Mosquitoes and ticks rank the highest on the not-likeable list of insects because they both can spread disease with just one bite. You could use pesticides to keep them away, but that will also kill yard-friendly insects like honey bees and ladybugs. A great option other than extermination or pesticides is to repel problematic mosquitoes and ticks the natural way: by planting flowers and herbs that will repel them with naturally occurring phytochemicals. The most effective being carvacrol, citronellol, eucalyptol, nerol, geraniol, and thymol.
PRO TIP: Most horticulturists will agree that beneficial bugs are naturally great at controlling pests, at times far better than any chemical treatments. Especially since the unwanted insects can grow pesticide-resistant while pesticide treatments can kill off lawn-friendly bugs.
Pet owners: Before you plant any herbs or flowers, check in with your local veterinarian as to which ones are non-toxic to your furry companions. You can also visit aspaca.org for a list of plants to avoid if you have cats or dogs at home.
Planting the following herbs and flowers won’t create a totally insect-free yard, but they can and will repel the bothersome mosquitoes and ticks.
PRO TIP: Treat a mosquito bite at home by rubbing apple cider vinegar at the site of the bite. Any ticks you find on your person or loved ones, including your pets, should be removed by a professional to ensure the entire head of the tick is removed properly.
In addition to utilizing the herbs, plants and flowers above that can ward off unwanted mosquitoes and ticks, be sure that there is no standing, stagnant water around your property as mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs in even the tiniest spoonful of standing water. Ticks, too, are drawn to water. If you aren’t up for DIY-ing at-home tinctures and sprays, select products from the store that contain citronella or are made with the oils listed above.
Looking to repel other problematic bugs too like house flies, ants or aphids? Check out our list of insect-repelling herbs and plants.