What Outdoor Plants Repel Flies

Plants can help you get rid of flies in your backyard, if you’ve ever wondered how. Few plants are said to be effective at deterring flies, but there are a few tiny beauties you might already have in your flower beds or desire to add. They are not only genuinely attractive and smell good, but they are also wonderful to have around to help with fly eradication!

Due to their strong scents, some of these plants deter flies merely by existing nearby, while others require a little assistance to extract their oils. For information on oil extraction methods, see the article’s conclusion!


Basil’s aroma deters flies when it is both fresh and dried. Since this is a plant that thrives in patio pots, adding some to your summer flower arrangements near areas of home entry can help keep the worst of your flies away. When used next to a vegetable patch, you can also deter a lot of the pest insects that like to eat tomatoes and squash. It also deters bugs from roses, which is a bonus.

Additionally, it tastes fantastic in a variety of drinks and foods! However, avoid letting the plant flower because that will prevent it from producing more of its well-liked, sweet-smelling leaves! When it begins to produce flower stalks, just prune back leaves and branches to make room for new growth.

Although it may self-seed in warmer climates if allowed to bloom, basil is regarded as an annual. These inexpensive plants can be purchased each spring from local garden centers, and seeds can be easily cultivated indoors and transplanted outside after the last frost. Basil can be maintained alive all year long and is a fantastic choice for indoor herb gardens.


The glossy bay leaves from the bay laurel have been used for ages as a cooking ingredient and storage solution to ward off pests including mice, weevils, and insects. When the flies are active, its strong aroma can be packed and hung close to home entrances. It is useful both fresh and dried.

This big tree, which can grow to a height of 40 feet if given the opportunity, is a warm climate evergreen that cannot withstand any type of frost but does remarkably well in a pot and is frequently used for topiary that will be brought inside once the cold season arrives. Additionally, because it grows extremely slowly, it can tolerate some crowded situations, so you won’t need to repot it all the time. Rich, well-drained soil should be provided, especially during the plant’s early years of development as it establishes.

When scattered around the house, bay leaves and rosemary sprigs give off a pleasant aroma and work well as a fly repellent.


Lavender is by far one of my favorite plants, and it does best in hot, sunny climates with good drainage. The fragrant foliage and blossoms deter a variety of insects, including flies. Harvesting flowers during flower bloom for drying produces wrapped, delicious-smelling sachets that can be placed in cabinets, drawers, and closets to ward off creepy crawlies. And it gives your clothes a wonderful scent! Additionally, lavender is necessary to give food for all the advantageous insects that support your garden if you are worried about them.

This plant is incredibly simple to cultivate from seed and is available in many different types to suit your growth demands and climate. I love plants that thrive in containers so I can scatter them over my yard as both decorative accents and pest deterrent. Consider how you winterize your potted plant according to your planting zone. Although they are hard to kill, freezing out the roots can accomplish just that, therefore it is a good idea to store them for the winter in a shed, wrap the pots, or even bury the pot in northern climates.

Your plant must establish itself and provide an extensive bloom production for about three years. One plant can produce over 1000 flower stems when it is at its largest!


The easiest way to use tansy is to extract the oils and make a spray that you may use on your body or around the areas you frequent (such as spraying along the door frame or window frame where flies can enter your house).

Both fresh and dried leaves can be used in this effective spray formula, but the oils from the dried leaves will provide a stronger repellant. Simple to produce, hot water is used to soak the leaves, which are then strained, cooled, and put in a spray bottle. You are welcome to include other insect repellent oils, such as lavender (see #3).

Tansy is a straightforward and attractive plant to grow, but when ingested in big amounts, it can be hazardous. Reports of livestock getting sick or even dying after consuming excessive amounts of the herb exist. If you’re concerned about tansy getting into cattle fields, make sure to keep it in a limited area as it reproduces through its roots.


With the right care and protection, rosemary will remain evergreen in many growth zones. Make sure to give it space because it may expand to heights of 3–4 feet and widths of up to 5 feet! They can also thrive in well-drained planters as long as they get the sunlight they need for strong, wholesome growth.

