Six plants that repel mosquitoes and flies

Using plants is a natural and effective way to repel mosquitoes, flies and other insects from entering your home. Certain plants can also prevent pests like slugs and snails from destroying your flower or vegetable garden. Here’s a list of the six best insect-repelling plants.

Citronella geranium

Citronella geranium (pelargonium citrosum)

Once the leaves are crushed this plant releases a pungent odour which has been known to repel mosquitoes and other bugs. It can also be used to make sprays or rubbed into the skin as repellent.

  • Grows approximately 1m x 70cm
  • Requires full sun and light shade
  • Prefers well-drained soil
  • Hardy plant

 

Rosemary

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
Basil

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
Lavender

Lavender (lavandula species)

Unwanted bugsespecially fleas, flies, mosquitoes and mothshate 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
Marigolds

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 familycapsicums, 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
Thyme

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

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 find more gardening tips in our Planting & Growing D.I.Y. Advice section.

Six plants that repel mosquitoes and flies

Planting & Growing Six plants that repel mosquitoes and flies 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.

Person planting spinach 03:11

Planting & Growing How to grow vegetables Watch our step-by-step guide and find out everything you need to know about how to grow fresh vegetables in your garden.

Geraniums

Planting & Growing How to create a low-allergy garden If you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, then being out in the garden can, at times, be less than enjoyable. But there are some steps you can take to create an allergy-friendly garden so you can spend more time gardening and less time sneezi...

Grevillea plant

Planting & Growing 11 ground covers for your garden Whether you’re looking to cover a large area or simply fill some space between plants in a garden bed, there are many types of garden ground covers to consider. Some have a scent, some feature flowers and all vary in leaf colour, density and coverag...

Person tying plant to the stake 03:43

Planting & Growing How to stake your plants Staking plants helps provide support and protection against windy conditions and props them up if they’re too heavy.

Dig the holes for planting the hedge 02:04

Planting & Growing How to plant a hedge There are many different varieties of hedging plants to give your garden some extra dimension or added privacy. We’ll show you how to plant a hedge that is perfect for your garden.

shovel

Garden Tools How to choose digging tools The right tool will make any job easier, especially when it comes to digging. And when it comes to digging, there's no shortage of tools to choose from – but which tool is right for which job?

grow herbs

Planting & Growing Gardening for kids Gardening is great for the kids—it teaches them a love of nature and the environment, where food comes from, how to care for plants and the joy of reaching a goal. Here are some ideas to get them outside and in the garden.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. 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. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content