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10 Incredible Plants That Repel Flies (No Need for Fly Spray)

Picture Of Venus Fly trap

Flies come in many forms but all have one thing in common, they’re all very annoying!

If you’re fed up of trying to squat flies with a newspaper then perhaps it’s time you consider keeping houseplants that will repel flies and stop them from entering your home.

The aromatic plants mentioned in this article don’t just repel the common house fly, they also repel fruit flies, moths and even mosquitoes.

1. Basil

As well as being delicious on homemade pizza this versatile herb is easy to look after and will brighten up your kitchen window sill.

Not only does the aroma from Lavender repel flies and mosquitoes but if planted outdoors next to tomatoes it will repel other bugs too, keeping your veggie patch safe from intruders.

Basil needs to be watered regularly in order to stay healthy. It’s important that the top soil doesn’t dry out and that your plant gets plenty of indirect sunlight. It’s a good idea to snip flowers from the plant so it doesn’t go to seed.

To keep things interesting you can mix it up by planting many different types of basil in one pot, varieties include sweet basil, Thai basil, lime basil, spicy globe basil and even purple basil.

2. Lavender

Lavender is a lovely addition to any garden or home, it repels flies, mosquitoes, ants, moths and even spiders.

Lavender doubles up as a natural air freshener and the smellier the plant the better its repelling power, although English varieties of lavender are generally the smelliest French lavender is more robust and easier to look after.

Lavender likes lots of daylight which is why it’s typically grown outside although if you’d like to keep flies out of your house you can keep a pot plant indoors preferably on a window sill. Just make sure that the soil is loose and that the roots don’t get too wet.

As the plant outgrows its pot be sure to keep pruning, splitting and re-potting so that it has sufficient room to grow.

3. Rosemary

Like Lavender rosemary needs to be kept in soil that drains well with access to lots of natural light and the roots shouldn’t get too wet. This herb is typically used in cooking but its strong smell makes it a great insect repellent.

You can even make a repellent lotion by boiling Rosemary in a small amount of water which can be cooled and then rubbed into the skin.

4. Tansy

Tansy has a bright yellow flowers that will add a splash of color to your home decor whilst repelling flies. These pretty flowers have a fresh scent but need to be properly nurtured otherwise the flowers wont bloom.

Tansy needs a moderate amount of water and plenty of indirect sunlight. It’s also a self-seeding weed which means it spreads like wildfire which is why we don’t recommend planting Tansy outside in your garden.

5. Marigolds

Usually Marigolds are an outdoor plant so if you want to pot Marigolds inside to deter flies then you’ll need to find a nice sunny spot for them, it’s also OK to let the soil go dry from time to time as they like warm weather.

Although Marigolds will need lots of love and attention your efforts won’t be in vain. Most insects, particularly ants dislike Marigolds and white flies hate them.

6. Mint

Another edible fly repellent, mint is easy to grow, it’s super resilient and very tasty. If properly looked after and given plenty of space the leaves can grow really big.

Mint likes plenty of sunshine preferably in the morning and then indirect sunlight throughout the rest of the day. By eating the leaves around the edge of the plant thereby pruning it in the process you’ll encourage it to grow, alternatively you can use the leaves to make tea.

There are a number of mint varieties but as a repellent the general rule of thumb is the smellier the better so spearmint and peppermint are both good choices.

7. Citronella

Usually used to scent bug repelling candles, it’s no surprise that the citronella plant will keep flies and mosquitoes at bay. In many home and garden stores geraniums are also labelled as citronella, be careful not to confuse the two as geraniums don’t have the same repellent power that citronella does. To avoid buying the wrong plant choose the plants that have long grass like leaves.

Sometimes it can be tricky to find a potted citronella because they’re typically grown outside. If you do keep this plant in the garden then it’s a good idea to keep it in a pot so that you can move it inside during the winter otherwise your citronella plant won’t survive the winter months.

8. Venus Fly Trap

A Venus fly trap can be a fun addition to any home. Almost like a pet these plants take a little more care and attention, your plant should be kept in a glass terrarium to make sure it has a nice moist environment to live in. They like shade and a little indirect light and you can use distilled water to insure that the soils sufficiently acidic.

9. Bay Laurel

Otherwise known as bay leaves this plant is most commonly used in cooking to add flavor to soups and stews. Throughout the ages housewives have kept bay leaves in their store cupboard to keep out flies, insects and mice and if you put a bay leaf in a bag of flour its sure to keep out weevils.

10. Lemongrass

This delicious herb typically used in Thai cooking is great at repelling house flies. There are many types of lemongrass which is actually an umbrella name for plants from the cymbopogon family and not one specific plant. In fact citronella (mentioned earlier in this article) is a natural oil found in lemongrass.

Being of Asian origin this plant loves sunshine, warmth and dry soil.

Other ways to Repel Flies

Using plants is a great way of repelling files without having to engage in chemical warfare in your own home. Some other natural ways of repelling flies include burning essential oils such as lavender and tea tree or using sticky traps.

Written by Jenny Harland

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