Try these chemical-free ways to repel pests

Twenty plants will help fend off insects and disease

Sure, you can douse your plants with chemicals. But your wallet — and the environment — may suffer. And if we're talking about edibles, so might your health. Most plants produce their own chemicals to fend off insects and disease, and if you familiarize yourself with them, you can strategically use them to your advantage.

Here are 20 plants that deter pests:

Basil: Repels aphids, flies, mosquitoes and mites; also has fungicidal properties. Plant around tomatoes to repel hornworms.

Borage: Repels tomato worms.

Catnip: Repels ants, fleas, mosquitoes.

Chamomile: Repels cabbage moths.

Chives: Plant around roses and lettuce to repel aphids.

Feverfew: Repels moths.

Lavender: Repels slugs.

Marigolds: Pests find their scent repulsive, so plant them throughout your vegetable garden. French and African varieties eliminate nematodes from the soil.

Mint: Repels aphids, cabbage moths and cabbage worms. Plant in containers, though, or it will take over your garden.

Nasturtium: Repels aphids and whiteflies. Plant around fruit trees, cucumbers and squash.

Onion: Repels ants.

Oregano: Repels cucumber beetle.

Pennyroyal: Repels ants.

Petunia: Repels aphids, leafhoppers, Mexican bean beetles.

Radish: Plant around cucumbers and squash to trap beetles.

Rosemary: Deters cabbage moth, bean beetles and carrot fly.

Rue: Repels Japanese beetles, flies, fleas and ants. Keep away from basil, though, because neither will grow if planted together. (Also repels cats and keeps them out of your garden.)

Tansy: Repels ants.

Thyme: Deters cabbage worms and slugs.

Tomatoes: Plant around asparagus to repel asparagus beetles.

Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.