Four plants to ‘effectively repel’ flies from your home and garden

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No surprise, many of these bug busting beauties are suitable as herb garden inspiration, long prized for their medicinal and culinary qualities. Fortunately, they are also rather beautiful, smell rather delicious to humans and above all are pretty easy to grow given the right conditions. They won’t just help deter flies in the garden, pot these plants up around doorways and they will help keep these pests out of the house too. 

Maddison Moulton, gardening expert from Blooming Backyard has shared four of the best fly repellent plants so Britons can reap the benefits and – above all – enjoy a restful and uninterrupted time in and outside their house.

1. Lavender 

One of the most popular ornamental plants around the world, lavender is a crowd favourite. Not only does it produce gorgeous purple flowers that add a Mediterranean flair to any garden, but it also has a stunning scent that everyone instantly falls in love with.

However, flies absolutely detest these plants. Maddison explained: “This sweet smell that we gardeners adore, flies despise. The strong aroma of lavender flowers and foliage repulses them, as well as a few other unwanted bugs. 

“The key is the oil within the lavender plant. Whether you extract this oil or simply pick the flowers and display them around your house, you can be sure you won’t be bothered by bugs anymore.”

Keep your lavender in a sunny position to get the most possible blooms for harvesting and plant in well-drained soil in a dry area to avoid rotting. 

Lavender is one of the few plants that grow better in poor-quality soil, making them perfect for those tougher areas of the garden you just can’t seem to fill.

2. Basil

Both fresh and dried, the scent given off by basil deters flies. Since this is a plant that thrives in patio pots, adding some to summer flower arrangements near areas of home entry can help keep the worst of your flies away. 

The gardening expert said: “The most effective herb for fly repelling is usually basil. This leafy plant has many uses in the kitchen and around the home, one of which is as an insect repellent. 

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“The oils released by the juicy leaves have a strong earthy scent that repels a range of indoor and outdoor pests, including flies. Keeping a basil plant in the kitchen is the easiest way to make use of these abilities in your home.”

Unfortunately, basil is one of the trickier herbs to keep alive and thriving indoors. Instead, grow them in a container or window box close to the kitchen in the garden to act as a guard against any bugs thinking of sneaking through windows. This way they can deter them from areas in the garden too.

3. Mint 

Fabulous in food and drink, most gardeners love to grow mint. According to Maddison, flies “absolutely hate it”.

She explained: “The oils in every part of the plant, from stem to flower, keep away many bugs and even some small rodents.

“These benefits are strongest when the leaves are fresh, but they also work when dried. Trim a few stems off the plant, hang them upside down and keep them around your kitchen and in cupboards to stop flies from settling down.”

If you have trouble keeping herbs alive, mint is definitely the go-to. This plant is so easy to grow and spreads so rapidly that it can become invasive if not controlled. 

It’s best to keep your mint inside a pot in a container garden to keep an eye on growth. They are also ideal for growing indoors if you have a bright windowsill.

4. Rosemary 

Often mistaken for some species of lavender due to the similar foliage, rosemary is another great pest repelling candidate. 

The gardening pro said: “Flies don’t enjoy their intense smell, steering clear of any areas where rosemary is planted or kept. Luckily, that scent and flavour make them great for use in the kitchen.

“A few rosemary sprigs placed around your outdoor seating area are a great way to keep large and small flies away during family gatherings or entertaining.”

If your kitchen is the problem, consider growing an entire plant on your windowsill indoors. As long as there is enough direct sunlight and low humidity, you should have no trouble growing this herb indoors.

Outdoors, rosemary likes very similar conditions to lavender. They are hardy plants that can grow into large and thriving shrubs with the right care. 

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