One of the easiest ways of ensuring gnats don’t infest your home or patio is by investing in a natural gnat deterrent plant.
Gnats swarming your patio can ruin an evening quicker than just about anything else, and gnats in your home can be a downright nuisance. If you’re struggling with gnats in your home or patio, you may be left wondering what you can do to get rid of them.
Some plants produce odors that gnats hate, which will keep them away from your home; these can be especially beneficial for planting near doors or patios.
Other plants attract insects and animals that are natural predators of gnats, such as spiders or nematodes, to control the outdoor gnat population.
- Gnat Deterrent Plant – Geranium (Pelargonium)
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Geraniums are some of the most common plants used in yards to repel gnats. They are gorgeous plants with year-round appeal in warm climates and have gorgeous flowers when they bloom.
Many geraniums give off a distinctly citrusy smell, commonly used in gardens to repel flying insects, such as gnats.
One type of geranium, Pelargonium citrosum, is said to smell like citronella and be effective at warding off pests.
Geraniums are great for use outdoors and will not only ward off gnats but also mosquitos and other flying pests.
2. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)
Chrysanthemums are bright and cheery flowers that add appeal to your garden, even before offering any insect-repelling benefits.
But in addition to their aesthetic appeal and common use in floral bouquets, they make excellent gnat repellents.
Chrysanthemums possess a chemical called pyrethrum that is known to ward off gnats and many other insects, including mosquitos, ticks, and even cockroaches. In fact, pyrethrum is so effective that it’s commonly used in commercial insect repellents.
Plant these in planters around your patio to ward off gnats, or cut some and bring them indoors to clear out the indoor population!
3. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)
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Rosemary is doubly beneficial to plant around your house because while the distinct smell acts as a natural repellent to gnats, it’s incredibly pleasing to humans.
It offers aesthetic appeals and blooms small, purple flowers in the springtime. The plant is extremely hardy, especially in warm, dry climates, and can be pruned in various ways.
If you live somewhere with harsh winters, consider keeping your rosemary in a container and moving it indoors in the winter.
Rosemary is a great plant to have around not only for its gnat-repelling properties but because it’s a valuable tool to have on hand for cooking!
4. Gnat Deterrent Plant – Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus)
- Lemon Thyme has evergreen lemon scented & flavored foliage, and the whole plant can be used!
- The plants attract bees, butterflies, and birds.
- Hardiness Zone: 3 - 10
Lemon thyme is an herb that can offer several benefits if you plant it around your house. Firstly, lemon thyme is a lovely herb, and while it resembles classic thyme, it has light green variegation that offers appeal.
In addition to its aesthetic appeal, lemon thyme can be planted outside as part of a garden or in a planter indoors.
Lemon thyme has a strong citrusy scent that, while delightful to people, is a smell that both gnats and mosquitos hate, so they will naturally avoid areas where lemon thyme is planted. As a bonus, lemon thyme attracts bees to your garden!
5. Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
While we might think of catnip as a plant that is especially pleasing to our feline friends, we don’t always think of it as having other uses.
Catnip has a strong aroma that gnats and other insects find detestable. In addition, if you’re looking to protect your garden from other common pests, both rabbits and deers dislike the scent of catnip.
Gnats will likely steer clear if you plant catnip outside around your patio or indoors.
However, you should be aware that cats are attracted to the scent of catnip, and while the plant may ward off insects, it may also attract cats to your yard.
If this poses a problem to your garden or any other pets in your home, consider choosing a different gnat-repelling plant!
6. Lavender (Lavandula)
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Lavender is a gorgeous and hardy plant that people often pause when walking by to stop and smell.
In the springtime, you often see fat bumblebees rolling around in the delicate purple flowers, making them an appealing plant to add to your garden.
In addition to smelling delightful to people and looking beautiful, lavender is a natural gnat repellent, and you’re sure to notice a steep decline in the number of gnats hanging around your home or patio if you plant it.
7. Gnat Deterrent Plant – Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is an excellent gnat repellent because it’s a plant that people often already have growing either inside or outside.
The smell of basil, while appealing to humans, is disgusting to gnats. And basil possesses an oil that naturally repels gnats and mosquitos.
Basil is easy to keep alive and can be grown as a part of your indoor herb garden or outside to repel gnats and other flying insects.
8. Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus)
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If you’re in the market for products that repel gnats, you’ve undoubtedly stumbled upon citronella candles, repellent, etc.
But did you know that citronella is actually a grass? And that the plant itself is just as effective at keeping bugs away?
Citronella is a go-to in the gnat repelling world. It can be planted in large areas of your yard to keep the entire yard gnat free.
As a bonus, citronella works wonders at keeping mosquitos away as well!
9. Marigold (Tagetes)
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- Low growing Marigolds are quick to bloom and quick to attract pollinators during the entire flowering season; however, they do not attract deer!
Marigolds are a classic plant for people looking to keep pests away from their gardens. They are easy to spot with their bright yellow and orange tufted flowers and are low-maintenance flowers.
These flowers do an excellent job of repelling gnats. But can be added to your garden to repel other pests such as mosquitoes and rabbits.
The one significant downside to marigolds is that they tend to attract snails and slugs. So, be careful not to plant them too close to your garden or any plants you want to avoid being eaten!
10. Gnat Deterrent Plant – Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes)
- Easy to grow Carnivorous Plant
- Makes a great gift
- Prefers morning sun or very bright, indirect light
Unlike the other plants on this list, the pitcher plant is effective as a gnat repellent. Because it actually kills the gnats.
Pitcher plants are a type of carnivorous plant that emits a sweet smell that gnats are attracted to; the gnats then get stuck inside the pitchers, and the plant’s enzymes digest them.
While you can plant pitcher plants outside in containers, these are an especially great option to plant indoors. They make beautiful hanging plants. They can thrive in your kitchen. Or other areas of your house where you may commonly have a problem with gnats.
Gnat Deterrent Plant – Conclusion
Planting any of the ten plants listed in this article will help curb the gnat population in your yard. And lead to more pleasant experiences in your home or patio.
Plants such as the pitcher plant (or other carnivorous plants) are especially beneficial for use indoors for their aesthetic appeal and success in clearing out your indoor gnat population.
Other plants, such as marigolds and geraniums, can add appeal to your outdoor garden. And also produce scents that naturally repel gnats.
To lower the gnat population in your home, remove areas that might be resting places for gnats. Instead, invest in plants that will repel them.
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