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Yellow, pink and orange flowers.
Using plants is a natural and effective way to repel mosquitoes, flies and other insects from entering your home. Here's a list of the six best insect-repelling plants.

 

Catnip (Nepata cataria)

One of the most effective mosquito repelling plants and cats love it as well. Catnip is very easy to grow - it's a member of the Mint family. A vigorous growing herb in the garden or does equally well in a pot.

  • Grows to 1.2m x .6m
  • Low maintenance – will grow anywhere
  • Plant in a sunny location
  • Attractive purple flowers in Summer and Autumn

Catnip (Nepata cataria)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

An easy-to-grow and low-maintenance plant. It's often used as a culinary herb due to its fragrant foliage but it also repels mosquitoes and other insects.

  • Grows approximately 1.8m x 1m
  • Requires full sun
  • Prefers well-drained soil
  • Hardy plant, prune well to maintain shape
  • For smaller gardens, they can be put in pots, or a ground-cover version is available

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Basil

A tasty addition to meals and salads, it also repels house flies, mosquitoes and whiteflies. To make the most of its repelling effect, it's best planted in pots and left near front entrance ways and alfresco areas.

  • Grows approximately 90cm x 60cm
  • Requires part to full sun
  • Use a good quality compost or potting mix and water regularly
  • Purple version available

Basil

Lavender (Lavandula species)

Unwanted bugs – especially fleas, flies, mosquitoes and moths – hate the scent of lavender oil once its extracted. Another tip is to make small posies of lavender and then leave them in clothes drawers or cupboards to keep moths away.

  • Grows approximately 1.2m x 1.2m
  • Requires full sun
  • Use a good quality compost or potting mix, though it'll grow well in most soil types
  • There's many different varieties available to choose from including varying flower types, flower colours and heights

Lavender (Lavandula species)

Marigolds

Most commonly used as a companion plant in vegetable gardens to attract bees and beneficial insects. At the same time, they repel nematodes and whiteflies. Nematodes are microscopic worms that cause havoc on the root system of plants; particularly the Solanaceae family – capsicums, potatoes, tomatoes etc. Once a marigold's life is spent, they can be turned into soil.

  • Grows approximately 30cm x 30cm
  • Requires part to full sun
  • Use a good quality compost for planting and fertilise/water regularly
  • Removing spent flowers will encourage new growth
  • Look out for different colours

 

Oregano, parsley or thyme

The scent given off from these plants confuses and repels pests and should be used as a companion plant. They're also used for cooking.

  • Grows approximately 30cm x 50cm
  • Requires part to full sun
  • Use a good quality compost or potting mix for planting
  • Excellent also as a groundcover to supress weeds

Parsley

Other plants to consider

  • Garlic
  • Lemon grass
  • Lemon thyme
  • Nasturtiums
  • Petunias
  • Tansy
  • Venus flytraps (or pitcher plants)
  • Wormwood

 

More ideas

View the full range of plants available at your local Bunnings or explore more D.I.Y. gardening advice.

 

Suggested products

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.