Plants that repel carpenter bees – why do we need them? When flowers bloom, it attracts carpenter bees to your house, but you can repel them by planting mint, citronella grass, etc.

Plants That Repel Carpenter Bees

As the name suggests, they burrow into your wooden structures and cause damage.

Keep reading this article to find out which plants work best in repelling them.

Plants That Repel Carpenter Bees

1. Mint

Mint, or as it goes by its scientific name Mentha, is in a genus of plants belonging to the Lamiaceae family. The mint plant has a strong scent, which is not particularly enjoyed by the bees, so they tend to stay away from places with the mint present.

Potted Fresh Mint

Mint grows well in direct sunlight but can also grow in a shaded area; you only have to ensure the soil is moist but well-drained. This is why growing a mint plant around your home is a good way to repel bees from your home.

– Benefits

Mint also has some health benefits, apart from acting as a bee repellent. Although mint is not consumed in large quantities, it still has nutrients in them that can benefit you. For instance, it can help relieve indigestion and an upset stomach.

Another benefit of mint is that it could help improve the brain’s daily functions. A study shows that smelling peppermint oil’s aroma can improve a human’s brain function. Smelling the aroma of peppermint oil during driving has been shown, by studies, to increase alertness as well. Other benefits include decreased breastfeeding pain, improved cold symptoms, and masking bad breath.

– Uses

Mint is a very popular plant. It can be used regularly in small amounts, from the kitchen to your garden. Let’s uncover some of the uses of mint in daily life. Mint is most commonly used to prevent or get rid of bad breath. What mint does is mask bad breath.

It is used in bubblegum, and the first thing people grab is to get rid of bad breath and freshen their mouths. Mint is also used in mouthwashes. However, this does not kill the bacteria in the mouth, causing bad breath. But, by actually chewing the mint leaves or by drinking peppermint tea, the bacteria that causes bad breath is killed. Additionally, mint also serves as a flavoring agent in food and beverages.

– Distinguishing Characteristics

The characteristic of the mint plant that allows it to be recognized easily is that it has square stems with aromatic leaves opposite the stem. In color, usually, the small flowers are pink, white, or pale purple. Each mint flower has four united petals.

2. Citronella Grass

Citronella grass, or as it goes by its scientific name, Cymbopogon Nardus, is an aromatic perennial plant. The citrusy scent this plant puts off is an effective way to repel bees.

Growing Citronella Grass

This plant is from the family Poaceae which originates from Tropical Asia. The well-known and famous citronella oil is also extracted and made from this plant. This plant can be planted indoors and outdoors as long as it receives sunlight.

However, it is important to avoid planting Citronella in direct sunlight, it should be filtered, and the soil should be warm. Avoid planting it when there is a chance of frost; only plant it when the soil is warm.

– Benefits

Sometimes we struggle against fatigue and stress from constantly working the whole day. Citronella has been known to be beneficial when relieving that fatigue and stress. Another benefit of Citronella is that it acts as an inhibitor of a broad range of fungi but does not kill them entirely.

More benefits to Citronella include improving the brain, cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Studies have shown that Citronella helps reduce high blood pressure, the respiratory rate, and the heart rate following inhalation.

In some cases, Citronella has also been effective against the body and head lice as a fumigant agent against houseflies and red flour beetles.

– Uses

Citronella oil is made from citronella grass which may be used for various purposes. For example, citronella oil is used in the food and beverage industry to enhance the taste of food and beverage items as a flavoring agent.

Coming towards the manufacturing side, citronella oil has been known to be used in soaps as well as cosmetic products because of the fragrance it gives off, which enhance the smell of soaps and attracts buyers. The same strategy is applied to cosmetic products in which citronella oil plays a role in customer satisfaction.

– Distinguishing Characteristics

To the untrained eye, it may be tricky to recognize this plant as it is similar to the lemongrass plant. But here are a few characteristics to know that will help differentiate between citronella grass and lemon grass

Lemongrass has green base stems, whereas when we talk about citronella grass has either red or magenta base stems that differentiate it from lemongrass. The citronella grass plant grows from about one and a half meters to two and a half meters.

Talking about the width of this plant, it can grow from one meter to approximately one and a half meters. This plant can thrive in drought or very dry areas.

