plants that deter bugs

terrycinor(7)May 18, 2008

Hi all does anyone have any suggestions on some plants that might ward off bugs? We rent but I don't mind planting something perennial, we have a porch that is open underneath and it tends to attract bugs. I know marigolds might work but I was thinking more along the lines of a perennial, maybe mint, lavendar something like that. Any suggestions?


Terry in southern oregon

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Bugs are everywhere whether plant material is available or not. But anything that puts out a bloom might attract a butterfly, a bee, a beetle; plants with no blooms may attract spiders, aphids, leaf hoppers, ladybugs - in other words, plants attract insects of some kind because the insects need to eat and the plants often rely on insects for pollination.

Maybe it would be easier to screen in the porch.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 3:34AM
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Thanks I understand that, and I don't mind bees and the like but it's a haven for spiders and screening it off wouldn't really help what it really needs is to be completely sealed off so it isn't so open but that's not an option costs to much and we rent so I thought a good alternative would be plants as a barrier.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 10:14AM
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No, plants will never be a barrier to bugs. You can spray any of the bug killers in corners which might be a temporary deterrant, sweep away spider webs, knock down hornet nests, etc. but you'll always get flies, gnats, mosquitos, ants, and more spiders in an open area like a porch. I sympathize if someone has extreme fear or allergies - but if that's the case you probably already know the protocols.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 11:41AM
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jayco(5b NY)

Spiders eat other insects like flies and mosquitoes. They won't bite you unless you step on them. In my book that makes them good bugs to have around.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 11:43AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Marigolds don't repel those critters, sorry. And there aren't any other repellent plants, either.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 1:57PM
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mareas(OR Zone 8)

Well, Terri, I've found that the strongly fragrant plants DO help some: chives, mints, pennyroyal, citronella, lavender etc.
But haven't found any plants to deter spiders.
WD-40 works great to kill spiders & makes rock work look beautiful. I kept it on my porch for those pesky black widows in SO.OR.
It seems to me that the plants that do not get attacked much (California poppies, marigolds, violas..) extend their protection some to
the area around them. ~marea

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 2:44PM
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Guess we can split hairs here all day - and I don't think the OP cared if a plant got attacked by bugs as long as it protected the OP.

I did find a list compiled by someone who seemed to know something. Note, however, that these plants were found, by this person, to not be attacked by certain bugs but were not immune from attack by others. Like humans, bugs have their preferences too. If an ant doesn't like pennyroyal, the ant might still like to crawl across your shoe.

Ants: pennyroyal, spearmint, southernwood, tansy
Aphids: garlic, chives and other alliums, coriander, anise: nasturtium and petunia around fruit trees
Borer: garlic, onion, tansy
Cabbage moth: mint, hyssop, rosemary, southernwood, thyme, sage, wormwood, celery, catnip, nasturtium
Colorado potato beetle: green beans, horseradish, dead nettle, flax, catnip, coriander, tansy, nasturtium
Cucumber beetle: tansy, radish
Cutworm: tansy
Flea beetle: wormwood, mint, catnip, interplant cole crops with tomato
Japanese beetle: garlic, larkspur, tansy, rue, white geranium
Leafhopper: petunia, geranium
Mexican bean beetle: marigold, potato, rosemary, savory, petunia
Mites: onion, garlic, chives
Nematodes: marigold, salvia, dahlia, calendula, asparagus
Rose chafer: geranium, petunia, onion
Slug: prostrate rosemary, wormwood
Squash bug tansy, nasturtium, catnip
Tomato hornworm: borage, marigold, opal basal
Whitefly: nasturtium, marigold

Insects are our friends - would be a barren world if they didn't eat harmful pests, pollinate our food crops and flowers.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 4:16PM
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Thanks all but I guess I'm not painting a good picture, don't get me wrong I'm not afraid of spiders and bugs and creepy crawlies but when you walk across the grass and it's moving because all of the spiders that is a bit to much. We have sprayed and that's also a problem because sprays do not always distinguish between "good and bad" bugs the porch is elevated and it's underneath that is the problem.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 6:23PM
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