9 amazing garden plants that repel flies and pests

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Flies are beneficial insects that play a variety of roles in environmental preservation. They decompose organic materials, take out other pests that harm the garden, and attract wildlife to your gardens by serving as food sources.

Sadly, that doesn’t alter the fact that they may be extremely inconvenient, particularly in the heat.

However, you don’t need to pull out your fly swatter to deal with these insects. Instead, choose a natural approach by picking and growing any of the following nine plants.

Which are thought to keep flies away while also beautifying your yard.

Read on to discover the 9 amazing garden plants that repel flies and pests from your garden. 

1. Basil

Basil - companion plants for potatoes

Basil is typically the herb that repels flies the best. One of the numerous uses for this leafy plant in the kitchen and other parts of the house is as an insect deterrent.

The juicy leaves exude oils that have a potent earthy aroma. This odor deters a variety of pests both indoors and outside, including flies.

The simplest method to employ these abilities in your home is to keep a basil plant in your kitchen.

However, basil is among the most difficult herbs to grow successfully indoors.

Instead, cultivate them in a box or window box next to your kitchen to serve as a deterrent to any bugs that might try to enter via your windows.

Additionally, you may harvest the oil and utilize it to create a family-friendly version of your own homemade mosquito repellent spray.

Basil loves dampness and requires a lot of water to grow. To extract the most leaves out of your plant, keep them in a sunny location and don’t let their soil dry out.

Pruning frequently will promote branching and make your basil bushier.

2. Lavender


Lavender is a crowd favorite and one of the most well-liked ornamental plants in the world.

It has a wonderful aroma that everyone adores. In addition to producing stunning purple flowers that give any garden a Mediterranean feel.

Flies despise this lovely scent that we gardeners love. Flies and a few other unpleasant critters are kept at a distance by the potent scent of lavender flowers and foliage.

The lavender plant’s oil is essential. You may be certain you won’t be disturbed by pests anymore.

Whether you harvest this oil or just pluck the blooms and display them in your home.

To ensure that there are as many blooms as possible for harvesting, plant your lavender in a sunlit location.

To prevent rotting, plant in a dry area with well-draining soil. Lavender is really among the few plants which thrive in poor soil.

Making them ideal for those more difficult garden spots you can never seem to fill.

3. Rosemary

Rosemary hedge along fence line

Due to its foliage resemblance to some kinds of lavender, rosemary is another excellent pest-repelling choice.

Flies avoid regions where rosemary is grown or planted because of their strong smell. Fortunately, their aroma and flavor make them ideal for use in cooking.

During family get-togethers or entertaining, placing a few rosemary stems in your outdoor dining area is a terrific method to keep little and large flies away.

Try growing a whole plant indoors on your windowsill if your kitchen attracts the most flies. 

You shouldn’t have any trouble cultivating this plant indoors as long as there is adequate direct sunlight and little humidity.

Both rosemary and lavender favor similar outdoor environmental conditions. These hardy plants have the potential to grow into large, robust shrubs with the right care.

Alternately, you might choose to prune them into a little hedge so that you can utilize them as both an eye-catching element in your garden and a fly repellent.

You can take a lot of cuttings from the hedge to place inside your home.

4. Bay Laurel

Bay laurel is the perfect plant to grow as a whole hedge to prevent pests from entering your yard and out from your house.

This shrub, often referred to as sweet bay, features adorable yellow flowers and an upright growth pattern.

Your bay laurel will grow into a nearly impenetrable wall which any flying insects will avoid if it is planted closely together and in full sun.

Bay laurel may also be tossed into cabinets to keep weevils out and employed to discourage flies out of the kitchen.

These aromatic plants are employed in many different dishes all over the world for their potent flavor, which makes them even more beneficial.

Simply remove the entire leaf once the dish is finished.

You could add a couple of leaves to your spaghetti sauce, chili, or curry to give it more flavor. They can also be used as a fragrant garnish to adorn food with.

9 amazing garden plants that repel pests and flies

5. Mint

It’s difficult to imagine somebody who doesn’t enjoy the scent of mint. It’s tasty, fresh, and the various types all have slightly unique tastes to please the palate.

Although we enjoy this vivid and powerful aroma, some pests and flies dislike mint.

Numerous insects, including some tiny rodents, are kept at bay by the oils found in each part of the plant, from stalk to flower.

Fresh leaves provide the most advantages, while dried leaves can also provide these advantages.

To prevent flies from settling down, cut a few stalks off from the plant. Then, hang them upside down, and place them throughout your kitchen in your cabinets.

Mint is unquestionably the herb to use if you have difficulties keeping other plants alive.

If left unchecked, this plant, which is so simple to cultivate and spreads so quickly, could become invasive.

To monitor growth, it is preferable to maintain your mint in a container. If you have a light-filled windowsill, they are also perfect for growing indoors.

6. Pennyroyal

Mentha pulegium, a species of the mint family, is a lovely garden plant that serves as a natural insect deterrent. Flies and tiny rodents are also deterred by the spearmint-like aroma.

However, unlike mint, pennyroyal is poisonous to the liver and cannot be consumed, leading to a variety of issues.