3. Thyme

Thyme belongs to the genus Thymus, a perennial plant belonging to the mint family Lamiaceae. Thyme is widely known for its ability to repel insects and is native to the Mediterranean region.

Fresh Leaves of Thyme

Why plant Thyme? Because it will deter the carpenter bees and repel wasps, it’s a win-win situation for you. You may plant Thyme in a container or directly in the ground, but it is important to note that this plant does its best when planted in the spring season and well-drained soil, soaking in a lot of sunlight.

– Benefits

Thyme has a lot of medical benefits as well. Let’s take a look at what the benefits of consuming Thyme are: Because of its anti-bacterial properties, Thyme has been rumored to be beneficial in fighting acne. However, there is not much concrete evidence or tests done on this but steeping Thyme in alcohol for two weeks turns it into a mixture called a tincture which in older times has been reported to fight the bacteria that causes acne.

Other benefits of Thyme include lowered blood pressure, immunity boosting, alleviating coughs, uses in culinary pursuits, treating yeast infections, prevention of bacterial infections, boosting mood, as a pest repellent, and possibly helping in fighting against cancer.

– Uses

Thyme has multiple uses. It has turned into a staple in the culinary industry due to the taste it provides, and it is therefore often used in cooking. Following are some more uses of this plant. Thyme has also been reportedly used for tackling bad breath problems. In combination with a few other herbs, when Thyme is consumed by mouth, it may also solve coughing problems. In the food industry, Thyme can be used in fresh or dried forms, in soups, pasta, pizzas, roasted vegetables, sauces, and much more!

– Distinguishing Characteristics

Thyme’s distinguishing characteristics are its intense aroma from thymol, an essential oil. Thyme has small leaves that grow semi-upright, with its flowers being two-lipped.

Thyme is a small perennial plant that is approximately 4 to 12 inches tall. Their small leaves are green-grey, whereas their flowers are violet in color.

4. Eucalyptus

These plants are part of a genus that has approximately seven hundred flowering plants and belong to the family Myrtaceae. These trees vary in size. You can plant them indoors to contain their growth and spread, or let them grow outside into large trees.

Eucalyptus Branches in Garden

However, it is important to note that keeping them in a container will require more intensive care and watering than those left to grow in an outside environment. Their strong scent categorizes them under perennial plants that repel wasps and bees.

– Benefits

Now let’s take a look at the benefits of using this plant. It has been used, for many years, as a source of relieving coughs. Even most medicines nowadays in medical stores contain oil from this plant.

It keeps the bugs away. Yes, this includes bumble bees as well. Mosquitoes and other bugs can carry diseases that may not benefit human health, so essential oils from this plant act as an active mosquito repellent. 

Some other benefits of this plant are that it can help disinfect wounds, control blood sugar levels in the human body, soothe cold sores, freshen one’s breath, clear your chest and relieve joint pain.

– Uses

Some of its uses include the following: This plant is used in medicines that treat coughs and colds – for example, cough syrups, lozenges, rubs, ointments, antiseptic mouthwashes, and vapor baths. The oil from this plant is also used for treating arthritis, boils, wounds, and sores.

– Distinguishing Characteristics

This plant’s leaves are leathery and often hang vertically or obliquely. As the flower expands, the petals of this flower come together, as a result forming a cap. However, talking about the trees, their flowers have no petals. So all of these characteristics qualify this plant under the perennial plants that don’t attract bees but rather repel them.

5. Wormwood

Common wormwood, scientifically known as Artemisia absinthium, is a one of the plants that repel bees and wasps (and also carpenter bees). This plant is native to temperate regions of North Africa and Europe/Asia (widely neutralized in Canada and the USA). Wormwood or Artemisia absinthium is a species of the genus Artemisia which contains approximately five-hundred species. Wormwood is also known as green ginger.

Green Leaves of Wormwood

– Benefits

Artemisia absinthium, or wormwood, has been used in non-traditional medicinal practices in the West but is also used in traditional Chinese medicine. Wormwood has been known to alleviate pain, fight parasitic infections, boast antioxidant properties and fight inflammation.

