Why you need pest control
Keeping pests at bay is a necessary responsibility for any homeowner or gardener. Without adequate pest control, it’s only a matter of time until pests wreak havoc on your home or garden crops. They can quickly destroy your hard work and rack up thousands of dollars in damage.
Pests also pose a threat to public and pet health because they are vectors of spreading disease.
The downside of pesticides
Having a plan in place for pest control is a good idea before you have a problem. While it may seem simple enough to use chemical compounds to control the issue, it’s not a sustainable solution.
Pesticides pose two significant problems.
- They are harmful to more than pests.
- They decrease soil health and fertility.
How plants can help you prevent pest problems
It’s better for your family and the environment if you can prevent pest problems before they begin. While there is no single recipe for this, there are strategies you can implement for protection purposes and peace of mind.
One such strategy is planting with the purpose of repelling pests. You see, certain herbs and flowers have terpenes that emit pungent odours that effectively work to protect the plant from common pests. These terpenes, or aromatic oils, are the plant’s natural defence system. Use them to your advantage.
Plant the following varieties around your house and in your garden to deter pests.
Top plants for natural and organic pest control
Repels: moths, deer, mice, flies, ticks
Lavender is a gardener’s dream. It can thrive in subpar soil, and it simultaneously repels pests and attracts beneficial pollinators.
Plant lavender seedlings in areas with good drainage and access to full sunlight. If you don’t have good drainage, consider planting the herb in hanging pots or containers instead.
Repels: mosquitos, slugs, snails, carrot flies, cockroaches
Rosemary’s sharp scent repels a whole host of common garden and house pests. You can keep some in cute containers in the kitchen and in windowsills, as well as in your outdoor garden.
Plant rosemary in pots and put on your deck or in fence corners and vegetable beds. Make sure you leave enough room for this bushy plant to spread out over the seasons.
Repels: beetles, aphids, tomato hornworms, squash bugs
These delicate blooms come in colours ranging from deep purple to bright white. My personal favourite is the galaxy petunia, which is dark purple with white flecks that look like stars.
Plant petunias in sunny spots near your vegetable beds, in hanging planters, or in decorative pots.
Repels: flies, maggots, corn earworms, tomato hornworms, cabbage loopers
The best kind of thyme for pest control is lemon thyme, but really, you can plant any variety and see success.
Plant thyme in mixed herb containers with tomatoes or directly into garden beds with well-draining soil.
Repels: nematodes, mosquitos, curious cats
Marigolds, also known as Calendula flowers, add a vibrant pop of colour to any garden bed or container arrangement. You can also add the blooms to salads or use them as an edible decoration for seasonal desserts.
Plant marigolds in your vegetable and flower beds to prevent root worms and keep cats away.
Lemongrass leaves and stems are used to make citronella oil—the essential oil known for its ability to repel mosquitos. While the essential oil works as an on-the-go bug repellant, your yard needs some permanent plants in place to keep mosquitos away.
Plant lemongrass along your property line and the sides of your house. Add a few containers on your front porch, back deck, and balcony.
Repels: beetles, mosquitos, ticks, roaches
The insect-repelling power of this flower comes from pyrethrum, which is found in the flower petals. Commercial insecticides utilize this chemical compound, but all you need to do for pest control purposes is plant these flowers in your garden.
Plant chrysanthemums near your vegetable beds and deck. Put some in pots and place on your front porch, balcony, and in front of your garage.
Repels: mosquitos, ants, mice
Peppermint is known for growing like a weed. It can spread quickly, covering other plant varieties and depriving them of sunlight. This is why it’s best to keep your peppermint in pots.
Plant peppermint in pots near your doors and along your fence lines.
9. Bee balm
Bee balms offer beautiful blooms in pink and purplish hues that repel mosquitos and attract bees.
Plant bee balms in sunny spots and keep the soil moist. Make sure to leave enough room for them to grow each year and consider splitting the plants every few years to prevent overgrowth.
Repels: Japanese beetles, carrot flies, and aphids
I saved one of the best for last. Chives are delicious, nutritious, adorable, and they provide natural pest control. They grow well in a variety of environments and can be easily dug up and moved to a new area of your garden if they start taking over in one place.
Plant them in herb garden containers, directly into the soil, and just make sure they have lots of sunshine and water throughout the season.
Cover image credit: Pixabay