14 Plants That Repel Bees and Wasps (With Proof), BugWiz

14 Plants That Repel Bees and Wasps (With Proof)

Contents

So, you want to use plants to repel bees and wasps.

In this article, we’ll cover some plants are that scientifically-proven to keep bees and wasps away.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a list of plants you can grow to keep your yard free of these pests.

Plants are awesome because they use an all-natural approach.

This means without harmful residues and posionous to keep your yard pest-free.

We’ll break up the page into sections. Feel free to bookmark this page so you can reference back to it quickly.

And if you have any questions, leave a comment below.

Ready to use a natural approach with plants for your wasp and bee problem? Let’s go!

How do you keep bees and wasps away with plants?

The answer is simple- you just set up a bunch of plants that bees and wasps hate. If they hate the plant, then they’ll stay away.

There are multiple ways a plant can act as a natural repellent:

  • By using scents and smells that bees and wasps absolutely hate
  • By using sharp thorns
  • Fake flowers
  • Colors that they’re colorblind to and can’t see
  • Carnivorous plants that literally eat flying pests
  • Plants that attract other animals that prey on bees and wasps

Does using plants really work?

There are some plants that are backed by science. Others are more like DIY home remedies based on anecdotal evidence.

You’re free to choose plants that work for you. Rather than buying and trying to plant foliage that’s out of your hardiness zone, try planting stuff that grows natively in your area. Don’t choose plants that are hard to grow. You’re just wasting time.

And always buy planted pots. This makes it easier it place where you want and you don’t have to start from seed.

Are there any plants that repel wasps?

There sure are, but there aren’t that many. The reason behind that is because wasps eat other bugs that usually harm plants.

Thus, plants appreciate wasps as a natural repellent to keep bugs away that would usually destroy the plant itself.

And that’s why most plants are “accepting” of wasps. The wasps keep the harmful bugs off the plant. And the plant offers a source of food for the wasp. Plants actually have evolved in coloration to attract wasps because they want more of them.

So that’s why your selection of wasp-repelling plants is limited. But there are a few types of plants you can buy that will naturally repel wasps.

Maybe you’re trying to keep them out of your yard when you do gardening. Or you want to keep them away from your guests when you BBQ.

Or you just don’t want your dog or kids to get stung. Whatever the reason, here are some plants that will help you keep wasps away.

1. Mint

Mint is effective against wasps because of the strong-scented nature of the plant. This natural herb also emits natural essential oils from the plant.

Both the scent of mint and the oil are wasp repellents, as they hate the scent of mint because it’s overpowering.

These plants can be purchased from seed or potted from specialty nurseries. You can grow and upkeep mint easily.

Plant in pots and place them around your garden as wasp deterrents.

Some popular places to place the mint plant as a repellent:

  • Windowsills
  • Patio doors
  • Patio decks
  • Near outdoor spas
  • Around pools
  • Next to BBQs
  • Around your patio furniture
  • Near garden gates
  • Next to doors

The plant does well in full sun or partial shade. You can also reuse the plant as an herb for cooking or chewing if you please. Check out this resource on mint care.

Keep in mind that mint does grow easily. So you need to keep it pruned and trimmed or else it can take over your yard. You can also propagate the plant to save on costs.

What about spearmint?

Spearmint is a specific type of mint. It has many names: garden mint, common mint, mackerel mint, lamb mint.

So when you read about people referring to spearmint as a wasp or bee repeller, you can just think of it as regular mint. Spearmint does well in zone 5.

2. Trumpet flowers

These are weirdly-shaped plants that seem to keep wasps and bees away. They’re less attractive for yellow jackets because of their shape and will leave them uninterested.

Bees will also have a hard time trying to get to the nectar of these plants, so this is a nice flowering plant that doesn’t attract any additional flying pests.

Trumpet flowers have multiple varieties, such as amaryllis, honeysuckle, and narcissus and buttercups. So you have plenty of choices to keep your yard flowered and not have to deal with excess pests. These plants do well in hardiness zones 8-12.

3. Wormwood

Wormwood has long been known to have the ability to repel pests by nature. Also known as Artemisia, this shrub often is harvested by people to use as an insecticidal deterrent.

After wormwood is cut and dried, it can be bundled as a set of leaves to keep some pests like moths and wasps away. The plant can be used both dried or live.

Both will help deter wasps from your yard. You can plant wormwood in partial shade and set up a perimeter around your home as a barrier.

Be sure to never plant it near your edibles, as it can slow down nearby plants due to its insecticidal properties. Wormwood prefers well-drained soil with stable temperatures and grows through zones 4-8.

4. Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a plant that I’ve written about here, here, and here and for good reason.

The plant acts as a strong repellent for many of the common flying pests we’ve all come to hate. Specifically, lemongrass has been shown to be an effective deterrent against mosquitoes and wasps.

This herb is very easy to grow with moist soil and bright sun. you can also use lemongrass for cooking, tea, and other applications.

You can buy it potted and place it around your yard as “repellent stations.” The lemon scent from this herb is pleasing for most people.

So you should have no problems using it to keep wasps away for a social event in your yard. Lemongrass does well through zone 8-10.

5. Citronella

You’ve probably heard of citronella before. It’s commonly used as a wax in citronella-scented candles to repel mosquitoes and other flying bugs. This plant has a strong smell that can be used to repel wasps and bees.

The best part about this plant is that it can be grown both indoors and outdoors, as it’s a very versatile plant.

You can place citronella next to your windows or patio doors if you plan to put it indoors as it does need direct sun. Be sure to use well-draining soil also. Citronella does well in zones 8-12.

6. Thyme

Thyme has been reported to work against wasps, but I couldn’t find any solid proof online from reputable sources. Again, this was mainly just a bunch of reports from anecdotal sources.

However, thyme is easy to grow and you can buy it at the grocery pre-planted, or at any nursery.

Thyme does well in a pot, so you can buy a few bunches and place them around your yard. If it all fails, you can eat the thyme as a culinary herb!

So you’ve got nothing to lose. Either you repel the bees, or you have a healthy herb. This herb does well through zones 4-8.

7. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is another easy-to-grow plant that has the ability to keep both bees and wasps away.

The fragrance that eucalyptus emits is powerful enough to keep these pests at bay. For best results, plant it in a few planters and place them around your yard evenly distributed.

Each potted plant can be “tested” for effectiveness by using your nose. As soon as the scent is gone, that’s the “range” of how far the plant’s scent can reach. So you may need quite a few pots to cover your entire garden.

Eucalyptus can be grown in hardiness zones 7a through 10b.

8. Basil

Basil plants have also been reported to keep wasps away, but I couldn’t find any scientific proof.

Anecdotal reports from homeowners seem to favor basic as a repellent, so I included it in this list here. Basic also acts as a double-usage plant because it can be used as a culinary ingredient and repel wasps at the same time.

Buy it potted rather than from seed to save time. Put the pots around your home in direct sun. Plant it in moist soil with well-draining properties.

You can buy basil for cheap, so even if it doesn’t work in repelling wasps, you can still use it as an herb.

Basil is also a plant that seems to only repel wasps but not bees. This plant grows well in zones 10 and above.

How to repel bees using plants

The easiest and guaranteed answer to this question would be to not plant flowering plants.

Bees are only attracted to plants where they can feed and pollinate. Plants that don’t flowers have nothing to attract bees.

So theoretically, if you just stick with non-flowering plants, you should be safe from bees entering your garden.

But this does pose a limitation. Most plants are only attractive because they flower. As a gardener, wouldn’t you agree?

Bees are also necessary for pollination to continue the propagation of your plants. And we all know how essential to the ecosystem bees are.

They’re the most significant insect pollinators on the planet and have evolved to do their job very well. Flowering plants have evolved just for this purpose and develop those mesmerizing colors to attract them.

That’s why it’s hard to find a flowering plant that repels bees. Many gardeners have the same dilemma- they want the pretty plants but don’t want to deal with the bees.

Perhaps they don’t want to get stung or just hate having a ton of bees buzzing around. Others want to protect their pets, livestock, or kids. Or they’re highly allergic to stings.

Whatever the case, there are some plants that can be used to keep bees away. I’ve written about this topic before, but that was just a small list of bee-repelling plants. This list is more complete and will give you a few additional options.

9. Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal is an unpopular plant in my opinion that could use more recognition.

The plant has a unique look and does very well in planted containers. It’s also a very small, yet effective plant to keep bees away.

Plant it in small containers and place them around areas where bees are present. Cover areas such as your window sills, patio, BBQ, deck, outdoor furniture, or around your yard.

Pennyroyal does need well-draining soil with decent sun and plenty of water to keep it in tip-top shape. This plant grows through zones 6 through 9.

10. Geraniums

Geraniums should be planted in the red variety to be effective against bees. They can’t see the color red as they’re colorblind to it, so it’ll be a perfect plant to “distract” the bees.

The way geranium works is that bees will be attracted to the flowering plant and try to extract pollen from it. Since they can’t see the red, they’ll be clueless and think it’s just another source of food.

