Summer brings warm weather, outdoor fun…and many bugs. Ticks and fleas enjoy the rising temperatures and are eager to find hosts. Spending extra time in your garden could help keep the bugs away. Some plants have a fragrance that naturally repels insects. We’ve compiled a list of plants that are great at repelling ticks and fleas.
This herb does more than just adding flavor to our favorite dishes. Sage naturally repels fleas. It has grayish-green leaves and can grow pink and purple flowers. It’s best to plant this perennial in the spring and fall when temperatures are cooler. This plant likes sunshine and sandy soil. Not only will sage keep pesky fleas away, it also attracts butterflies which will help pollinate your garden. Sage will work inside your home too. If you keep it inside, make sure to place it near a window where it will receive plenty of sunlight.
Though lavender is known for its calming properties, bugs definitely aren’t a fan of the herb. Lavender’s strong aroma keeps fleas and ticks away. Mosquitoes and moths also dislike its scent. This perennial plant gets its name from the purple hue of its flowers. Lavender is native to the Mediterranean, so it prefers climates that are similar to this area. It does best when exposed to plenty of sunlight and limited moisture. Planting lavender in the fall will help it be ready to bloom in the summer.
Ticks and fleas aren’t impressed with rosemary’s fragrance. This herb has needle-like leaves and blue, white, or pink flowers. Like lavender, it is native to the Mediterranean. Rosemary prefers warm areas with fair humidity. It thrives in sunlight and needs soil that is well-drained. This perennial can be planted several weeks before the last spring frost. Some rosemary plants will bloom in spring and summer, but others will actually bloom during the winter. This plant can be kept outside or in a container in your home.
Planting garlic is a great way to deter ticks and fleas from staying in your yard. They dislike the plant’s scent. Not only will the plant repel these bugs, but so will the actual garlic bulb. Once it grows, you can crush garlic cloves and place them around your yard to stop pests from entering. When garlic is left to grow, it will produce a round, puffy, white flower. Planting garlic in the fall will allow it to bloom in the spring. Garlic needs well-drained soil that is a combination of sand and silt. This plant will keep your yard free of fleas and ticks and be a tasty addition to your recipes.
Citronella grass is another great option to keep fleas and ticks away. It’s also perfect for repelling mosquitoes. This grass is known for its lemony fragrance which helps to repel insects. Though it sometimes gets mistaken for lemongrass, they are different plants. Citronella grass is mostly green but has a reddish stem. This grass does well in warmer areas. It needs sunlight but does best when slightly shaded. Placing it near trees or in between other plants can give it the coverage it needs. If you live in areas that experience frost, planting citronella grass in a container that can be moved indoors is best.
Lemongrass is closely related to citronella grass. It has a lemon fragrance that is effective at repelling fleas and ticks. The arching blades are completely green. This grass is native to tropical areas, so it prefers warm climates. It does well in heat and can’t survive frosts. It's best to plant lemongrass in the spring after chances of frost have passed. Though it likes heat, it does need water. Make sure to keep the plant’s roots moist. This grass can be planted outside or in a container that can be brought in during harsh winter months.
Marigolds will add a pop of color to your garden while keeping ticks and fleas away. They are known for repelling other insects, like aphids, that cause harm to your plants. Marigolds come in a variety of shades including orange, red, white, and yellow. These flowers do well in warm climates and like full exposure to the sun. American marigolds do best when planted in the spring when there’s no chance of any frost. They bloom throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Marigolds prefer soil that is well-drained.
Though ticks are most active in warmer temperatures, they can survive cooler conditions. Chrysanthemums add a layer of protection to your yard in the fall. These flowers can be planted in early spring so that they can bloom in the summer and fall. Chrysanthemums can be orange, red, white, pink, purple, and yellow. They need full exposure to the sun. While they need soil that is moist, it still needs to be well-drained because chrysanthemums can’t survive if left in standing water.
Plants are a great way to keep your yard bug-free. Whether you choose herbs or flowers, these plants have a natural repellency known for stopping fleas and ticks from hanging out in your yard. Since plants are able to fight bugs, using products with natural plant essential oils, like Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products, gives you an effective and more environmentally and family-friendly pest control solution.For more information on how to get rid of fleas and ticks, also check out:
Fleas & Ticks: Control Strategies and Products
How to Get Rid of Fleas Naturally
How to Protect Your Pets from Ticks and Fleas
Where do Ticks Live in the United States?
Types of Ticks
How to Prevent Ticks in Your Yard
Tick Killer: What do You Use?