Australia is home to an abundant amount of creepy crawlies and pesky pests. Often, these troublesome critters find their way into our homes and gardens.
While most of these pests do not pose an immediate danger, their unpleasant nature is disturbing. Fortunately, there are natural remedies for pest control you can try in the comfort of your home.
Many DIY experts can easily create alternative pest control methods with a concoction of natural sprays. However, if you are a beginner, rearing plants around your home can be one of the simplest options for natural pest control.
Not only this, but plants also add style and can make your home more aesthetically appealing. Some plants and herbs do not only add kerb appeal to your home, but they can also repel flies and other troublesome pests naturally.
So, let’s get to it. Homely has put together a thorough list of all the plants you could possibly need to keep your home and garden pest-free.
THE BEST PLANTS FOR NATURAL PEST CONTROL
Summer is the season when pests like flies, roaches, ants, and mozzies visit your home uninvited. You can use bug sprays and chemicals to alleviate the problem but doing so may put people and your pet’s health at risk.
Toxic chemicals sprayed around your home leave poisonous residue for some time, unseen to the naked eye. As mentioned earlier, this can be a health hazard.
Adding plants inside and outside your home does not only repel insects and other pests naturally, it also eliminates the need to use toxic chemicals that may harm you and your family’s health.
What is natural pest control?
Natural pest control is the method of controlling pests and insects without the use of highly toxic chemicals, either creating natural elixirs and sprays or using flora which is the topic we will discuss in detail.
Some people prefer natural pest control to tackle problems with insects and harmful pests around their property for health reasons and to be eco-friendly.
Furthermore, to repel pests, you can use naturally derived materials that keep pests away. These types of treatments include the technique of growing plants like rosemary, thyme, mint, and many others.
Placing insect and pest repelling plants strategically around your garden or on the patio can help you enjoy spending time with family in your backyard comfortably. These plants can help create a pest-free garden year-round.
Remember that the first line of defence to protect your family against harmful pests is to prevent them from getting inside. Take advantage of the beneficial properties of deterring plants you can grow as hedges around your property.
Of course, plants that deter pests are often called low impact, but that does not mean they aren’t effective. Nature’s gifts have guaranteed performance without leaving you with the many disadvantages that synthetic chemicals do.
INDOOR PLANTS THAT DETER INSECTS
These beautiful plants repel pests like bed bugs, ticks, fleas, roaches, lice, and ants. They can also remove toxins and purify the air.
This plant contains citronella, a chemical that we all know has a pest-repelling ability. You might love the aroma that lemongrass emits, but insects detest it.
OUTDOOR PLANTS THAT DETER PESTS
Natural pest control for plants and veggies requires a little bit of effort, but it’s worth it. You can imagine putting in the effort to grow food in a raised bed around your home. Then, having it ruined by pests is very disheartening. Although there are insecticides you can buy, chemical treatments generate harmful effects on your vegetables and plants too.
An all-natural DIY pest control spray is a great alternative. However, if you are not familiar with mixing the right ingredients, you might not be able to create an effective repellent solution.
Furthermore, frequently spraying your vegetables with natural insecticides to keep pests away is a time-consuming task. What you need are pest control plants for the garden that work wonders at naturally preventing pests.
Marjoram and oregano
If you have an onion patch in your backyard, consider putting a hedge of oregano or marjoram around it. These two plants can protect your onions from maggots. It is also good to plant them near cucurbits to keep pumpkin beetles away.
Barbarea vulgaris or land cress
Cabbage white butterflies love to lay their eggs on this plant due to its abundant foliage. However, the leaves of land cress contain a high concentration of saponin, a component that is deadly to larvae that feed on it.
NATURAL PEST CONTROL FOR WEED PLANTS
Weeds are a headache not only to professional gardeners but even to newbies who love to grow food and flowering plants around their backyard.
Most people hate pulling weeds by hand as it is taxing on the body. Usually, the easiest way to get rid of weeds quickly is to buy store-bought chemical treatments. However, lots of research has shown these chemical treatments can cause users multiple health problems.
In making your garden free of weeds, some plants can help you get rid of weeds without resorting to synthetic chemicals.
Cover crops like peas, beans, soybeans, and wheat can be used to smother weeds. The technique of dense planting is also one of the most efficient ways to control weeds naturally.
Low growing shrubs
Tucking plants like hosta and corn bells around small trees can help control weeds. Creeping shrubs that grow very low is another option you can use to control weeds. They are fast-growing and can cover a specific area you want to suppress weed growth quickly.
Impatiens and petunias
Impatiens and petunias are flowering plants often used as weed suppressants. You can grow them as ground cover and make your garden bed colourful while eliminating the chance for weeds to invade spaces you don’t want them to be. These plants are excellent in repelling aphids too.
Tagetes minuta is an annual plant from the marigold family. This plant contains allelopathic compounds that can deter weeds such as couch grass, bindweed and creeping charlie.
Some weeds aren’t a problem if you look at them from a different perspective. Some grasses like alfalfa and chicory greens are edibles while forget-me-nots and chickweed contain a compound that will improve soil fertility as they gradually decompose.
