Put on a sun hat, get your gloves ready, and go find your tools. It’s time to do some gardening.

At Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor’s, we certainly garden with beauty and aesthetics in mind, but we also garden for functionality. What you may not know is that certain plants help keep pests out of your garden and away from your home. That’s right. Planting the right herbs, flowers, and plants can help keep insects and wildlife at bay.Below, we’ll dive into five easy-to-plant insect repellants.


Long a staple of summer dishes—think pesto sauce and Caprese salad—basil is more than just a tasty ingredient. It helps keep flies and mosquitoes far away from your home and maintaining it couldn’t be easier. All it needs is sunlight and water, and cutting or picking leaves off of the plant promotes even more growth. Any strand of basil will help repel bugs, but lemon basil and cinnamon basil are the most effective.


Sure, lavender can be used in aromatic soaps, potpourri, and lotions, but did you know that it can also keep all different types of flying insects out of your garden? Grow this beautiful purple flowering plant indoors near a sunny window, or outside with the rest of your garden to prevent moths, fleas, flies, and mosquitoes. Even better, just like basil, lavender doesn’t take much care to grow.

Lemon Balm

A member of the mint family, lemon balm is also known as horsemint and beebalm. It’s particularly effective in keeping mosquitoes and other bugs away, as its leaves contain large amounts of citronella compounds. Lemon balm is also easy to grow, as it resists drought and can even grow well in shady areas. Be sure to contain it in a pot though, as it grows quickly, and sometimes aggressively.


The scent from this member of the sunflower family helps keep many different types of pests at bay. In fact, farmers and gardeners have used marigolds to keep aphids, mosquitoes, silverfish, beetles and even rabbits away from their plants. Though they can grow all over the country, they require a bit more care than the herbs listed above, as they can suffer from gray mold, root rot, and other plant diseases.

Pitcher Plants

Like something out of a science fiction movie, pitcher plants put the guard in garden. The largest group of carnivorous plants, pitchers lure insects to their demise through a combination of nectar, fragrance, and tantalizing color. The most frequent victims of pitcher plants are ants, flies, wasps, and beetles. The only downside of growing these plants is that they need to be in a sunny area that stays moist—a difficult find for most homeowners.

We hope that you’ll try out some of these natural methods this summer to stay pest-free!

Gardening 101 with Your Local Pest Experts in Virginia

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