1. PetuniasThese bright-colored beauties are often planted to repel squash bugs, beetles and aphids. They need a sunny spot, so try them near your vegetable garden or in a window box.
2. BasilThere’s an oil in basil that kills mosquito eggs. Plant basil in pots near gathering areas to ward off flies and mosquitoes, and to use in pesto!
3. MarigoldsThese pretty, sun-loving plants are often used by farmers to keep pests at bay. They’ll help keep mosquitoes and aphids out of your yard.
4. LavenderThe same scent that ails our insomnia and makes our linens smell amazing is absolutely disgusting to flies, moths and mosquitoes. Plant it if you have a sunny garden, or keep a few bouquets around to ward off the pests.
5. RosemaryIn addition to repelling mosquitoes, potent rosemary will help protect your vegetable plants from infestation.
6. MintThis pleasant-smelling plant (along with its cousin lemon balm) helps repel biting insects. It’s best to plant mint in pots, because it will spread like crazy.
7. CatnipAlso a member of the mint family, catnip repels bugs thanks to its nepetalactone—the same property that attracts cats. Go figure!
8. ChrysanthemumsPyrethrins, a compound that’s found in chrysanthemums and used in many commercial insect repellents, keeps mosquitoes, roaches, beetles, ticks and silverfish away.
9. AlliumsChives, leeks, onions, garlic, scallions and shallots fall into this group. They grow tall with pretty purple, white or pink flowers and help protect other veggies (and your yard) against slugs, flies and worms, although they can attract moths. Be warned that, like garlic and onions, allium plants can be extremely toxic to dogs and cats.
10. LemongrassCitronella is the oil found in lemongrass (thus its slightly citrus-y scent). Lemongrass needs tons of sun, so most of us will have to enjoy it as an annual in the summer.
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