It's not just for adding to recipes.
Growing your own herbs can be a satisfying kitchen project. With a handful of seeds, a little sunlight, and a splash of water, you can have flavorful and beautiful plants at your fingertips. But one herb is helpful by being more than just a cooking ingredient: Mint can act as a natural bug repellant.
If sneaky insects are making their way into your kitchen, then a container of fresh mint may be just what you need. The pungent nature of mint deters bugs from making your home their home. Pests like ants, mosquitos, and mice will avoid mint plants whenever possible, and it can also help with other menaces like roaches, spiders, and flies.
Known for spreading aggressively in gardens, mint is easy to grow in a small pot on your window sill. Just make sure it gets plenty of sunlight and a decent daily watering. When buying seeds or a starter plant, pay attention and choose peppermint instead of spearmint. Peppermint has a much higher level of menthol than spearmint, meaning it will also have a stronger flavor and smell to keep away insects.
If you're worried about hard-to-reach spots in your kitchen having bugs, like the back of cabinets or near the baseboards, your plant's fresh leaves can be made into a simple DIY spray that should help. Stir one cup of lightly crushed fresh mint leaves into two cups of boiling water. Let the mixture sit until cool, then strain and pour into a spray bottle.