Summary: Mother Nature provides us with many types of solutions to everyday problems. For example, there are various plants and shrubs that can be positioned in gardens that will help keep certain unwanted insects at bay.
A reader asks: What plants, bushes or trees deter bees and wasps?
Dear Reader: There are loads of articles with recommendations on how to control various kinds of insects in gardens. However, very little is written on ornamentals that will repel bees and wasps. (Yellow jackets are wasps.)
Yellow jacket nests are often found in the ground. We usually don't become aware of their presence until late in the year as the adult yellow jackets become more aggressive in their search for food to stockpile their nests.
Natural plant defenses don't repel bees because bees are necessary for ***image1***pollination. Wasps are also not repelled because wasps frequently feed on the small insects that otherwise would destroy various plants and flowers.
Herbs are most often mentioned as insect repellents. For example, garlic and chives will repel aphids. Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. Marigolds ward off nematodes. Mint stops ants. Pennyroyal deters fleas, mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers. Petunias control leafhoppers, certain aphids and tomato worms. Rue repels Japanese beetles in roses.
The only plant that is even mentioned as a wasp repellent is Wormwood (Artemisia). When planted as a border Wormwood is said to keep animals and many bugs out of the garden.