Because of its powerful perfume, rosemary is a preferred flavoring and aromatic herb in a variety of foods and drinks. Given that the leaves emit the most aroma, these qualities also serve to deter a large number of flies. In the North, rosemary is frequently grown as an annual, but it actually survives the winter rather well. If your plant is not protected and the winters often reach deep freeze levels above zone 5, you might want to move it indoors.

Utilize the development of current plants to propagate new ones, then combine them in various outdoor containers. To ward off insects, you can also pick cuttings of rosemary and hang them around. As was already indicated, adding bay leaves creates a pleasant all-natural fly deterrent. Since rosemary is a pricey herb to buy, having a fresh supply on hand to cook with and dry for the winter also saves a ton of money.


Peppermint, spearmint, sweet mints, citrus mints, and even chocolate mints are all members of the mint family. Mentha, which is included in all of them and makes them effective against various insects, including flies, is what unites them.

All mints have a pleasant aroma, whether they are fresh or dried, but their true qualities and power are only revealed during the oil extraction process. You will have an effective fly repellent whether you keep it growing nearby (I keep some close to the back porch door), apply it on your skin, or utilize the oil extracts.

Mints self-pollinate through runners and are hardy, quick-growing plants. They are frequently best kept in containers or within bricked sections where they are more readily thinned out because they may quickly take over a yard if left unchecked. The maintenance required is definitely worth it because this plant’s many uses go far beyond just warding off insects. Mint has long been used as a digestive aid and is popular in cooking and beverages.


Being an extremely toxic plant, caution should be used when using it for purposes other than decoration to help deter most biting insects (and even mice). It works wonders to rub fresh clippings on garments and headgear to release the scented aromas. I should point you, nevertheless, that consumption of plants or their oils should only be done with a doctor’s approval.

Pennyroyal is very beneficial in the garden and can help keep numerous pests away from your vulnerable vegetables. You can easily feed your plants with a natural insecticide to help keep them pest-free by simply planting this low-grower under and around them. As a member of the mint family, make sure to pluck them out or replant them in the fall because they can spread quickly if not controlled.


Wormwood leaves contain a resinous particle that can be used as a natural pesticide and are simple to grow and useful to your garden. It will help repel insects when applied to your arms or garments as soon as it is picked. Additionally, it can be dried and wrapped to be put in closets, entrances, etc.

Wormwood has been utilized for medical purposes for over 3000 years and is famously known as absinthe. Due to its powerful qualities and unfavorable side effects when consumed in excessive amounts, it also became a well-liked flavoring for several drinks and has since been outlawed in many nations. Only external applications, despite its various uses, lack caution. To prevent any negative effects, always see a doctor before utilizing this herb in any other ways.


In frost-free regions of the United States, many landscapes are dotted with citronella grasses, a common ornamental. It can also grow in a patio planter with the proper care and be brought indoors as the weather turns chilly due to its sensitivity of colder climates. Contrary to popular perception, the plant itself does not work to repel biting insects. Despite the potent scent it emits when brushed against, it is actually the oil found in the fronds that offers relief.

You can use fronds to effectively repel insects by breaking off a piece and rubbing it into your skin or clothes. You’ll need to reapply after two hours because this usually wears off. Or you may make a spray that is similar to deet utilizing the extracted oils. The oil’s additional antibacterial and antifungal qualities make it a common component in many over-the-counter remedies.


This tough, carpet-like plant will only reach a height of 10 to 12 inches, but because of its sweet, fresh aroma, shade gardens love its umbrella-shaped leaves and beautiful white blooms.

Popular in locations where bulbs are planted, sweet woodruff naturally repels flies without the need for cutting or drying. By propagating from existing garden plants, you can also offer a breath of fresh air to seating areas by planting in patio pots. Keep the soil moist at all times!


Numerous health advantages can be obtained from the leaves as eucalyptus oil, which are well-known for their silver-dollar foliage. Eucalyptus is also a prominent ingredient in over-the-counter treatments that treat common household maladies. The main reason it can be so useful to have around is that it was registered in the US as an insecticide and miticide in 1948.