PEST-REPELLENT PLANTS PERFECT FOR YOUR YARD
The front garden is the first thing people notice arriving at your house. So, putting in an extra effort to beautify your front yard pays dividends! When thinking of what to grow in your front garden, take into consideration these plants with natural pest-repellent capabilities.
NATURAL PEST CONTROL FOR FLEAS, MOTHS AND SILVERFISH
The lavender scent that helps relieve your stress can also keep pests away. Growing them beside the doorway or by the windowsill prevents moths, fleas, and mosquitoes from entering your home.
This herb is not only exceptional to spice up your cooking, but its aromatic scent also overwhelms insects like whitefly, moths, and keep them at bay. Additionally, you can place a piece of rosemary in your closet to repel moths and silverfish.
Natural pest control for mosquitoes
The vibrant yellow-orange shade of marigolds can brighten up your garden. It also makes a perfect plant for flower beds in your front yard.
Marigold emits a scent that drives mosquitoes and plant-lice away. Alternatively, you can opt to grow them in your vegetable garden to save your plants from rabbits if you’re in a rural area.
Native to Australia, the oil in eucalyptus leaves is an excellent insect repellent. Having a eucalyptus tree in the front or back of your house will keep sand flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects away.
This fragrant herb deters house flies and mosquitoes. However, growing basil requires an ample amount of sunlight to thrive. Growing them in your backyard can also prevent pesky pests from getting near your home.
NATURAL PEST CONTROL FOR ANTS
Mint is efficient in repelling ants, mosquitoes and spiders naturally. However, you need to keep an eye on this plant because it can spread rapidly in no time.
Tansy, known as golden buttons, has aromatic blooms in clusters commonly seen in summer. This plant is hardy and found to be toxic to animals. It is quite effective in repelling ants, but you have to wear gloves before touching tansy to avoid the possibility of toxins absorbing into your skin.
NATURAL PEST CONTROL FOR COCKROACHES
This plant emits a scent that repels cockroaches and mosquitoes, making it worth planting around your home.
Bay leaves are exceptional in getting rid of roaches, bugs, and mice. The bitter components in bay leaves are a potent treatment you can use to repel the pests.
NATURAL PEST CONTROL FOR MICE
Bees love the scent of sage, but pests like onion maggots hate it. So, you can use it to protect your onions. Some use it to drive away mice by placing pieces of sage on shelves, which also keep ants away.
Wormwood is known to repel rodents and planting them around your house can help deter mice and rats from getting near or into your home. You can place some dried leaves in your drawers and closets to keep these pests at bay.
NATURAL PEST CONTROL FOR APHIDS
Aphids are insects that love to suck plant juices and often found in clusters undersides of leaves. While some plants are susceptible to aphids, there are plenty of plants that naturally repel aphids.
The pungent smell of garlic deters mosquitoes and aphids. It also confuses a white cabbage butterfly and carrot fly. Garlic is also an enemy of beetles, fruit flies, and spider mites.
Studies have shown garlic-based pesticides can kill off some bugs. The rate of success is higher when used to eliminate garden pests.
Garlic is an efficient preventive measure you can use to deter pests away. Diluting a tablespoon of garlic oil with three drops of liquid dish soap in a quart of water can be an effective repellent spray to keep aphids off plants. Besides, it helps improve flavours of tomatoes, asparagus, and peppers in various dishes.
Coriander (aka cilantro) is a herb that contains aromatic scents that repel pests naturally, particularly potato beetles, spider mites and aphids. It is an excellent plant you can grow together with other houseplants. Cilantro thrives well in cold weather yet requires an ample amount of sunlight.
Leeks, chives and onions
Leeks, chives and onions have strong scents that deter aphids. Growing them near to other plants or in any area of your backyard where aphids have been a problem can help diminish the aphid population completely.
NATURAL PEST CONTROL FOR TERMITES
Termites are little insects that require professional help to keep away from homes. These insects can cost homeowners dearly if they damage any structure severely- be it around your home and other property. But some plants are found as an effective repellent to keep termites away from your home.
Like catnip, vetiver grass contains natural compounds that repel the Formosan subterranean termite. Growing this type of plant as a border can be an efficient barrier you can use against these damaging pests. It discourages subterranean termites from coming near your home.
In addition to vetiver grass and catnip, marigolds, mint, and garlic were recommended by EPA for the control of termites.
These houseplants are versatile as marigold can add a kerb appeal into your home with its bright colour, while garlic is excellent in spicing up your cooking.
Grow these annuals and enjoy their naturally beneficial components. These include getting rid of termites around your home.
Making your home pest-free through a DIY pest-control plant project is not as difficult as you think. Mother nature provides you with the best plants to naturally repel pests around your home.
Of course, you can get pest control chemicals from Bunnings, or hire a pest control service. However, some people prefer not to use chemicals around the house as they could be harmful to the health of the people and animal residents who live there.
Taking advantage of nature’s gifts can save not only time and money, but it also eliminates the possibility of causing a threat to your health over the use of toxic chemicals.
Wage war on pests by having a green thumb! Not only will you keep the pest’s problems at bay but also make your home a beautiful haven with a natural landscape to boot.
A lifestyle blog by Homely.com.au, July 20, 2020