Lucky for us, there are garden plants that naturally send bad bugs packing. These insect-repelling plants generally have strong odours and oils that are offensive to some mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs.
Grow this excellent mosquito repellent as a centrepiece on your patio table, or plant a drift of basil in the garden bed.
Both insect-repelling and a culinary herb, basil is easy to grow from seed or transplants. There are many varieties of basil—and they all repel insects—so choose the variety that best suits your needs. Try 'Thai Magic' for use in Southeast Asian dishes or 'Spicy Globe' for a tabletop container.
Rodents will also be far away with the help of a plant. Mint plants, such as peppermint, can deter rodents in your home. Pests, such as mosquitoes, ants, flies; and other rodents, such as mice and rats, will be no more with this plant lying around. Mint can be in the form of crushed leaves, oils, sprays, or even mint gum to shoo them away for good.
Lavender has a charming scent we all know and love—except for some insects, that is. Mosquitoes, moths, and flies tend to stay away from lavender plants in general, but the most effective way to keep them away is to rub the plant on your skin and nearby surfaces to release the oils.
A great companion plant for many food crops, garlic can repel several insect pests. Plant it near plants in the cabbage family, as well as carrots and tomatoes. Garlic is planted from individual cloves purchased at the garden centre. Plant the cloves in fall, and shoots will emerge from the soil the following spring.
A creeping herb with a bright citrus fragrance, lemon thyme releases oils that repel many kinds of bugs. Use lemon thyme as a groundcover and enjoy its insect-repelling properties every time you tread on it. Lemon thyme grows well in full sun and well-drained soil. It is drought-tolerant and easy to grow from transplants purchased at the garden centre.
A popular culinary herb, lemon thyme has the best flavour before the plant flowers.
This article originally appeared on Better Homes and Gardens US.