Plants That Repel Termites: Natural Solutions

plants that repel termites

If you choose the right plants, your garden can help you prevent termite infestation without resorting to harmful chemicals. Several types of plants repel termites with their strong scents or scare termites away by attracting predators. In this article, we’ll discuss common plants that deter termites and how to use them effectively.

If you’re looking for natural termite control methods, incorporating termite-repelling plants into your landscaping can be a smart move. Not only are these plants environmentally friendly, but they also add beauty and fragrance to your outdoor space. By understanding which plants to deter termites you can take proactive steps to protect your property.

Termites are notorious for their ability to cause extensive damage to homes and structures. They consume wood and other cellulose-based materials, leading to costly repairs and compromised structural integrity. While professional termite control is crucial for severe infestations, using natural termite repellents can help prevent termite problems before they start, or control minor infestations.

Next, we’ll dive into specific plants that repel termites, their unique properties, and how to use them strategically in your yard. Whether you prefer fragrant flowers, aromatic herbs, or protective grasses, there are termite-deterring plants suitable for any garden style or preference.

Catnip: A Natural Termite Repellent

If you’re looking for a natural and effective way to repel termites, look no further than catnip. This herb, scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, contains a powerful compound called nepetalactone that acts as a natural insect repellent.

Research conducted by the USDA Forest Service supports the use of live catnip plants as an effective termite repellent. By planting catnip near your home’s foundation and other potential entry points, you can create a barrier that deters termites from approaching your property.

Not only does catnip repel termites, but it also attracts cats due to its irresistible scent. If you have cats as pets, planting catnip in your garden can provide them with a natural and safe source of entertainment.

To maximize the effectiveness of catnip as a termite repellent, it’s important to maintain the plants properly. Keep them healthy by providing adequate sunlight, water, and occasional pruning. This will ensure that the nepetalactone levels remain high, keeping termites at bay.

Try incorporating catnip into your garden as part of a comprehensive termite control strategy. By combining natural deterrents like catnip with other preventive measures, such as eliminating moisture sources and sealing cracks, you can significantly reduce the risk of termite infestation.

Note: While catnip is a natural termite repellent, it shouldn’t be relied upon as the sole method of termite control. Professional inspection and treatment may still be necessary for complete termite management.

Vetiver Grass: Repelling Termites with Deep Roots

Vetiver grass, a bunchgrass native to Asia, is not only great for erosion control but also serves as a natural termite repellent. This remarkable grass contains a natural insect repellent called nootkatone, which has been shown in research from Louisiana State University’s Agricultural Center to be effective at repelling termites.

What sets vetiver grass apart is its deep roots. These roots can reach down to 15 feet in the ground, creating a dense barrier that discourages termites from nesting or tunneling near your home. By planting vetiver grass strategically around your property, you can deter subterranean termites from invading your home.

Not only does vetiver grass help with termite prevention, but it also offers other benefits. Its extensive root system helps stabilize soil, prevent erosion, and control water runoff. Additionally, the grass’s dense growth provides natural habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife.

vetiver grass

So, how do you incorporate vetiver grass into your landscape? It’s best to plant vetiver grass in rows or hedges alongside vulnerable areas such as your home’s foundation or near other wooden structures in your yard. The dense root system should discourage termites from approaching these areas.

To maximize the benefits of vetiver grass, plant it in well-draining soil and in a location that receives ample sunlight. With its ability to withstand a variety of soil conditions, including poor and sandy soils, vetiver grass is a versatile choice for termite control.

Remember, while vetiver grass can be a valuable tool in your termite prevention efforts, it’s important to note that it is not a standalone solution. Combine the planting of vetiver grass with other preventive measures, such as removing decaying wood and sealing cracks in your home’s foundation, to create a comprehensive defense against termites.

Marigolds: Fragrant Flowers to Keep Termites Away

Although there is no official scientific research on marigolds as termite repellents, many gardeners swear by their effectiveness. The strong fragrance of marigolds is said to repel various lawn and garden pests, including termites.

