What Do Herbs Have to do With Bugs?

Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. Not only do they do well indoors or outdoors but they look beautiful on a kitchen ledge or decorating a garden. But did you know that herbs are also a natural way to repel bugs?

Growing up there were always herbs growing in my grandmother’s home. Going out to her sunporch to pick some basil and parsley for spaghetti sauce was the only way I knew to get these herbs. We never bought them at the store.

And I still grow herbs year round – either in our kitchen in the winter or on our patio in the summer.

But I have also learned that many herbs have properties that repel bugs naturally.

It seems a bit strange to me that if you are growing herbs (or any fruits and vegetables) why would you use a bug repellent full of chemicals?  Kind of defeats the purpose of having your own garden.

So why not take advantage of herb plants properties to repel bugs naturally?

You can grow them separately in pots (which makes it easier to bring indoors for the winter), in large containers or a bed to hold a variety of herbs or plant them between other flowers and vegetables. Any way you do it, they still will repel bugs.

Now the hard part is deciding which herbs to grow? If you are like me, I grow them all!!

Plus not only can you use them fresh in cooking (check out the recipe below for Gluten and Grain Free Herb Flatbread) but you can dry or dehydrate them – especially if you have an abundance.

Starting with the three staples of an Italian garden:


Repels asparagus beetles

Oregano in our garden last season


Repels a variety of bugs plus is good to plant near pepper plants as it provides humidity which peppers like.


Repels white flies, mosquitoes, tomato hornworms, aphids, horseflies and asparagus beetles.

Plus it you plant it between tomato plants, it is known to improve the flavor or the tomatoes!

There’s nothing better than fresh pesto or a tomato and basil salad. (Here’s a link to my recipe: http://livebalancednaturally.com/recipe/tomato-basil-salad/)


You’ve probably used mosquito repellent with citronella or burned citronella candles. But Lemongrass contains citronella as a natural ingredient. A good herb to keep on your outside dining table.


Dill always reminds me of when I visited Russia. Everything had dill in it! But it’s an herb that repels aphids, squash bugs, spider mites, cabbage loopers and tomato hornworms.

Rosemary, Lemon Balm and Mint

All of these herbs repel mosquitoes.


Repels whiteflies, cabbage loopers, cabbage maggots, corn earworms, and tomato hornworms.

And here’s some flowers you can put in your vegetable garden to help repel bugs and brighten up the area:


These plants not only help prevent roundworms from eating tomato roots but also help protect Brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower by preventing cabbage worms from eating these vegetable plants.


Not only does it smell good but the flowers are beautiful. And the bees love this plant but other bugs stay away: moths, fleas, flies, mosquitoes. You can also put some dried Lavender in your closet with towels and sheets or in your lingerie drawer.


These colorful plants protect beans from most pests and also help to prevent squash and potato bugs.

So keep yourself healthy and get rid of any chemical bug repellents you have and start using herbs to repel bugs naturally.

I’d love to hear if you have used herbs or other plants to repel bugs or if you are going to start using them.

In Peace and Good Health,


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Making your own gluten free breads is so easy! Trust me – I am not a baker! Actually I never baked until I went gluten free a couple of years ago.

Plus most gluten free products in the stores – bread or anything – have so many other ingredients that are unhealthy, you are doing yourself more harm than good eating them.

This is one of my go to recipes for open face sandwiches, with a salad or for appetizer. Here are some ideas for toppings: http://livebalancednaturally.com/category/tasty-tidbits/

And you don’t need a mixer, blender or need to wait for it to rise.

Keep some in the freezer and just re-heat when needed.

Only takes minutes to make and bake!

Gluten and Grain Free Herb Flatbread
Print Recipe
Gluten and Grain Free Herb Flatbread
Print Recipe
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and all ingredients – except water. Use a whisk to fully incorporate the ingredients.
  3. Add ½ cup of water, whisk into other ingredients and let set a couple of minutes.
  4. Repeat with another ½ cup of water. Then the final ½ cup. You may need more water depending on grade of the flour.
  5. Let the mixture set for about 10 minutes. It should be the consistency of heavy cream.
  6. Line a 9x13” sheet pan (with about 1” depth) with parchment paper greased with butter or ghee. Pour the mixture into the pan.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the bread is firm in the center and slightly brown on the edges.
  8. Let cool before cutting.
  9. Keeps 4-5 days in an air-tight container in the fridge or keep it in the freezer 6-8 weeks. Reheat in a 250 degree oven until warm.
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7 thoughts on “What Do Herbs Have to do With Bugs?

  1. Thanks for the helpful info about herbs and bugs…I had no idea they could be so effective in keeping them away! Your post is prompting me to consider a small herb garden on the lanai 🙂

    • Patti Stevens

      Wow! Thanks!!

    • Patti Stevens

      Glad you are inspired to start an herb garden. You’ll love having the fresh herbs whenever you need them.

  2. This is sooo good to know! I want to start planting some vegetables in my garden next year, so I will definitely keep this in mind!

    • Patti Stevens

      Here’s to your successful garden.

  3. I always liked to use marigolds to keep bugs out of my garden.

    • Patti Stevens

      Now you can add something different!

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