Beat Bugs Fast with these Top Plants That Repel Gnats!

Annoying bugs such as gnats that come to your house becomes a serious issue if the bugs come often and can bite your skin. Usually, they come because of the food spillage, flowers, overwatered plants that cause a soggy garden, and the garbage can that you leave it open.

Gnats might seem tiny, yet they come in a cluster. Therefore it is important to find plants that repel gnats around your house.

Key Takeaway

  • Indoor Gnat-Repelling Plants include Lavender, Basil, Chrysanthemum, Lemongrass, and Mint, known for their strong scents.
  • Outdoor Gnat-Repelling Plants such as Marigold, Mexican Paintbrush, Rosemary, and Horsemint help keep gnats away from gardens and patios.
  • Gnats are attracted to food spillage, overwatered plants, and open garbage cans.
  • Preventing gnat infestations involves maintaining cleanliness and managing waste effectively.
  • Gnats are drawn to fruits and garbage, contrasting with mosquitoes that prefer biting humans and hiding in dark places.

Indoor Plants That Repel Gnats

Gnats will have no doubt to come inside your house when they know that there are many spots to visit. Beside keeping the cleanliness in your house, you can start to place the strong scent plants beside the window. So it can be a home decoration and small herb garden in your room.

On the other side, your house will smell fresh and keep bugs away.

1. Lavender (Lavandula)

plants that repel gnats
Lavender (Lavandula)

Most people are already familiar with lavender oil. The essential oil that uses lavender will help you soothe your mood, reduce insomnia, and repels insects in your house, including mosquito repellent as well.

For humans, the scent of lavender is soft and soothing, while for the unwanted insects, its scent is their harmful aroma. You can place lavender flowers beside the window to get the sunlight exposure. High quality compost mix and moist soil will make lavender happy to live inside.

2. Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

plants that repel gnats
Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

The smell of fresh basil or Ocimum basilicum leaves is the factor gnats will go away from your house. No more flying insects around your food or fruits. You can eat, cook, and prepare the meals conveniently. So, if you want to start planting basil indoors, then you can try these tips.

Planting this plant is something that you can try to deter the gnats by using pots. Find a good drainage pot to place the basil under the moist soil that you already prepared. You can place it beside the window, so the sun can expose this plant through the window every morning. Now, you can enjoy the basil leaves for your dishes, and to repel other insects too.

3. Chrysanthemum


Beautiful chrysanthemums contain pyrethrum that is effective as insect repellent. For instance, jumping insects, Japanese beetles, mosquitoes, gnats and other unwanted insects.

Therefore, you will not wonder anymore if you find pyrethrum extracts as the ingredients of pet shampoos, chemical pesticide, and indoor sprays as well. Because the purpose is the same, it is to repel the gnats and harmful insects in your house instantly.

Chrysanthemums can be found easily in the flower shops or you can start to plant it in a pot and place it on the window, table near the door, or your patio.

4. Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon)

This plant is not only good for cooking since the fragrance of Lemongrass is strong yet flavorful to add to your meals. Lemongrass is one family with citronella. Therefore, they have the same benefit besides the herbs.

Another useful side of this plant is, you can deter the gnats by creating spray from it. Lemongrass, once you cut, the scent can be smelled instantly. That is the time the gnats will go away.

5. Mint (Mentha)

plants that repel gnats
Mint (Mentha)

These aromatic properties found will freshen your drinks, dishes, and your kitchen because no more flying pests if you place mint leaves in a pot.

This is one of the potted plants that you can use to make cocktails, but once it is placed in the kitchen, it can deter the flying pests due to the scent of mint that is quite strong. So, no wonder that many manufacturers produce peppermint spray as the natural oil to repel insects and other bugs.

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Outdoor Plants That Repel Gnats

To prevent the gnats and other flies coming to your house, there are various plants that you can have in your small garden or front yard. It is not that difficult to plant them, because the main important one is there is fertile soil and good drainage.

Then you can choose plants that help you to repel gnats which are incredibly annoying whenever they come.

6. Marigold (Tagetes)

plants that repel gnats
Marigold (Tagetes)

Planting marigold not only beautifies your patio, but also can deter the gnats from your house. The scent from marigold is something that gnats hate the most.

You can wipe away your worry about gnats when enjoying the food on your leisure time outside, as long as there is a gnats repellent plant like marigold. Furthermore, planting this warm flower is not that hard. You can start planting in spring when the soil is warm and loose. Also, you have to place it under the full sun for best blooming.