Planting especially fragrant varieties like French marigolds and African marigolds can help keep termites at bay. These vibrant flowers not only add beauty to your garden but also serve as natural termite deterrents. The aromatic properties of marigolds make them a popular choice for gardens seeking a natural, chemical-free approach to termite prevention.

Placing marigolds strategically around your home, especially near potential entry points, can create a barrier that termites are hesitant to cross. The scent of the marigold flowers is believed to confuse and repel termites, making your home less attractive to these destructive pests.

While marigolds are commonly known for their vibrant colors, their powerful fragrance plays a significant role in repelling termites. These fragrant flowers are a natural and visually appealing solution to help protect your home and garden from termite infestations.

Lemongrass: Repelling Termites with Citronella Scent

Lemongrass, with its invigorating citronella scent, is not only a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine but also an effective termite repellent. The powerful aroma of lemongrass can deter not just termites but also other pests that may invade your lawn and garden.

A study conducted by Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension Service has shown that lemongrass oil is particularly effective in repelling subterranean termites. By planting live lemongrass plants around your home, you can harness the natural scent of citronella to keep termites at bay.

lemongrass termite repellent

Lemongrass is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in sunny locations with well-drained soil. You can grow lemongrass in pots or directly in your garden, making it a versatile option for termite prevention.

To maximize the benefits of lemongrass as a termite repellent, consider planting it near potential entry points for termites, such as the foundation, windows, and doors. The citronella scent will create a natural barrier that termites are less likely to cross.

Keep in mind that while lemongrass can help in deterring termites, it is not a foolproof solution. For complete termite control, it’s recommended to combine the use of termite-repelling plants with other preventive measures such as regular inspections and maintaining a well-ventilated and dry environment.

Next, we’ll explore another plant with termite-repelling properties: mint.

Mint: A Refreshing Smell That Repels Termites

The strong scent of mint plants, which is refreshing to humans, is overwhelming and painful for termites. While there is no scientific study on the effect of mint on termites, gardeners have long used mint to ward off pests. Planting mint in its own area, away from other plant beds, can help repel termites.

Planting mint in your garden not only adds a refreshing aroma but also acts as a natural termite repellent. The scent of mint leaves is too strong for termites to handle, causing them to retreat and avoid the area. By planting mint in a separate bed or container, you create a barrier that termites are unlikely to cross.

Mint is easy to grow and maintain, making it a convenient choice for termite prevention. You can plant mint directly in the ground or in containers, ensuring it receives plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil. Regularly trimming the mint plants will help release more of its refreshing smell, enhancing its termite-repelling properties.

Aside from its effectiveness against termites, mint also offers additional benefits to your garden. It attracts beneficial insects that can help control other pests, creates a lush and vibrant aesthetic, and can be used for culinary purposes.

While mint can help repel termites, it’s essential to note that it is not a standalone solution. Combining mint with other termite prevention measures, such as regular inspections and maintenance, is crucial for effective termite control.

Can Plants That Repel Termites Also Repel Dogs From Urinating on the Grass?

Yes, plants like lavender, rosemary, and marigold that repel termites can also discourage dogs from urinating on the grass. These plants emit strong scents that dogs dislike, helping to prevent dog urine and grass damage. Adding these plants to your garden can help keep your grass looking green and healthy.


In conclusion, incorporating termite-repelling plants into your surroundings can serve as a natural and eco-friendly approach to termite prevention. Plants such as catnip, vetiver grass, marigolds, lemongrass, and mint contain properties that act as deterrents to these destructive pests. By strategically placing these plants around your home, you can help deter termites from infiltrating your property.

However, it’s crucial to understand that relying solely on termite-repelling plants is not enough. These plants should be used in conjunction with professional termite control measures to ensure comprehensive protection. It is advisable to combine the planting of termite-repelling plants with other preventive actions, such as promptly removing decaying wood and sealing any cracks in your home’s foundation.

Addiitonaly, regular inspections conducted by experienced professionals are essential for ongoing termite detection and timely treatment, if necessary. By employing an integrated approach that combines termite-repelling plants, preventive measures, and professional inspections, you can significantly reduce the risk of termite infestation and safeguard your property.

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