However, the flowers actually have no pollen (or very little) and will actually repel the bees with a powerful scent as soon as they get close. This is a flower that bees aren’t attracted to- once they find out that the flower is a trap!

These plants are easy to grow outdoors and like full sun for at least 6H a day.

They don’t tolerate cold temperatures well, so check your hardiness zones before you buy. They also need to be moved to a warmer location during the winter until frost is over. Geraniums do well through zones 8-12.

11. Cucumber

Cucumber slices are technically a plant, so I thought I’d include that here.

You just take any cucumber and slice it up. Then throw the slices in various places around your yard. Bees seem to hate cucumber and will keep away from it.

They don’t like the bitterness of the cucumber slices. You can also plant fresh cucumber as a repelling plant and also have some cucumber to add to your salad when it matures.

Either way, cucumber is a proven repellent for bees and wasps.

The veggie requires warm weather and plenty of water, so make sure you’re in the right hardiness zone before planting.

Otherwise, you’re better off just buying cucumber from the store and slicing it like a bee repellent. Cucumber does well in zones 4-12.

12. Cloves

They’re spicy and strong, and they tend to avoid clove plants. You can buy clove and plant them around your yard to keep them at bay.

Cloves are easy to grow and do well in zones 2-10 after the first autumn frost.

13. Pitcher plants

Pitcher plants are the cousin to venus flytraps. These plants are basically pear-shaped funnels which trap their prey- bees and wasps included.

As they land on the sweet-smelling plant, they slip and fall into the pitcher where they’re trapped by a sticky substance. So it’s actually like a 100% natural bee and wasp trap.

These plants are carnivorous and will eat up and digest many different pests.

Pitcher plants are difficult to grow, as they need perfect soil conditions and only rainwater or distilled water. You can’t use any other type of water- even bottled.

The water must be 100% pure to avoid mineral buildup as these plants won’t utilize the excess minerals provided by the water. They actually just get their minerals from the bugs they catch, so adding more minerals from the water is detrimental.

Pitcher plants do well in zones 7-9.

14. Marigolds

Marigolds are one plant that flowers and bees avoid. For those who really want a flower that repels bees, this would be the “one.”

The strong odor marigold plants release is a natural repellent for bees and many other bugs. Note that nectar honeybees will still land on marigold and feed.

However, wasps and other bee species will be repelled.

This plant also needs no care. You literally just plant it, water it, and forget about it. Marigold is very hardy and will do well in direct sunlight with regular watering.

Don’t plant marigold in a pot.

Plant it directly into the soil. It’s a quick-growing plant and needs a lot of space so pots don’t work. Get the orange or red varieties of marigold for best results. Marigold does well from zones 9+.

Plants to avoid

For bees, you can do two things for your plant selection to keep them out.

Avoid brightly-colored plants

Bees are attracted to colors that are bright, namely primary colors. This means avoid colors like red, blue, violet, purple, green, red, etc.

Any color that stands out and is bright will be a bee attractant. Sadly, the most attractive plants have dazzling flowers that utilize these colors, so it’s either one or the other.

You can either have an amazing garden with beautiful flowering plants with bees. Or you can have a less-colorful garden without bees.

Avoid flowering plants

This is the other method that we discussed earlier.

Bees are only attracted to flowering plants, so if you avoid flowers, you won’t have a bee problem.

Of course, there’s a tradeoff of not being able to plant what you like. And some of the most amazing flowers are just too mesmerizing to give up. So you need to decide. There’s always a tradeoff.

Other methods to repel bees

You can also try combining some bee-repellent plants alongside your flowering plants.

The two in combination could be enough to keep them out, but that’s largely dependent on the plants used.

Other than plants, you can use a bunch of other natural ways to keep bees out that I wrote about.

Perhaps pair some of those methods with the plants you want to grow. Maybe it’ll be enough to stop them in their tracks.

Did you get rid of your pest problem?

That’s all I have for you.

By now, you should have a good idea of what plants you can use to repel bees and wasps from your yard. Naturally.

If you have any other suggestions, leave a comment below and help out the community! Or if you have a question, you can also ask me directly.

Or if you found this helpful, let me know. Consider telling a friend =]!

Thanks for reading!

Currently an active researcher in the pest control industry for the past 8 years- with a focus on using natural and organic methods to eliminate pest problems.

I share handy DIY pest techniques I come across here to help out others (and possibly save them from a mental breakdown).

Fight nature with nature.

More DIY Pest Control Guides

I see you have a pest problem.

I created this site to offer my 8 years of natural pest control experience to the public.

I started off with a nasty fly problem, and was very interested in finding ways to get rid of them without having to use harmful chemicals and pesticides.

