5 Plants That Keep Flies And Mosquitoes Away

Around the home, as the weather is warm, you can be facing a losing fight in repelling mosquitos and keeping flies away.

It can be hard work, costly and smelly to reach for insect repellent every time you see gnats on houseplants, flies in the kitchen or you want to repel mosquitos from your patio as you use the grill.

One of the best methods is to use the power of nature, and when you find the best plants for repelling mosquitoes, you will have won half the battle.

In this guide, you can learn how to keep pests away by using mosquito-repelling plants; you can even use some of the leaves to make mosquito repellent. Just make sure you read this all the way to see the best ways to carry out natural pest control.

Plants Repels Flies And Mosquitoes

Are There Plants That Repel Flies?

There is some debate, on the effectiveness of which plants repel mosquitoes and flies, and ones that don’t.

Many parties also claim you need to burn or break the cells of the plants to release the oils that are the true part of the plants that repel mosquitoes. Aside from this group of individuals, there are equal numbers who claim great success in growing plants that keep away mosquitoes.

It is much better to sit on the fence and prove it one way or another yourself. If it works by growing these plants, you have succeeded, and if it doesn’t, you have some fantastic and sweet-smelling plants around your home and garden.

What Plants do Flies Hate?

Here are a few plants that repel mosquitoes and flies, along with making your garden look and smell nice.

Marigold Plant that Repels Flies and Mosquitoes


Marigold plants and leaves contain pyrethrum, an insecticidal compound used in bug repellents. Although there isn’t much research, gardeners swear by the effectiveness to keep mosquitoes and flies away.

The effective annuals have an off-putting smell that offends mosquitoes and flies. You can plant these in many areas of your garden, and in particular around standing water. However, make sure you keep any flower arrangements away from tables, because they may attract bees and wasps as much as they repel mosquitoes.


Petunias are colorful annuals that possess the potential to repel mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs like aphids, beetles, and more. Make sure they are in bloom to be effective as the Petunias’ bug-repellent properties may only be present if they have flowers.


Catnip is more known to give cats a buzz, yet it can be effective because of its bug repellent properties. It contains essential oil which can help deter houseflies and mosquitoes. More studies show catnip oil is more effective as a spatial repellent than popular DEET which you can find in commercial insect repellents.

Do Plants Really Repel Mosquitoes?

Citronella and Lemongrass

Known as a mosquito repellent, you often see oils of the lemon citronella plant used in candles, etc. It does also help with other types of flies. If you think it may be a good option as a houseplant, it doesn’t fit this remit and is better in your garden.

You may often see citronella incorrectly labeled, and in many cases, it looks like long leaves in the same vein as lemongrass.

If you can find a “citronella,” whose leaves look like those on parsley, as it is a scented geranium. Such plants can be aromatic though not as strong as a real citronella grass plant.

Once you can find the real citronella plants, find a very sunny area close to your house in your garden and be sure it always has warm temperatures.

Lemongrass is a tall, perennial herb, and is commonly grown in tropical and subtropical climates of Southeast Asia. It is closely related to the citronella grass, and has similar mosquito control properties, although the smell it gives off isn’t as strong.

Some studies show that the lemongrass oil, when extracted, can offer protection up to a degree of 95% against some particular types of mosquitoes for around two and a half hours.

You should know it was the oils tested in these studies and not the plants. However, once you grow some of these in and around your garden, you can take up Asian cooking and have a ready supply of lemongrass. (Read Are Peace Lilies Poisonous to Cats)

Mint and Peppermint

You can find Mint as one of the main compounds in many commercial bug repellents. While you have the mint oils, another one that is very closely related is peppermint oil as this also comes from the mint family.

Although these are two plants, they are like citronella and lemongrass and come from similar families. You may also find the oils from these handy to keep some spiders at bay.

Again, this is down to the oils, rather than the smell from the plants. However, as they grow fast, you can quickly crush some leaves to let the smells wander around your garden.

It is easy to mix 10 drops of peppermint, thyme, and rosemary essential oils, add these to a spray bottle and mix it with some water. Spritz these on yourself, in your home and around your patio to help repel flies and mosquitoes.

All the above plants that keep bugs away can be great additions to your garden as they can help keep these insects away.

When you begin researching how to repel mosquitoes, plants are one of the best and most effective ways you can do this without too much effort. If they don’t help as you thought, you will have a plant or two that can be used for other things like cooking, or just to offer a unique look to your garden.

If all goes to plan, you have a bunch of plants that repels mosquitoes effectively.

5 Plants That Keep Flies And Mosquitoes Away

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