add this plant chopped up to their roast lamb or mojito cocktail, it’s also a great addition to outside spaces in a bid to keep pests away. We all enjoy the refreshing smell that mint gives off, but ants particularly absolutely hate it, along with the following pests:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Slugs & Snails
  • Mice

When grown in the ground, mint grows aggressively, so it is best contained in pots and placed around the plants you want to protect. You can even sprinkle some of the chopped up leaves around your garden and patio to ward off unwanted visitors. You can buy mint in various outlets, although we love the selection of differently scented mints on offer from Hetty’s Herbs & Plants.


Plants That Repel Rodents:

While smaller insects are the most common pests, many gardeners suffer from the presence of larger visitors which inevitably, can be far more damaging. So, let’s take a look at the top plants that repel rodents:

10. Mole Plant

This pest repelling weapon is known as the Mole Plant and helps to keep away the following animals:

  • Moles
  • Mice
  • Gophers

Not only are these all very unpleasant guests to have, but they can also wreak havoc on your garden in a very big way. Molehills and mice droppings can transform your garden from a lovely, relaxing space into a pest-infested enclosure, so the use of Mole Plant is highly recommended. Containing the ingredient, castor oil – a well-known mole repellent – makes this plant top of the list if these pesky creatures are visiting your garden. Victoriana Nursery sells this plant and offers further information on the way in which it repels moles.

mole plant

11. Sage

Another plant that will prove more than just a rodent repellent is sage. White or green sage, in particular, has been proven to prevent the following from creeping their way into your garden:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Cabbage Moths
  • Black Flea Beetles

Much like basil and lavender, sage has a strong aroma which, while is pleasant for humans, is overwhelming for rodents and bugs. Most gardeners opt for placing sage around the plants that are being targeted, creating an effective yet hugely affordable barrier. And even better, sage is one of the more versatile plants, which means that it will happily grow in any soil type providing that there sun.

Once the sage leaves are ready for harvest, you will have plenty of tasty ways to use your homegrown herb. From meat to pasta dishes, MasterClass has put together a great article on how to cook with sage!

Sage Leaves

12. Oregano

If you’re unlikely to use sage once harvested, an alternative herb that is just as useful as a rodent repellent is oregano. When planted around the area that you are hoping to protect, oregano will help to repel the following uninvited guests:

  • Rats
  • Mosquitos

Most gardeners opt for using oregano to shield garlic, onions and chives in particular, so it is most definitely a valuable addition to your vegetable patch. Ideally, oregano should be homed in an area that sees at least 6 hours of sun a day and can receive a steady supply of moisture. You can find more information on how to plant and care for oregano on the This Is My Garden website!

Oregano Plant

Keeping Your Garden Well Maintained!

By now, you should have many ideas as to how you can keep those pesky creatures well away from your garden. Don’t let your efforts to create a haven of natural beauty be destroyed by any of the pests listed above – arm your outside areas with protective plants. If you are in the process of preparing your commercial garden for the next season and need professional help, our team specialise in grounds maintenance in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas, allowing you to leave all of the work to the professionals!

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