– Uses

Wormwood has many uses, most importantly in the medical field. Evidence shows that the extract from wormwood reduces the effects of pinworm in children and adults. The chemicals in Artemisia (wormwood) kill bacteria and parasites (in some cases, it may even lower blood sugar levels). Other uses of this plant in the therapeutic area include treating upset stomachs, common cold, measles, jaundice, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, and other conditions.

– Distinguishing Characteristics

Artemisia absinthium, wormwood, is a herbaceous perennial plant with fibrous roots. The stems of this plant grow up to a height of one to one and a half meters (approximately two feet seven inches to three feet eleven inches). The stems are tall, grooved, silvery green, and branched. The leaves of this plant are spirally arranged, colored with greenish grey from above, covered with silky silvery-white tritones and white from below.

6. Marigold

The plant is an annual herbaceous native to Southern North America and belongs to the Asteraceae family. Its daisy-like flowers come in warm colors, and the foliage is fern-like. The plant completes its life cycle in a single growing season. The size and build of the flowers vary from small, single-petaled flowers to large, four-petaled flowers. Furthermore, these flowers don’t attract bees and wasps and help ged rid of carpenter bees for good.

Vibrant Marigold in Garden 

– Benefits

The plant is extremely easy to grow and is a natural trap crop. It attracts a lot of beneficial pollinators like hummingbirds and wasps. People with eye inflammation have improved their eye health with the use of the plant’s tea. 

It reduces inflammation and helps fight against bacterial growth in wounds. Various studies have shown that the plant helps treat various symptoms associated with chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Furthermore, it relieves spasms and cramps and is a natural bug-repellent. 

– Uses

As we mentioned before, the plant is used in tea. It is also a natural colorant in many foods like baked goods, chewing gum, and even food made especially for toddlers. 

The plant is a natural fabric dye. It gives the fabrics a deep and warm yellow color. This dye is made from dried flowers to achieve the perfect yellow and orange color. 

The plant’s oil is widely used in perfumes, especially men’s cologne, because of its irresistible fragrance. It makes an excellent addition to cut flower arrangements because of its hard-to-miss color. Furthermore, the flowers are used in garlands in countries like India. 

– Distinguishing Characteristics

The plant produces the best and healthiest blooms when grown in full sun, so ensure it receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. It shows abnormal behavior like leggy growth when grown in shaded spots.

It is simple when it comes to choosing the soil. Any good garden soil keeps it happy and thriving for a long period. Unlike other plants, it does not need organic matter-rich soil and performs better in leaner soil.

Make sure you water it regularly when you plant or grow it from seeds. If you live in an area that is extremely hot or experiences frequent drought, water your plant regularly. Once it is mature, it is drought-tolerant, but weekly watering helps it bloom better. 

7. Pennyroyal

The scientific name for this plant is Mentha pulegium, which belongs to the Lamiaceae family of plants native to North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. The crushed form of this plant emits a strong scent that makes one of the plants that repel yellow jackets as they can’t stand its smell.

Flowering of Pennyroyal

– Benefits

The benefits of using this plant go back to the first century. It can solve female ailments, treat venomous bites, and treat indigestion. 

The antiseptic properties in this plant effectively eradicate the germs and bacteria in the urinary tract that may cause urinary infections. A herbal tea from this plant is an anti-inflammatory agent for treating inflammations in the respiratory tract. Another benefit of its consumption is reducing muscle pains and inflammation in joints and muscles.

– Uses

Apart from its use as a pest control agent and a repellent of carpenter bees, this plant also has many other uses. Uses include adding flavor to wine, foods, and herbal teas. It has also been used to relieve stress in some cases, in fragrances, and as an antiseptic.

  • Distinguishing Characteristics

The leaves of this plant are small and oval-shaped, opposite each other, and grown on a square-shaped stem. The stem grows up to a height of 1 foot.


So if you’re looking to lay a carpenter bee trap or avoid a carpenter bee infestation, these plants will help you keep them away.

  • The plants mentioned above also have many health benefits, apart from keeping carpenter bees away.
  • Some of these plants require extra care when planted indoors.
  • All of these plants can easily be grown at home.

So now you won’t have to see more infrastructure damage after smartly planting these plants and trees.

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