7. Mexican Paintbrush (Ageratum Houstonianum)

Mexican Paintbrush (Ageratum Houstonianum)
Mexican Paintbrush (Ageratum Houstonianum)

The ingredient inside this plant is often used for chemical pest control. Because the strong smell will make the gnats and other insects leave your house. The violet flower of Ageratum will enliven your patio as well.

Therefore, planting Ageratum will be a great idea as an insect repellent plant. But, you should pay attention that the foliage will cause redness on your skin, so that you better wear hand gloves when picking the flowers.

8. Rosemary (Salvia Rosmarinus)

Rosemary (Salvia Rosmarinus)
Rosemary (Salvia Rosmarinus)

Adding rosemary to your dishes will increase your appetite. But not for the gnats. This herb has a scent that will make gnats go away from your house. Therefore, planting rosemary can be your best option to deter any insects from your house, especially on the terrace or open space around the house.

You will need well-drained soil and sunlight to start planting rosemary on your porch. For the first trial, you can plant using a pot before doing it directly to the ground.

9. Horsemint (Monarda Punctata)

Horsemint (Monarda Punctata)
Horsemint (Monarda Punctata)

Another name of this plant is floss flowers. The strong scent from horsemint can deter the gnats outside your house.

Moreover, if you want to have it in your yard, the soil type for this flower is easy to find. Because most of the soil type can be used for planting it. The horsemint is a hardy plant but still, you should pay attention during winter because it cannot tolerate the cold season.

Gnat vs mosquito


Both of them are pretty different, including for their appearance.

Gnats are tiny flying insects that like to go to the peeled fruits, leftover food, and a garbage can. People often call it fruit flies because you can see it clearly in the fruit street shop. While mosquitoes love to bite humans and hide themselves in dark places.

plants that repel gnats

Why are There so Many Gnats in My House?

Gnats love opened fruits, the opened garbage can and the leftover food that you leave it as it is on the plate. So, if you often leave your garbage can open, this can be the main reason there are so many gnats in your house.

It is like an invitation for the gnats to come when there are many food spills in your house or the garbage is too full. Hence, keeping your house clean is always a good idea. Also, place the plants as the natural way and most effective to repel flies, fruit flies, and other bugs.

Final Thought

It’s clear that natural solutions can be both effective and aesthetically pleasing. Incorporating plants like Lavender, Basil, and Marigold into your home and garden not only adds beauty but also serves as a practical defense against gnats. Maintaining cleanliness and proper waste management are essential in complementing these natural repellents.

The choice between indoor and outdoor plants offers flexibility in addressing specific gnat problems. Ultimately, these plants provide an eco-friendly and efficient way to enjoy a gnat-free environment.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are gnat bites worse than mosquito bites?

Yes, you can feel more pain from the gnat bites. Also, the redness of gnat is darker than the mosquito bites. Also, it looks like a cluster when you realize there are gnat bites on your uncovered skin. Therefore, gnat bites are worse than mosquito bites.

What scent repels gnats?

Strong scents like mint, basil, and lemongrass will effectively repel gnats and the bugs you hate the most. Although all of them are natural, you cannot underestimate them. Planting them inside or around your house will be an excellent idea.

What is the fastest way to get rid of gnats?

By spraying the essential oil such as lavender or citronella plants directly to the gnats. The pleasant aroma for us will make the gnats dizzy and leave your house as soon as they can. So, you can save essential oil or essential spray in your house as the fastest way to get rid of gnats.

Why do gnats fly around your face?

Gnats love something moist and salty. The bad breath also attracts them to come.

Therefore, the human face is their favorite spot when you are outside. Because on your face, there is sweat and moist skin. It can be worse if you have a problem with bad breath. There is no other way to repel gnats off of your face.

How do I rid my yard of gnats?

You can plant ageratum  in your yard to get rid of the gnats. The flower beds are not only beautiful and stunning to look at, but also to stop the insects coming right in front of your yard.

Moreover, ageratum has a strong scent that is often used for chemical pest control. That’s why you cannot doubt its effectiveness to repel gnats.

Do gnats go away in the winter?

Gnats cannot thrive in temperatures around 75 – 80′ F. They should find a warmer place to stay. So, if you think there will be no gnats in the winter, yes, they will not appear outside. But they can stay in your house if you are still too lazy to clean your house or spill food to the garbage.

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