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5 Plants That Keep Ticks Out of Your Yard

Prevent serious tick-borne illness with these simple gardening tips.

Though ticks are active all year round, fall is an especially dangerous time for tick bites. That's because, as the weather cools and the leaves put on their most striking show of the year, people are more likely to venture out into nature for a hike in the woods or walk in the park. Of course, many tick bites also take place at home in the yard, putting you at risk while you tend to your garden or rake your leaves. To prevent the spread of tick-borne illnesses, it's important to wear bug spray and fortify your outdoor space against the pests' proliferation. The good news? Experts say you can do so by working a handful of tick-repelling plants into your backyard landscaping. Read on to learn the five plants that will keep ticks away, for a safer and more enjoyable fall season.

RELATED: 5 Plants That Will Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard.

5 Tick-Repellent Plants

1. Chrysanthemums

Fresh bright chrysanthemums. Japanese, korean style. Background for a beautiful greeting card. Autumn flowers in the garden. Flowering yellow chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are another great option for naturally repelling ticks from your yard—and they're one of the most popular fall plants.

Zahid Adnan, a plant expert, gardener, and founder of The Plant Bible, explains that this is because they contain a natural insecticide called pyrethrin: "This compound repels a variety of insects, including ticks. Planting chrysanthemums strategically in your garden can help create a protective barrier against ticks."

Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal and a landscaper with over 25 years in the industry, agrees that chrysanthemums should be a first line of defense against the disease-spreading arachnids. "They repel ticks, along with fleas, roaches, and ants. Their vibrant flowers are a bonus, adding color and life to any garden," he tells Best Life.

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2. Basil

A gardener's gloved hand planting Basil with a small trowel in a herb garden with rich composted soil.

In a recent post on Instagram, Stanford-trained doctor Kristin Clague Reihman, MD, (@kristinreihmanmd) shared her own tips for keeping dangerous ticks out of her backyard. She urged her followers to plant basil, a plant she describes as "naturally tick-repellent."

Reihman, who now works in Lyme disease recovery and is also the author of Life After Lyme: Revive Your Inner Rock Star and Achieve a Full Recovery, says she has five types of basil growing in her backyard for exactly that reason. Consider planting it in every garden bed to keep pests away.

RELATED: 8 Plants That Will Keep Snakes Out of Your Yard.

3. Oregano

Oregano plants. On a wooden background

Another plant Reihman swears by for keeping ticks out of her yard is oregano. The doctor notes that while she often likes to use oregano for internal or topical medication, it also repels ticks in the garden.

For best results, plant your oregano in a "warm, sunny, sheltered spot, either in well-drained soil or in a container," recommends the Royal Horticultural Society.

RELATED: 9 Cleaning Habits That Attract Spiders.

4. Lavender

Close up of hands in gardening gloves caring for a lavender plant
nieriss / Shutterstock

Planting lavender in your yard can attract pollinators like butterflies and bees while deterring other bugs—including dangerous ticks.

"Lavender is known for its delightful fragrance and beautiful purple flowers," says Adnan. "Ticks are repelled by the strong scent of lavender, making it an excellent choice for a tick-deterring plant."

RELATED: 6 Plants That Keep Deer Out of Your Yard, According to Experts.

5. Rosemary

A close-up of a person cutting their rosemary plant
GMVozd / iStock

Essential oils derived from rosemary are often used in herbal tick repellents, so experts say that planting it around your garden may also be an effective way to ward off the dangerous pests.

"Rosemary is a versatile herb that not only enhances the flavor of your culinary dishes but also helps in keeping ticks at bay. The pungent aroma of rosemary is disliked by ticks, making it an ideal plant to plant around outdoor seating areas and garden borders," says Adnan.

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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