Pests and Plants: Repellent Plants and Attractant Plants

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Some people may not be aware that some of their plants growing around their home can actually attract or repel certain insects.

What plants repel insects?

Basil: Basil is one of the best ways to keep flies out of your house. Plant basil next to the doors or use as a foundation planting mixed in with flowers. Flies will stay away along with mosquitoes.

Bay Leaf: Dried bay leaf works for keeping pests away. One bay leaf in white flour keeps weevils out and along with protecting barley, cornmeal, oatmeal, quinoa, and rice.

Lavender: Repeals mosquitoes, keeps rabbits out of your lettuce and spinach.

Mint, catnip, and pennyroyal: Planted around the foundation of your house will keep ants and mice out. Pennyroyal is repugnant to fleas, ants, flies, and mosquitoes. Large amounts of pennyroyal can be toxic to pets and children.

Rosemary: Repels mosquitoes and keeps moths out of clothing.

What plants attract insects?

Lacewings: It is the larvae (which look like little alligators) that destroy most of the pests. They are sometimes called aphid lions for their habit of dining on aphids. They also feed on mites, other small insects and insect eggs.

Plants that attract lacwings: Dill, Caraway, Coriander, Queen Anne’s lace, fennel, dandelion.

Ladybugs: The young larvae, black with orange markings, eat more pests than the adults, and they can't fly. Yellowish eggs are laid in clusters usually on the undersides of leaves.

Plants that attract ladybugs: Dill, Coriander, Queen Anne’s lace, Buckwheat, Fennel, Prairie sunflower.

Hover flies: Adults look like little bees that hover over and dart quickly away. They don't sting! They lay eggs which hatch into caterpillars. They raise up on their hind legs to catch and feed on aphids, mealybugs and others.

Plants that attract hover flies: lavender globe lily, dill, caraway, lemon balm, spearmint, parsley, gloriosa daisy.

Parasitic Mini-Wasp: They do not sting! The eggs hatch, and the young feed on the pests from the inside killing them.

Plants that attract parasitic wasps: Lavender globe lily, dill, caraway, coriander, parsley, orange stonecrop.

If you are looking to use plants to repel or attract insects, there are many to choose from. Herbs, plants and flowers are a great way to beautify your property and keep certain pests away depending on what you plant. If your green thumb is not working and pests are an issue, be sure to contact Thomas Pest Services.

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