Few things strike fear into a homeowner’s heart more than seeing an army of ants marching merrily across the kitchen countertop or a huge wolf spider skittering up the wall. There’s good news, though: You don’t have to invest in harsh poisons and chemicals to get rid of your problem. A variety of indoor herbs will drive and keep pests out of your home naturally.
If you have a hard time with mosquitoes and flies entering your home and eating you up, or buzzing around your head while you try to sleep, plant basil in pots in your entryways. Flies and mosquitoes dislike basil. As a bonus, this herb tastes delicious in Italian dishes and serves as a pretty garnish for meals. You can also steep the leaves in boiling water and make a spray out of the basil and vodka to repel mosquitoes when you go outdoors.
About 6 percent of Americans have arachnophobia, but most people at least dislike spiders in the home. They surprise you when you’re least expecting it and spin webs in high corners that are difficult to clean. Peppermint is a real turnoff for spiders, but mice dislike it, as well. You can plant it indoors, or bring some sprigs from an outdoor plant and place them around the house to repel spiders and mice. Place leaves inside a sock or a bit of fabric and tuck into various areas around your home.
Moths, fleas and mosquitoes do not care for lavender. You can easily grow lavender indoors, too, and as an added benefit, the scent has a calming, soothing effect for humans. You’ll need a location with plenty of direct sunlight, such as a south-facing windowsill. Lavender appreciates fresh air, so open the window from time to time. Take a few sprigs off as your plant grows, dry them out and place in closets to dissuade moths from making a meal out of your favorite clothes.
Lemongrass is a larger plant, but you can easily grow it next to a sunny window in a pot. You can also grow it outdoors and bring dried leaves inside. If you’ve ever used citronella to keep mosquitoes away, you’ll find that oil in this plant. You can also use lemongrass in cooking, especially in soups or salad dressings.
Catnip may not be something you’d immediately think of for repelling insects, but the active chemical in this plant is nepetalactone, which roaches hate. If you live close to other people, or you have any type of roach infestation, adding this plant allows you to better battle the problem. You can easily grow catnip indoors. As a bonus, if you have a cat, they will love this potted plant as much as roaches hate it.
Repel Pests Naturally
In addition to these herbs, try adding houseplants that deter pests, such as marigolds, chrysanthemums and jade plants. You can use many of these plants to make dried bundles of herbs and flowers or cook them into natural sprays to keep pests away. You’ll avoid harsh chemicals that pollute the environment and get rid of your bug problem at the same time.