Top 10 Best Plants That Keep Flies Away

Photo of a fly that our list of plants that keep flies away will repel.

Are you looking to keep flies away from your property and want to use a natural insect repellent? This list will provide you with some of the best plants that keep flies away to keep your home free of these pests. Many of these plants have pungent and strong odors that repel the flies.

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What Are Some Plants That Keep Flies Away?

Plants that keep flies away are Basil, Lavender, Rosemary, Mint, Marigolds, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Chrysanthemum, and Catnip. Utilizing plants as a natural insect repellent is healthier for both your family and the planet because they are safe and toxin free. Fortunately, many insects dislike the scents these plants give off, while most people find them very enjoyable.


Basil is known to be a wonderful insect repellent, especially for flies and mosquitoes. This is due to the fact that basil has a strong scent within it’s oils that many insects don’t like. A main component in the oils of this plant is eugenol, which is where that strong scent originates. It’s thought to disrupt a flies ability to locate other scents and targets. You can use this plant to ward off flies by planting it near your house or any location that you are experiencing an influx of flies. You can also plant this in containers and keep them growing on your patio table or in a railing pot. What’s even better is you can use this plant in your recipes as well because it’s a delicious herb!


Most people know lavender as a plant that produces beautiful smelling flowers, however some insects do not agree. Lavender is one of the best plants that keep flies away because of the strong fragrance it gives off. Many insects, including flies and moths, do not enjoy it. A chemical called linalool is within lavender oil, which gives it a strong fragrance. Lavender is also an amazing plant to grow near your house because that fragrance is floral and beautiful. In addition to flies and moths, lavender can also help repel beetles, mosquitoes, and even fleas!


If you’ve ever cooked with rosemary, then you will know how strongly this herb smells and tastes. The intense smell of rosemary is great at repelling flies and other insects. Rosemary oil contains the compound Camphor that results in its delicious aroma. To best use rosemary as a fly repellent, you can plant this flower in your garden or place pots of rosemary near windows and doors to stop flies from entering. Another way that people use the rosemary plant to repel flies is to mix the oil with water in a spray bottle and spray it around your home. This plant can also be used in your recipes, how can you beat that?


Mint is another one of the best plants that keep flies away because of the strong minty scent that it gives off. Insects do not like to consume this plant either because it’s leaves taste just as intense as its fragrance. The chemical menthol present in mint, that we recognize for its intense chilling scent, is a natural repellant. Similarly to other herbs, you can use this plant in many recipes as well, giving it an amazing double use.


Marigolds are very well known for repelling spiders, but this plant is excellent at keeping flies away as well. These beautiful flowers have compounds that make them produce a strong odor that a lot of insects find to be very unpleasant. These flowers can help you ward off flies around your home, while providing all of the wonderful benefits of marigolds and their gorgeous appearance. Marigolds are also completely safe for dogs and cats!


Many people know of the Citronella plant due to it’s impressive ability to keep mosquitoes away but it’s also great at repelling many kinds of insects as well. In fact, Citronella Oil is registered with the EPA as an insect repellent. The oils from the citronella plant contain compounds that produce a strong lemony scent. This affects some insect’s ability to find attractive scents and food. Citronella is known to repel many types of insects, such as flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.


Eucalyptus is a natural and powerful insect repellent that is great at repelling flies, as well as many other kinds of bugs. Lemon Eucalyptus oil is on the EPA’s list of natural insect repellents. This plant has a compound called eucalyptol within the oil that gives it a strong and very specific scent. Many types of insects find this scent very off-putting and avoid it. This plant is thought to repel flies, mosquitoes, spiders, cockroaches and even ticks. You can grow this plant in your garden or use the oils in sprays around your house. Be warned, this oil is toxic to cats and dogs and should be avoided if you have pets.


Lemongrass, like it’s name indicates, gives off an intense citrus scent that insects do not find appealing. According to the National Institutes of Health, research has indicated that houseflies will avoid areas with lemongrass oil. The oil from the plant contains a compound called citral that is known to keep many types of insects, including flies away. This scent repels many insects, including flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks. An added benefit of this plant is that you can use it in many recipes to add a citrus flavor.

Read more about the NIH study on lemongrass and flies!


Chrysanthemum is a beautiful flowering plant that has a wide range of benefits for humans. One of these benefits happens to be an insect repellent ability due to the insecticidal compounds within the plant called pyrethrins. These compounds are actually even used in commercial insecticides to kill insects. This compound is found within the flowers of the plant and works as a neurotoxin to insects. This neurotoxin effect alters the insect’s ability to control its movement which will lead to death. This plant is toxic to many insects, such as flies, mosquitoes, fleas, moths, ants, ticks, and more.

You can grow this plant near your home to enjoy it’s beauty and repellent abilities, however it’s important to note that humans need to be careful with consumption of this plant. This plant is also toxic to cats and dogs, so be sure to keep this plant away from your pets.


cat smelling a catnip plant

Catnip is a plant that we all have heard of as the beloved plant that cats go wild over. This plant can also repel flies, as well as other insects such as mosquitoes! Nepetalactone a chemical within catnip oil disrupts the insect’s sense of smell. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes the catnip plant as an insect repellent due to this compound within the plant. The intense smell of the plant makes it hard for bugs to be able to smell anything else that they normally would when near the plant. This deters them from going near it entirely. This plant is completely safe for your pets and even might attract some friendly neighborhood cats!

Read more about Catnip as an insect repellent!

These ten plants are some of the best plants that keep flies away and are excellent natural insect repellents. We recommend that you grow these plants in your garden or within planters that you can place near any entryways that insects may enter through, such as doorways or windows. Many of these plants have a wonderful smell or taste that people find appealing so they are even more useful to have around for an added benefit!