The first thing that can fly in to ruin any summer party is a hoard of mosquitoes, hovering around guests and biting the people they’re attracted to most. If it’s not mosquitoes, biting flies, gnats, and beetles are all unwelcome visitors to be expected in the great outdoors. If you want your next party to be bug-free, start thinking about some strategic landscaping; these 11 summer plants will keep the bugs at bay, while providing some beautiful fragrances and blooms for your guests to admire. From flowers to herbs, you’ll be sure to find something that complements your backyard oasis.

1. Lavender: the popular fragrance for sleep aids and air fresheners is irresistible to humans, but bugs quickly fly away from any lavender scent. Planting this beautiful purple flower in a sunny spot will repel unwanted insects from its scent, while providing a beautiful touch of color to your backyard. Keeping some bouquets indoors or around tables during events will ensure bugs stay away from you and your guests.

2. Mint: a great mosquito repellent, mint is an aromatic plant providing that refreshing scent from its bright green leaves. Be careful to plant mint in pots, however, because it’s an aggressive plant that spreads on ground like crazy. Keeping some pots in select places on your porch or outdoor seating will keep the biting bugs out of the vicinity.

3. Catnip: what’s attracting your cats is also repelling the insects! Catnip is a close relative of mint, which we already know is an insect repellent. The nepetalactone in catnip repels insects but may attract a new cat into your yard unexpectedly.

4. Basil: this popular plant may taste great in hundreds of dishes, but it also works great as a bug repellent. Basil contains an oil that prevents mosquito eggs from surviving, making it a great plant to place near your entryway to the indoors. Plus, your cooking can benefit from these delicious leaves!

5. Lemongrass: known to repel mosquitoes through its natural oil citronella, commonly found in the mosquito repelling candles in stores, lemongrass is a great bug repellant. With a slight citrus scent that bugs hate, lemongrass is an annual plant that flourishes in lots of sunlight.

6. Chrysanthemums: these cute, poufy flowers repel tons of bugs because of pyrethrum, a compound regularly used in insect repellents. Plant this flower outside the home to keep bug out of your patio but be aware when using this flower indoors– pyrethrum can be toxic to humans.

7. Rosemary: another popular cooking herb, rosemary’s aromatic oil repels insects by nature. Commonly used around vegetable plants to prevent infestations, rosemary works great as both a repellant and an ingredient.

8. Marigolds: if you want to add some bright colors to your outdoor space, look no further than the vibrant hues of marigolds. Sun-loving and pretty, this plant keeps pests at bay while keeping the aesthetics of your backyard intact.

9. Nasturtiums: with the release of an airborne chemical from this flower, pests steer clear of this bright bloom. Commonly used to keep bugs away from vegetable gardens, this flower will do its job for your patio too, while adding some color to your atmosphere.

10. Petunias: known as nature’s pesticide, petunias are a popular flower for landscaping due to their pest repelling nature and low maintenance care. Able to grow anywhere with a little sun, petunia’s come in a variety of bright colors to match whatever atmosphere you want your outdoor oasis to have.

11. Thyme: the last herb on this list (though there are many more!) is the classic thyme. Thyme repels a bunch of insects, along with the added benefit of fresh herbs and a fine aroma.

We want to make sure your outdoor space is bug free, so you can enjoy the most out of your investment. Keeping landscaping close to your pool and deck areas will keep these pests away from the water so you can enjoy a pest free swim. Plants strategically placed near doors and patios will ensure bug-free events and a fly free home. Be sure to take note of other possible causes of bug swarms, such as standing water, open food, and trash build-up. Best of luck pest banishing!