Turns out, there are a ton of DIY home remedies you can do for free (or damn close to free) without having to spend money on expensive and dangerous chemicals.

So then I created this site to share everything I’ve learned over the years (and continuing to learn)- natural solutions that are proven to work against the bug that’s bugging you!

If you have a pest problem that’s not covered here, feel free to contact me and let me know. I may be able to help you out!

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Garden Pests

One bug does not make a problem! In nature, there are always some garden pests chewing on plants; that’s just the way it is. However, not all pest damage is significant enough to warrant action. Even the healthiest gardens encounter bugs at one time or another, yet they still produce a beautiful harvest. As gardeners, we must each consider the level of pest activity that we are willing to tolerate.

The best way to maintain a healthy garden is to educate yourself and learn to identify common “bad bugs.” Inspect your garden regularly to detect problems early. The sooner a pest is identified the easier it will be to manage using earth-friendly methods. Below we’ve listed several garden invaders that you may encounter. Click on each pest picture for a description and our list of organic remedies.

Animal

Where: In yards and landscaped areas where digging, urinating and defecating cause damage.

Aphid

Where: In clusters, under leaves, and on new plant growth of indoor and outdoor gardens.

Armyworm

Where: Active at night on the leaves of lettuce, cole crops, beans, tomatoes and corn.

Asparagus Beetle

Where: One of the most destructive pests of both garden variety and wild asparagus.

Bean Beetle

Where: A destructive pest found in the eastern United States and portions of the southwest.

Blister Beetle

Where: Feeding in clusters on a large number of leaf crops, plant blossoms, flowers and hay crops.

Cabbage Looper

Where: Leaves of cabbage or cole crops (broccoli, cauliflower, kale and turnip).

Cabbage Worm

Where: Chews large, irregular holes in the leaves of cabbage and cole crops.

Corn Earworm

Where: One of the most destructive insect pests attacking corn. Also found on tomatoes.

Cucumber Beetle

Where: Leaves, flowers and fruits of cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, beans and potatoes.

Cutworm

Where: At night, cutworms clip off seedling stems near or just below the soil surface.

Where: Browsers are found nibbling on gardens, tender perennials and young trees.

Earwig

Where: Leaves, flowers and shoots of most vegetables, flowers and ornamentals.

European Corn Borer

Where: Leaves, tassels and stalks of corn; also found on peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and apples.

Flea Beetle

Where: A voracious feeder that chews numerous small holes in crop leaves. Jumps like a flea.

Grasshopper

Where: One of the most destructive insect pests attacking small trees, shrubs and gardens.

Leafhopper

Where: Found on a variety of fruit and vegetable crops throughout North America.

Leafminer

Where: Between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. Common in greenhouses.

Potato Beetle

Where: Potato crops throughout the United States. Both the adult and larval forms are damaging.

Psyllid

Where: Throughout North America on fruit trees. Also known as jumping plant lice.

Root Maggot

Where: Around the roots of many vegetable crops including radish, carrot, turnip and onions.

Slug & Snail

Where: In damp, shady locations feeding on live and decaying plant material.

Sowbug & Pillbug

Where: On decaying matter; occasionally on seedlings, new roots and lower leaves.

Spider Mite

Where: Indoor and outdoor gardens and can be very destructive in greenhouses.

Squash Bug

Where: Throughout North America on the leaves and stems of squash and pumpkins.

Stink Bug

Where: Attacking fruit and vegetable crops. Also, found swarming inside one’s home.

Thrips

Where: On the leaves, fruits and flowers of many greenhouse, ornamental and vegetable plants.

Tomato Hornworm

Where: The most destructive and widely distributed pest of tobacco and tomato plants.

Whitefly

Where: On the leaves, flowers and fruits of many indoor and outdoor plantings.

Wireworm

Where: Underground attacking germinating seeds, roots, bulbs and tubers of plants.

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How to Keep Rats Away from Your Garden?

Rats are one of the difficult pests to deal with and they can quickly evolve beyond a nuisance for your home and turn into a health hazard. Sometimes, however, they don’t target your actual house, but your outdoor space.

So, Fantastic Pest Control has made this quick handy guide to answer the most common questions and explain exactly how to get rid of rats in the garden.

Why Do You Get Rats in the Garden?

Rats will infest a garden if they find it hospitable for a dwelling. So, if your garden offers plenty of hiding places, they will love it. If it offers them lots of food, be it from a food garden you’re working really hard on, pet food left outside, or a constantly opened rubbish bin, they will love it. Have a sprinkler? They will love it.

Table of Contents

Where do rats nest in the garden?