This makes keeping it outside in the garden to deter flies preferable to bringing it inside. It ought to be managed in a pot because it is invasive.

Although, this plant can be scattered throughout your garden in pots to deter pesky insects, such as flies.

Keep pruning the plant to prevent the stems from reaching the ground, as they spread swiftly the moment they contact the earth.

7. Sage

Not everyone thinks of sage as the first herb to use in cooking. However, this should not be disregarded if your goal is to ward off flies both inside and outside.

They have magnificent, fluffy gray leaves that contrast beautifully with other garden flora.

Also, even after drying, they still have an earthy scent. One of the finest methods for keeping flies away is to dry and burn these leaves.

Sage is burned in order to purge a place of any bad karma. To release their potent perfume and fill any space with them, the foliage is dried, joined together, and lit on fire.

If burning sage doesn’t appeal to you, just put the dried leaves in a bowl and scatter them over the area you would like to keep fly-free. 

To increase its perfume and pest-repelling power, mix sage with the complementary aroma of rosemary.

8. Catnip

Another simple-to-grow plant with a quick-spreading growth tendency is nepeta cataria. It is well known for luring cats, but it also works well at keeping pesky bugs out of your house.

These plants which can line pathways and frame doorways are perfect because they repel flies with the same oils and potent odors that cats adore.

Catnip is a very resilient plant that thrives with little water or fertilizer. They will prosper provided as they have a sunny location and adequate temperature all year long.

Catnip, which is connected to mint and pennyroyal, is another invasive and fast spreading plant. Hence, it does best when kept in a pot.

9. Marigold

Yellow marigold flowers growing around purple lavender

One of the greatest allies in the garden are marigolds. They are an extremely adaptable plant.

Their cheery orange blossoms, which may also be utilized as an edible decoration for salads and desserts, are sure to make you smile. However, marigolds really excel at warding off pests.

Marigolds have been scientifically shown to keep a variety of pests out of gardens, especially white flies.

You can cultivate the flowers as cut flowers, cutting the blossoms, and setting them in a vase to deter flies. Or you can use the flowers to make an indoor insect repellent spray.

To survive, these plants only require warmth and lots of sunlight. After planting, make sure to give them plenty of water.

Once they are established, they will appreciate being watered at the same time as the rest of your garden.

Additionally, they are excellent container plants, but because they need a lot of light to flower, they thrive best outside rather than indoors.

Final thoughts

There Is no denying that flies do play an important role in our gardens and environment.

However, they aren’t always enjoyable when we are trying to enjoy time in our gardens or when they are flying around our homes. 

Any of the plants we have mentioned above will be able to deter a whole range of pests, including flies.

Plant any of these plants in your garden or in pots and enjoy a fly free home and garden. 

FAQ’S about bug repellant plants!

Why do bugs like plants?

Many bugs feed on plants because they provide a source of food. The leaves, stems, and roots of plants are rich in the nutrients that bugs need to survive and reproduce. Additionally, many bugs use plants as a host for their eggs, which provides their offspring with a ready source of food once they hatch. Some bugs also use plants for shelter or to camouflage themselves, which helps them to avoid predators.

Will bugs do extensive damage to plants?

Some types of bugs can cause extensive damage to plants. For example, certain types of insects, such as aphids, caterpillars, and grasshoppers, can consume the leaves and stems of plants, which can cause the plants to weaken and become more susceptible to disease. Other bugs, such as mealybugs and scale insects, can suck the sap from the plants, which can stunt their growth and cause them to produce fewer flowers or fruit. Additionally, some bugs like whiteflies, thrips, can transmit the viruses which can cause wilting and yellowing of leaves leading to serious damage. The extent of damage caused by bugs depends on the type of bug, the stage of the plant’s life cycle, and the number of bugs present. Some plants may be able to withstand a small number of bugs without significant damage, while others may be heavily damaged by even a small infestation.
A regular monitoring of plant health and early management of pests can be helpful to minimize the damage caused by bugs.

Will insecticides wreck plants?

Insecticides, if not used properly, can damage or kill plants. This happens in a few ways:
Overuse: Using too much insecticide can cause foliage burn, wilting, or even death of the plant.
Sensitivity: Some plants are more sensitive to certain insecticides than others. If you use an insecticide that is not recommended for a particular plant, it can damage or kill it.
Drift: When using a spray insecticide, if the spray drifts onto nearby plants that you didn’t intend to treat, it can damage or kill them as well.
Timing: Applying insecticide at the wrong time of the plant’s life cycle, like during blooming, can cause damage to flowers, reducing yield and making plants more prone to diseases.
To avoid damage to plants, it is important to follow the instructions on the insecticide label carefully, and to use the correct amount of insecticide for the type of plant and the type of bug you are trying to control. It is also important to avoid applying insecticides to plants that are in bloom or are otherwise sensitive to the chemicals. It is also very crucial to use insecticides selectively, and consider alternative ways of pest management such as Biological control, cultural control and monitoring of pests, before reaching for the spray bottle.



Flies and pests

Are you tired of flies and pests interrupting your garden? Learn more about how to protect your plants from pests and flies, and have your garden at its best!

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also a professional engineer, certified permaculture garden designer, and master gardener in training. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.