En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - April 18, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Medicinal Plants
Title: Plants good for repelling bugs in Austin, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I need help on what type of plants or herbs are good for keeping bugs away from the house and also something that would be good for in the house for bugs?

ANSWER:

Most plants have characteristics to attract insects to be pollinators rather than repel them. There are those, however, that do repel at least some insects. Generally, they require that the foliage of the plant be crushed to release the aromatic properties that repel insects. Here are the native North American plant species that are listed as Natural Insect Repellent Plants:

Nicotiana attenuata (coyote tobacco or mountain tobacco)

Gymnocladus dioicus (Kentucky coffeetree)

Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) [synnonym = Acacia robinia]

Maclura pomifera (osage orange)

Hedeoma pulegioides (American false pennyroyal) [synonym = Mentha pelugium]

Erigeron speciosus (aspen fleabane)

The following two are listed in the University of Michigan Native American Ethnobotany database as insect repellents:

Artemisia dracunculus (tarragon)

Rhus trilobata (skunkbush sumac)

 

 

More Medicinal Plants Questions

Different colors of Argemone spp. from McAllen TX
March 16, 2014 - I took pictures of at least 5 colors of pricklepoppy today. Is this common to have so many colors in one area? How do I harvest the seedpods and when is the best time to do so?
view the full question and answer

Shrub with thorns, black fruit and citrus fragrance in Michigan
September 19, 2014 - I'm not sure that my plant is a native, but I'm hoping to find some answer. There is a small patch of roadside shrubs on my property which I've been unable to identify. They have simple opposite ...
view the full question and answer

Tilo (Justicia pectoralis), a tropical American plant
December 03, 2008 - Re: keelo plant (Seminole, Fl. herb used to treat stomachache-St. Pete), try Tilo: Justicia pectoralis
view the full question and answer

Availability of ruda plants (Ruta graveolens) in Alabama
September 10, 2008 - I want to know is ruda plants available in alabama? If so where can I find it.
view the full question and answer

Sharing Selfheal with Texas Friends
April 25, 2013 - I have discovered selfheal plants in my yard. When and how do I collect the seeds or do I just dig up plants to share with friends? I understand this is actually an herb. I love identifying wildflower...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center