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

Texas plants useful to early settlers
June 05, 2012 - I'm working on some interpretation for a prairie heritage trail in SE TX (near Houston). I'd like to know where I can find some good information on plant remedies which might have been used by early...
view the full question and answer

Lists of medicinal plants from New York City
April 11, 2014 - Do you know any resources for lists of medicinal plants native to New York? Thank you
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

Medicinal purposes of the common pepper
December 07, 2006 - Hello. I am a student at North Harford High School in Harford County, Maryland. I am currently doing a project in environmental science which requires me to do an interview, or at least ask some que...
view the full question and answer

Question about Allamanda cathartica
July 29, 2008 - how would i prove that allamanda cathartica is an antidote for anti-tetanus in a cheaper way?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center