Rats would find the safest place they can to make their nest. This can be a garden shed, a hollow space under structures, or another cluttered area with a roof. It’s possible that they also use the nearby sewers.

Are garden rats dangerous?

Yes. It doesn’t matter if they’re in your garden, or in your house – rats are a dangerous pest that carries an array of serious diseases, which are harmful to people and pets. Not only that, but they can also chew on electrical cables, which can cause significant damage to your property.

What damage can rats cause in the garden?

The first damage you can think of is if they eat all the fruit and vegetables you grow in your food garden. If you store any produce in the garden shed, they will most likely eat the food in there as well. If you have compost bins, they will invade those, too.

Their sharp teeth are able to gnaw on fences and shed doors as well as electrical wires and water pipes. Additionally, they dig holes and shallow tunnels, which can disturb your lawn and create uneven surfaces.

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Signs of Rats in the Garden

  • Rat droppings . It’s very easy to spot rat droppings, they are a sure sign that you have a problem. They are oval shaped and resemble a large rice grain about 10 mm long.
  • Pets are acting strangely . Cats and dogs will be the first to notice if there is an infestation. If you spot your pet stalking holes and crevices too much, you should be alarmed, because there is definitely something hiding.
  • Burrows . The common brown rat is known to dig holes and make shallow tunnels. They’re usually placed close to the food source.
  • Bite marks . Rats would gnaw on anything, but the most common thing you can find in the garden is rubber hoses. If there are teeth marks, this is a big sign.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Garden

Using rat poison is the most successful method for dealing with rats. However, it’s not advisable to place toxic products anywhere near where you grow food. So for now, we will concentrate on other methods.

  • Remove all clutter . The first thing to do is to remove all the clutter that provides the rats with hiding places. In some cases, this might be enough for them to find your garden inhospitable, despite the abundance of food.
  • Live traps . Use small cages with food bait to capture the rat. These are mostly used if you’re not sure what kind of rodent infestation you’re dealing with. It may turn out not to be a rat, but an endangered species. In this case, you should capture it alive and release into the wild.
  • Snap traps . These are designed to kill the rats instantly. For a long time, they have been a very successful method of dealing with rats. If the infestation is small, they might be enough.
  • Electrocution traps . Another effective (and expensive) type of trap that can help you a lot. These are boxes that produce a high voltage shock that kills the rat instantly.
  • Use water. Flooding their burrows is a good way to evict them, however, bear in mind they might have dug tunnels under your crops, so you might be flooding your plants as well.

How to Get Rid of Rats in the Garden Shed

  • Get equipped . You might get in contact with rat faeces or with a dead rat, and that can be extremely dangerous for your health. So, put on a face mask and rubber gloves.
  • Find and seal all holes . Look at all the possible entry points in the walls, door, floor, and even roof. A rat can easily get through a coin-sized hole, so seal all of them tightly.
  • Install traps . Be it traps for instant killing, or the more humane live traps, just make sure to make the shed environment inhospitable.

How to Keep Rats Away from the Garden

Once you’re certain you are rat free, it’s a good idea to make a few changes in the garden in order to make sure they won’t come back.

Get a pet

If you don’t have a dog or an outdoor cat, now might be a good time to consider the option. It’s not advisable to use your pets as pest control, but as a preventative measure, they can do a good job.

Keep food away from the lawn

Things like bird feeders and pet food can easily attract rats and other rodents, so don’t put any there, unless it’s highly necessary.

Shut tightly the rubbish bin

There are very handy locks you can install on the rubbish bin, so the smell from organic waste doesn’t attract just rats, but any wildlife in general.

Check also:

Keep the garden tidy

The less clutter you have, the more inhospitable your garden would be for rats. This includes the lawn. High grass is perfect for hiding, so make sure to mow it regularly.

Block access to the garden shed

Block holes in the walls and door and make sure there are no hollow areas under the shed that can serve as a potential hiding spot. This will keep the rats away from the shed.

Remove water sources if possible

It’s a tricky thing to do, but it’s a good idea to remove sprinklers and birdbaths from your lawn. Unlike mice, rats cannot survive without water and this would be a good reason for them to keep away.

Rats are very difficult to deal with when they manage to increase in number, so you should ever be vigilant to notice the first signs and act accordingly. If you let a rat infestation get out of hand, you may find it hard to eliminate without the help of professional pest controllers, and the Fantastic Pest Control team is always ready.

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One Response

Pests like rats, mice and cockroaches may appear in your house if you neglect cleaning and do not take out the trash on time. I’m surprised people live in filth and then wonder why their place became infested.

www.fantasticpestcontrol.co.uk

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