It is best to select a variety of species that do well in pots because there are many different species of this tree, some of which can grow to 130 feet in height. It does emit a pungent aroma that can keep flies away on its own, but the oils produced from the leaves are far more effective and can be applied topically or extracted for other applications.

It can be just as effective as DEET when sprayed on after being combined with water. If you get bitten while using this oil, it also functions as an antibacterial agent and will reduce swelling.


Catnip was once put around the barn and home foundations in Europe by farmers who believed it would attract cats and keep rats away. The amount of insects and mice it will keep away when planted near entryways to your home is even more telling. With its silvery leaf, catnip makes a lovely plant for your patio but it is connected to mints and may spread quickly, so keep it under control.

As previously mentioned, catnip can be utilized in a manner similar to citronella grass because it contains citronella oil and other insect repellents. But beware—catnip wasn’t given that name for nothing! It will attract your kitty companions!


Rue is a woody plant with a potent aroma that is used frequently as a relaxing agent and to ward off insects. Rue has strong medicinal effects, therefore it’s typically best to leave it in its natural habitat unless you know exactly how to use the plant and its oil extracts. If you have an allergy, even stroking against the leaves might result in light sensitivity and blisters.

This blueish-leaved plant, which can grow to a height of about 2 feet, is a fantastic addition incorporated into perennial gardens to help keep out insects and to give you, the gardener, a natural scented border to keep away undesired flying insects. It tolerates poor soils and grows well there. The leaf potency of rue is optimum when it is prevented from flowering. Rue is best established from seed in the spring and, in the right conditions, can reseed itself year after year.

Which plant repels flies the best?

Due of its amazing scent and intense natural oil, lavender has been utilized in gardens for a long time. Contrary to what insects believe, lavender offers a relaxing effect that people have adored for generations. To make the most of lavender’s potential, we advise planting it in locations that receive a lot of sunlight close to your front door or garden entrance. This will help to decrease the number of insects that might enter your home.


Although we all enjoy the scent of basil, flies, moths, and mosquitoes do not. Use basil to keep flies and moths away from your garden, and crush some leaves to rub on your skin to keep mosquitoes away as you work in the garden.


Another effective repellant for mosquitoes is mint, but you should use it with caution because it spreads quickly and might take over a planting. Place it close to doorways and plant it in pots.


This beautiful grassy plant is packed with citronella, which is one of the best-known alternatives to synthetic repellents like DEET. Rub the skin after crushing the leaves (test a small area first). Will they naturally ward off insects?


This onion family member is recognized for its long spikes that produce enormous balls of purple blooms (although there are also smaller varieties). Due to their unpleasant smell, alliums are one of the best barriers against a variety of pests, such as cabbage worms, aphids, carrot flies, and slugs.


To deter bedbugs, fleas, lice, roaches, ants, and other pests from entering your home, grow these flowers along the perimeter. These plants naturally contain the pesticide pyrethrin. Ticks, spider mites, Japanese beetles, and other garden pests are repelled by them. Try making this homemade pesticide!


Simply place petunias close to brassicas (cruciferous vegetables), beans, basil, tomatoes, grapes, corn, and peppers to help them ward off leafhoppers, squash bugs, tomato hornworms, and aphids. When this organic insect repellent is planted close by, roses benefit as well.


The marigold is one of the best-known plants for repelling insects, and for good reason—it has a smell that deters pests like mosquitoes and nematodes like cabbage worms. To draw beneficial insects that attack and eliminate aphids, use marigolds. Aphids are a favorite food of ladybugs.

Mosquito Plant

As a member of the geranium family, the mosquito plant (also known as citrosa geraniums or Pelargonium citrosum) is a lovely tropical plant with lacy green foliage and lovely flowers. It is renowned for the citrus scent that emanates from the leaf oils. Although these are attractive plants to grow in the backyard, if you want to use them to keep pests out of your yard, you’ll need to crush the leaves in order to get any bug-repelling characteristics. The effects only persist for approximately 30 minutes, which is unfortunate.

Plants that deter pests can be fragrant and attractive. To control the number of bugs in your garden, try planting a handful of these.