The Q&A Archives: Pest Control

Question: I would like to know what flowers are highly recommended to deter unwanted bugs, and flowers that attract good bugs to eat bad bugs.

Answer: Beneficial insects will visit your garden if you have an abundance of different kinds of flowers, with something in bloom at all times. The ray or disk type flowers attract insects with short, sucking mouthparts. Brightly colored fragrant flowers attract parasitic wasps and bees. Some of the plants that repel insects include Tagetes patula (French marigolds), any of the mints, Rue, Sweet Basil and Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare). Nasturtiums deter whiteflies and squash bugs but seem to be a magnet for black bean aphids, so you'll have to decide whether you have more whiteflies and squash bugs than you can handle and whether you're willing to attract aphids to take their places. As long as your plants are healthy, and you give them the right amount of sunshine, water, good air circulation and enough elbow room to grow, you'll have fewer pest and disease problems.

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