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

Possibility of native plants as natural mosquito repellants
February 08, 2007 - I live in Austin Texas and have what I would consider a mosquito infestation in my garden for most of the year. Are there native plants to this region that are proven to be naturally mosquito repella...
view the full question and answer

Dumb question about prickly pear
December 23, 2005 - This is probably a really dumb question but I am interested in picking the prickly pear next year when it is in season, and was wondering the best way to get all of the little stickers off of the pear...
view the full question and answer

Are Viguiera dentate leaves toxic to dogs?
November 26, 2014 - Many dogs on the Turkey Creek Nature Trail in Emma Long Metropolitan Park love to snack on the leaves of the Viguiera Dentata plants. The leaves SEEM to be harmless. I am writing to request informat...
view the full question and answer

Tree that successfully treats psoriasis
January 31, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty plants,I have a rather unusual question. Do you know of a tree/plant that you can grow in a container, looks like a conifer/evergreen, is green, has wispy looking branches, but when t...
view the full question and answer

Yucca plant for horse joint problems
October 21, 2008 - is the yucca plant the same as what the joint medication is made of to give to older horses for the joints, and if so, can a plant be nibbled on when it grows in the pasture?
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