homeowners: Save up to 10% this month only! Learn More


Natural Insect Repellents For Outdoors

Published Date: Jun 29, 2015

Nothing does more to ruin a pleasant day out in your garden than a swarm of creepy, crawly insects. But before you resort to bug sprays and chemical insecticides to get rid of those pesky garden nuisances, consider some of the natural options you have at your disposal for repelling insects. Many plants are natural insect repellants, and planting them in your garden can help keep pests at bay. From mosquitos, fleas, ticks, and no-see-ums to the aphids and mites that can ruin your garden, there are a variety of plants that you can use to protect your outdoor space naturally from these critters.

Lavender is a lovely addition to any garden with its fragrant, vividly colored stems. As a bonus, lavender serves as a natural repellent for mosquitos and other flying and stinging insects, including moths, flies, and even fleas. Bouquets and satchels of dried lavender can even be moved indoors to keep insects at bay once they have done duty in your garden, so be sure to collect dried sprigs once the summer season begins to draw to a close!

Another great plant for combating flying, biting insects such as mosquitos is feverfew. Despite its somewhat less-than-appealing name, feverfew is an attractive plant that sprouts daisy-like flowers and has a vaguely citrus aroma – key in its insect-repelling properties. You can plant permanent feverfew fixtures around outdoor seating areas for a pleasant method of shooing off flying critters in the warmer months.

Chrysanthemum is worth planting in your garden for its attractive blossoms alone, but its ability to repel aphids, mites and spiders makes it even more beneficial for your garden. The effects of the plant alone are minimal, but when harvested at the end of the season, chrysanthemums can be used to make insect dust and sprays to help naturally protect your garden year-round. To make dust, simply dry flowers upside-down and crush them into a fine powder. To make a spray, soak about an ounce of flowers in one and a half to two gallons of water for three hours. Limit human exposure to both dust and spray to the skin, and be careful not to ingest or inhale either.


Pennyroyal is a humble plant that has an astounding number of uses as an herb. As an insect repellent, it can help keep mosquitos, gnats, ticks and fleas out of your garden – especially helpful if you have furry friends you are seeking to protect. Plant pennyroyal around plants you want to protect – it makes an attractive and useful addition to vegetable gardens. Dried pennyroyal can be sprinkled around pet bedding, the perimeter of an artificial turf lawn or made it satchels to keep insects at bay, as well. Just be careful of using pennyroyal around expecting individuals – human or animal – as it can cause miscarriage.

Some plants have natural insect-repelling properties. Many herbs, including mint, rosemary, bay leaves, oregano, and fennel pull double-duty in your garden and help keep critters at bay. When planning out your garden, consider some research on insect-repelling plants to keep your use of chemical insecticides to a minimum.

Stay In Touch

Receive outdoor living ideas and exclusive offers in your email.