Best plants for repelling flies, mosquitoes and other insects – from basil to petunias

Best plants for repelling flies, mosquitoes and other insects – from basil to petunias


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Flies, mosquitoes and other bugs can often make their way into homes landing on food and leaving unpleasant skin bites. However, there are plants that naturally repel flies, mosquitoes and bugs. Here’s a list of the best plants for repelling the pests:

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Petunias are nature’s pesticide because they seem to repel everything from aphids to asparagus beetles.

Plant them in the garden, pot them up or place them in hanging baskets for a pop of colour.

Petunias like sun and can be planted near peppers, tomatoes, basil and other plants to help them grow.


Marigolds are not only beautiful but also drive pests away.

These pretty plants emanate a distinct scent that aphids, rabbits and mosquitoes don’t like.

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The plant’s roots also repel nematodes, but the results for this can take a little longer.

Marigolds also repel whiteflies because they release limonene.


Known for their incredible fragrance, lavender plants are a popular garden plant in the UK that can also drive away moths, flies, fleas and other bugs.

Plant it in sunny areas or pop it near doorways to keep bugs away from the house.

Bouquets of the plant around the house can also repel bugs.

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Houseflies and mosquitoes are not keen on basil so placing containers by doorways will deter them from entering homes.

Basil can also improve the flavour of tomatoes and other crops like asparagus and peppers.

Basil oil can also kill mosquito eggs and can be used as an insect repellent and mosquito bite treatment.


A popular herb, this plant can also ward off bugs like midges and gnats.

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This plant repels mosquitoes and other insects that are harmful to it.

The oil of the plant can be used to make insect repellent.

The plant can be popped outside or in the kitchen.


The strong smell of sage and its oil can repel mosquitoes and flies.

Moths and beetles are also thought to dislike sage plants.

Taking cuttings and burning the leaves once they’ve dried out can also be a good deterrent if you’re entertaining outside.

Carnivorous plants

Carnivorous plants trap insects and then eat them.

Bugs are attracted to them because of their attractive scent and colour.

A popular variety includes the Venus flytrap, or Dionaea.

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