The warm weather brings with it time in the garden, bloom flowers, eating outdoors on the patio – and, unfortunately, flies. Depending on where you live, these flying pests can seriously ruin your enjoyment of the great outdoors once things heat up and it may be tempting to whip out chemical deterrents to keep them out of your hair. However, it is also possible to deter flies with certain herbs which are fragrant to humans but will repel many flying insects. Five of the best herbs for this are listed below.
One of the most popular garden herbs, and the star of many Italian and other Mediterranean dishes, sweet basil is not only a very simple herb to grow, either in a container or directly in your garden, its aromatic, anise-smelling herbs will help to repel not only flies but also other pests like mosquitoes.
Leaves from the tree of the bay laurel are another popular herb, and bay leaves are often used in stews or soups to impart its distinctive flavor. However, their pungency also makes them a natural way to repel flies; their leaves can also be used to deter mice, moths and cockroaches from encroaching on your pantries or closets.
Lavender is grown as much for its aesthetic appearance as it is for its flowers, which are used extensive in aromatherapy and even certain cuisines like those in southern France. Because of its strong, distinctive aroma, however, it is also another excellent way to deter flies and will also work on mosquitoes, fleas and moths.
Tansy is an herb whose use goes back to ancient times and was used to treat ailments like digestive complaints, bruises and pain in the joints, among others. It is also effective at repelling both insects and their larvae and thus would be an excellent addition to the garden if you are looking to deter such pests naturally.
The beautiful, silver-green, feathery leaves of the wormwood plant are perhaps best known for their use in distilling absinthe, but the oils in this plant give off a strong and distinctive aroma and so are good not only for warding off flies but many other pests as well, including insects like mosquitoes and moths and even small mammals like mice.
There are a number of ways to use these herbs to achieve a more pest-free paradise. You can grow many of them directly in the garden or can have them in containers on porches, decks, windowsills – anywhere that you spend a lot of time and would like to spend it free of the company of flies. You can also dry many of these herbs and hang them or put them in potpourris or sachets to take advantage of their properties around the home. However you use them, you will see a difference in the number of pests you have to deal with.