There are herbs that can be kept in closets or tucked in with stored clothing to keep away moths and other pesky insects. They also smell great and keep your clothes smelling fresh. No need to use toxic mothballs or harsh chemicals. Such herbs are usually dried and then placed in small cloth netted bags or sachets. They can be used alone, or blended with other herbs.
Lavender repels flies, silverfish, fleas and moths, aside from having a pleasant, calming scent. Santolina (cotton lavender) has the strongest insect repellent properties and can be mixed with English lavender in sachets.
For tick and flea infestations, try English Pennyroyal. This is a small leaf herb that produces spikes of purple flowers. Dry the herb leaves and flowers. Grind them together with 1/2 cup of baking soda in a pestle. Sprinkle this “pennyroyal dust” around the house, garage and shed foundations. Pennyroyal is a member of the mint family, and regular mint and spearmint also deter fleas.
Catnip is a good mosquito repellent, and will make your cat happy too! The essential oil in catnip, nepetalactone is 10 times more effective than deet.
Other insect repelling herbs include wormwood, tansy, thyme, basil, sage, and rosemary.
Bay leaves are particularly effective in deterring roaches. They also repel moths, earwigs and mice. If you have a roach problem, scatter bay leaves on kitchen shelves, drawers, in the pantry and other areas where you see them congregating.
Check out the Etsy store for insect repellent sachets. Custom blended sachets that are safe to use around food, children and pets. Each sachet is crafted by hand and includes a generous sample of each herb listed in this article. Contact the store owner for more information about custom made repellents and prices.