13 Natural Insect Repellent Herbs | Plants & Herbs

Nothing is more irritating than pest invasions — whether that’s in your garden bed or in your home. Rather than resorting to chemicals and risk the health of you and your garden, use natural insect repellents!

Herbs are nature’s #1 insect repellent and help to deter pests of all kinds — from mosquitoes and houseflies to tomato hornworms and aphids. You can use them to keep your garden pest-free and your home bug-free.

Here are 13 herbs that act as natural insect repellent and how to use them.


natural insect repellent - basil

Basil repels flies and mosquitos. Plant alongside other plants to protect them and plant a mini basil garden on a windowsill to keep your kitchen free of bugs.


lavender herb box - natural insect repellent

Lavender’s strongly scented flowers are known for keeping moths, fleas, and mosquitoes at bay.

Crush the flowers to release the essential oils and apply to your skin for a soothing mosquito repellent. Similarly, create lavender bouquets and hang them around to deter pesky mosquitoes — on the porch, in the family room, wherever!

Lemon Thyme

Lemon Thyme Bunch

Lemon thyme is also a mosquito repellent. Unlike basil and lavender, the plant alone will not deter mosquitoes. The oils meds to be released. Do so by gently bruising the leaves to release the chemicals.


Mint Bamboo Box Gardenuity

Mint repels mosquitoes. Combine with apple cider vinegar and witch hazel to make an all-natural mosquito repellent that can be sprayed on.

Pro tip: test the spray on a less sensitive part of your skin to ensure you do not have a reaction!


Rosemary Herb Box - natural insect repellent

Rosemary is the ultimate garden vegetable protectant. It repels a variety of insects that are harmful to vegetable plants. Plant alongside your vegetable garden or create a gentle spray repellent.

To make the repellent, boil 1 quart of rosemary in a quart of water for 20 minutes. Strain and add to a quart of cool water.


tri-color sage plant - natural insect repellent

Ever at a campfire and simply cannot get the bugs away? Simple throw a few sage twigs in the fire. The smell will immediately deter any insects in the area.

Plus, despite what the bugs think, sage smoke smells divine!


Chives Herb Box

Chives repel carrot flies, Japanese beetles, and aphids. If you continue to have issues with these pests, plant chives alongside your garden to keep them away.


dill herb box

Dill will deter aphids, squash bugs, spider mites, cabbage loopers, and tomato hornworms. Tomatoes can be particularly tricky to keep pest-free, so pairing them with an herb that pests want to avoid is the best way to grow!


Parsley Herb Box - natural insect repellent

Parsley is particularly good at repelling one pest: asparagus beetles. If you’ve encountered an issue with these bugs, plant parsley alongside your asparagus.


Thyme Herb Box - natural insect repellent

Thyme is a catch-all repellent. It repels whiteflies, cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, and tomato hornworms.



Although it’s not, strictly speaking, an herb, garlic is an extraordinary plant-alongside plant. It will repel Japanese beetles, root maggots, carrot root flies, moths, and aphids.


Fennel Plant

If you have issues with slugs or snails, fennel is your herb. As a natural insect repellent, it will also repel aphids.


Catnip Herb Box

Catnip is known for being your cat’s favorite herb, but it is despised by all sorts of pests. It contains a chemical called nepetalactone that repels mosquitoes, flies, ticks, and cockroaches.

At the end of the day, herbs are a great way to repel insects and pests without having to resort to chemicals.

Learn more about what pests might be in your garden here.

You can grow your own natural insect repellent by starting your own Herb Garden Kit. See what you can grow today with a grow guarantee!

Herb Garden What You Can Grow