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Plants that Repel Carpenter Bees

The blooming of flowers often leads to the buzzing of bees near your home and carpenter bees are no exception. These bees have a habit of burrowing into wooden structures, like your home, and causing damage. Though flowers can attract this bee species, there are some plants with fragrances that repel them. We’ve compiled a list of plants that can repel carpenter bees.



Often used in cooking, thyme is also known for its ability to repel insects. Not only will this herb help to keep carpenter bees away, it will repel wasps too. Thyme can be planted straight in the ground or in a container. It has small, green leaves and can produce white flowers. Thyme does best when planted in the spring in a warm climate with plenty of sun. You’ll want to make sure the soil is well-drained. This plant can be left out in the winter and will reemerge in the spring.

Citronella Grass

Citronella grass

Citronella grass is a great plant to have in your yard to deter carpenter bees. Its citrusy scent also repels wasps and mosquitoes. This plant can be kept indoors or outdoors as long as it receives sunlight. If planted outside, you’ll want to make sure the sunlight is filtered, so plant it near trees or other plants. It’s best to plant this grass after the chance of frost has passed and the soil is warm. Citronella grass blooms in the summer with pink flowers.



Mint is another great option for repelling bees and other stinging insects. It has a strong fragrance that bees don’t enjoy. This herb does well when placed in direct sunlight. However, it can also grow well when shaded. When choosing a spot, make sure that the soil is moist, but well-drained. Mint is known to grow and spread very quickly. If you don’t want it to spread, you can plant it in a pot to keep it contained. 



There are many types of eucalyptus trees and they range in size. Though they can grow into large trees, they can be kept in a pot indoors for a little while. If kept in a container, they will require more frequent watering than those left outside. These trees have green leaves that darken over time and emit a strong scent that repels bees and wasps. Eucalyptus trees do best when they receive a lot of sunlight. You’ll want to plant these trees in the spring or in the fall.


Purple geraniums

These brightly colored flowers can help keep carpenter bees out of your yard. Geraniums have very little pollen which will deter bees from staying. Bees also dislike the fragrance geraniums produce which naturally repels them. These flowers bloom in the spring and summer. They require 4-6 hours of sunlight and should be kept inside when temperatures begin to drop. Geraniums need soil that drains well to keep the roots healthy.  



Basil is another herb that helps prevent bees and wasps from hanging around your home. This herb has glossy, green leaves. When it blooms, the plant can have white flowers. Basil thrives in warm temperatures and needs 6-8 hours of sunlight. It does best when planted after the soil has warmed to at least 50 degrees. Basil prefers moist soil, but to ensure proper growth the soil should be well-drained. Since the plant doesn’t do well in the cold, it’s a good idea to plant it in a container that can be brought inside before frost arrives.



Cucumbers are a great snack, but they can also be used to repel bees and wasps. Cucumber plants are native to the tropics and prefer areas with warm weather and plenty of moisture. They need warm soil too, so it’s best to wait until after any chance of frost has passed. Cucumber plants bloom in the summer and can produce yellow flowers. When prepping your cucumbers for a salad, don’t throw away the peels. These can be placed throughout your yard to keep pesky insects away.

Whether you’re looking to add a pop of color to your garden or a fresh ingredient for a new recipe, these plants are a great option. Plus, they can help keep carpenter bees and other pests out of your yard. If you’re dealing with a bug invasion, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.

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