Lavender is another one of those familiar and comforting herbs that have been used for a long time to sweeten drawers, closets, and homes and keep moths from infesting clothes in attics, closets, and chests. While you may love the smell of lavender, a number of insects hate it including ants, flies, mosquitoes, and fleas.
One of my favorite ways to use lavender as an insect deterrent is to cut some fresh sprigs and tie them together and hang the bunch around my doorways and on my patio. I also plant lavender around my home and in pots in outdoor spaces.
Catnip is a perennial herb that is also a member of the mint family that can grow up to three feet high. The leaves and stems of the plant contain a compound called nepetalactone that is a stimulant to cats and produces a high. I have always enjoyed planting some catnip in my gardens for my cats to enjoy.
Besides being a great treat for your cats, catnip also puts up a strong defense against some annoying insects including roaches. In fact, research from Iowa State University concluded that the essential oils in catnip are more effective at keeping roaches away then the commercial repellent, DEET.
To keep roaches away you can place catnip leaves around the house or soak some leaves in hot water to make a tea. Pour the tea in a spray bottle and spray areas where you see roaches.
You can easily make your own bug spray that will work against mosquitoes and other flying insects. Here are two of my favorite recipes. The second takes just a bit longer to make.