10 Amazing Herbs That Repel Unwanted Insects

Imagine stepping into your backyard oasis, free from the annoyance of buzzing mosquitoes and pesky flies.

What if we told you that the solution to repelling these unwanted insects lies right in your herb garden?

Yes, that's right! Not only do herbs add flavor and aroma to your culinary creations, but they also possess natural insect-repelling properties.

Here are 10 amazing herbs that will not only enhance your dishes but also keep those bugs at bay!

1. Basil

This aromatic herb is a powerhouse for repelling house flies and mosquitoes. Plus, it's a great addition to your pasta and pizza!

Plant it in pots near your outdoor living spaces, or use it as a border plant in your garden to keep those pesky bugs at bay.


This herb grows best in a location that gets 6 to 8 hours of full sun daily, though it can perform well in partial sun too.

The soil should be moderately fertile and moist but well-draining. Basil works great in containers or raised beds, allowing better drainage.

2. Lavender

Lavender, with its soothing fragrance, is not a favorite amongst moths, flies, and mosquitoes. And the bonus? It's known for its calming properties.

Plant some in your garden or keep dried bundles indoors to ward off these insects.


Lavender is a beautiful, fragrant herb that produces purple, white, and/or yellow flowers, depending on the specific variety. It prefers full sun exposure and grows best in well-drained soil with a neutral to alkaline pH.

When planting lavender, choose a location with full sun exposure and good air circulation. The planting hole should be deep enough to accommodate the root ball and wide enough to allow for growth.

3. Lemongrass

This herb contains citronella, a common natural ingredient in many mosquito repellents.


It can be planted in the ground in warmer climates or kept in large pots where the weather is cooler. A simple brush against the leaves releases its wonderful lemony scent and its bug-repelling power.

It requires a lot of sunlight—at least 6 hours a day. The plant prefers well-drained soil, and it needs plenty of water, especially during dry periods.

4. Mint

Mint is fantastic for keeping away a wide range of insects, including ants and flies. Plus, it adds a refreshing twist to your summer drinks!


Be cautious, though; mint tends to spread rapidly, so it's better to grow it in containers.

It grows best in a sunny to partially shaded location and prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil.

5. Rosemary

This herb is renowned for its ability to repel mosquitoes and a variety of other insects harmful to vegetables. It's also a wonderful aromatic addition to your culinary creations.


Rosemary thrives in full sunlight and requires at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

When growing rosemary in a pot, choose a container that has good drainage to prevent waterlogging. It prefers well-draining soil, sandy or loamy soil types are ideal for its growth.

6. Thyme

Thyme releases a fragrance that deters mosquitoes. It's also a great addition to your cooking, particularly with chicken and roasted vegetables.


Thyme prefers well-draining soil and enjoys full sunlight, similar to rosemary. It requires at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Place it in a sunny spot, such as a south-facing window or a sunny outdoor area.

Choose a pot with good drainage when growing thyme in a container. A potting mix formulated for herbs or a well-draining soil mix is suitable.

7. Sage

If you're having a campfire or barbecue, consider throwing some sage into the fire. The aromatic smoke is unpleasant to mosquitoes and will keep them away.


Sage thrives in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic to neutral. It prefers full sunlight but can tolerate partial shade.

Place it in a location that receives ample sunlight. When planting sage in a pot, choose a container with good drainage to prevent waterlogging.

8. Parsley

While parsley attracts beneficial insects to your garden, it also repels some of the pesky ones. It attracts beneficial insects to your garden, such as ladybugs and hoverflies, which help control pests like aphids and caterpillars.


Parsley grows well in fertile, well-draining soil. It thrives in partial to full sunlight. It requires 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.

Place it in a location that receives adequate sunlight. Use a well-draining potting mix or a mixture of potting soil and compost.

9. Chives

This herb repels Japanese beetles and carrot flies. It's also a tasty addition to various dishes like salads, soups, and baked potatoes.


Chives prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Place them in a sunny spot in your garden or near a south-facing window.

When growing chives in a pot, ensure the pot has enough space for the roots to spread.

10. Marjoram

This herb is good for repelling a variety of beetles. Plus, it's a tasty addition to your stews and roasts.


Marjoram prefers well-draining and moderately fertile soil. Marjoram enjoys full sunlight but can also tolerate partial shade.

Use a well-draining potting mix or a mixture of potting soil and sand.

Harnessing Herbs for an Insect-Free Garden

With these ten incredible herbs in your garden or pots, you can create a bug-free sanctuary while adding a delightful touch to your cooking endeavors.

From the aromatic allure of basil and lavender to the zesty power of lemongrass and mint, these herbs offer a natural and effective way to repel unwanted insects.

So why not harness the dual benefits of these plants? Enhance your outdoor living spaces, ward off those bothersome flies and mosquitoes, and savor the flavors and scents of these remarkable herbs.

Happy gardening!

Read more:

Year-Round Indoor Herbs for Zone 2: a Guide for Kitchen Gardeners

The Top 7 Herbs Every Gardener Needs

10 Amazing Herbs That Repel Unwanted Insects

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