Plants for Pest Control

More and more gardeners are becoming aware of the great harm that chemical fertilizers and pesticides are inflicting upon our important pollinators and other wildlife, and are opting to grow organically. If you are looking to ditch chemicals this year and fight pests naturally, below is a list of herbs that work great in attracting the good bugs and keeping away the bad ones. This list can also be found (along with more details on companion planting) in John Jeavon’s excellent book “How To Grow More Vegetables.”

Ants Spearmint, tansy, pennyroyal
Aphids Nasturtium, spearmint, stinging nettle, southernwood, garlic
Black flea beetle Wormwood, mint
Blackfly Stinging nettle
Cabbageworm butterfly Sage, rosemary, hyssop, thyme, mint
Potato beetle Eggplant, flax, green beans
Cutworm Oak leaf mulch, tanbark
Flies Nut trees, rue, tansy, basil
Japanese beetle White geranium, datura
Mosquito Legumes, lemongrass
Moths Sage, lavender, mint, stinging nettle
Plant lice Castor bean, sassafras, pennyroyal
Slugs Oak leaf mulch, tanbark
Squash bugs Nasturtium
Striped cucumber beetle Radish
Weevils Garlic
Wooly aphids Nasturtium

Leave a comment if there are other herbs that you’ve found to be effective against pests and I will update the list!

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3 Responses to Plants for Pest Control

  1. Danelle says:

    I am not positive that it’s an herb, but I plant marigolds around my garden every year, and rarely have any insect issues. I think the scent is not very appealing to bugs and small rodents. It could have been the toad the lived in one of my cucumber mounds last year, though, that kept the bug population down too. I am not a pro, this is just my own experience. Thank you for more great ideas to plant around my yard and garden for insect control.

    • Rudie says:

      Thanks for the tip! Last year I did plant marigolds around my tomatoes and squash, and had very few issues with bugs…I’ve definitely heard that marigolds keep slugs away.

  2. Christine says:

    Every year I have a garden I plant a very thick border of marigolds around the border. Have never had any disease or pests…

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