Did You Know You Can Use Certain Plants as Pest Control?

by Kaia Koglin
Lemongrass or Citronella grow in the vegetable garden, used as cooking spices and herbal medicine..

Ridding your house of pests can help make your home cleaner and your family healthier. However, sometimes, the harsh chemicals used to repel bugs and rodents aren’t great for your health either. Thankfully, there’s a more natural pest control option that also beautifies your home and yard.

Read More Pest Control Articles

The right selection of indoor and outdoor plants can deter a variety of creatures and help keep your home pest-free. 

Get matched with a Pro
in your

Please enter a service.

What to Know About Plants as Natural Pest Control

There are many pest-deterrent plants, but finding greenery that actually kills bugs is much harder. If you have a bad infestation, it may be better to talk to an exterminator or use chemical repellents. Once the problem is taken care of, plants can help stop pests from coming back.

While most insect-repelling flowers and plants are perfectly safe in the home and garden, some can have toxic elements. If you have pets that chew on everything, check the safety of the plant before buying it and place it somewhere out of reach of little paws.

Which Indoor Plants Can Be Used as Pest Control?

People generally want to keep pests out of the home, so it makes sense to look at house plants as pest control. The plants below can be grown outside in the right environment, but having them inside gives them a chance to keep away pests and bugs.

Basil and Mint

The strong smells of many herbs can be useful at keeping away pests. Basil and mint can be placed in the kitchen or around doorways to repel house flies, mosquitos and fruit flies. Mint can also be a deterrent to mice.

Sage and Rosemary

Similar to basil and mint, the strong scent of sage and rosemary can keep away a range of bugs. In addition to the fresh plants, the dried leaves of this plant can be burned to stop mosquitos and flies or placed in drawers or linen cupboards to help repel silverfish and moths.


Catnip contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which is as effective at repelling mosquitos as DEET. It's also a natural cockroach repellent. You can trim sprigs of the plant to sprinkle around the house or simmer it in water to create a spray for cupboards, windows and doorways.

Carnivorous Plants

Venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants can actually destroy bugs rather than just repelling them. The coloring and scent of these flowers attract bugs, which land on the plant's leaves. When the plant feels the vibration of the insect, it closes. That traps the bug and allows the plant to digest it for food. They can make a fascinating and effective addition to your pest control plant collection. As they're usually tropical, they're best grown inside.


Chrysanthemums are an all-round option for plant pest control. The flowers contain a combination of insecticidal compounds that deter ants, ticks, lice, fleas, bed bugs, silverfish and cockroaches. The smell is also repugnant to mice and rats, and the flowers add a beautiful touch to any room.

More Related Articles: 

Delivery VanHome
Talk to a Pro
(877) 414-3347

Which Outdoor Plants Can Be Used as Pest Control?

Outdoor plants placed near windows, doors and other entrances can help keep pests from entering the home. They can also be a good deterrent if you find pests in your yard or bugs damaging your flower or vegetable garden.

Citronella and Lemongrass

Both citronella and lemongrass contain citronellal, a natural compound that repels mosquitos. Placed in pots near doors and windows, these plants can help stop bloodsuckers from finding ways to enter the home.


Flies, gnats, mosquitos and midges all dislike the distinct smell of marigolds. Placed around a patio, they can help keep the area bug-free when you want to enjoy an outdoor meal. Marigolds are also good companion plants, as they keep bugs away from tomatoes without the need for harsh pesticides.


In addition to being a pretty option for your garden, daffodils are repugnant to rats and mice. A border around the house may stop rodents from finding ways into your home. However, keep in mind that all parts of the plant are poisonous, so don't plant them if you have dogs or cats that are likely to chew on them.


Bergamot has a peppery scent that repels rats, mice and other pests. It's also a low-maintenance plant that can tolerate lean soils, different amounts of sun and a forgetful watering schedule, making it a good choice for people who don't have a green thumb.


Boxwoods are known for their ability to be cut into hedges or different shapes, adding interest to gardens. However, their dense stems have an added benefit in that they create a physical barrier for larger pests like rats and raccoons. There are some varieties that also have a distinct cat-urine odor. This may not seem appealing, but it can help keep away any pests that hate strong smells.

Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. Systems, equipment, issues and circumstances vary. Follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of the Blog is subject to the

Website Terms and Conditions.

The eLocal Editorial Team operates independently of eLocal USA's marketing and sales decisions.