7 Natural Pest Control Remedies That Work
Many households are considering the long-term consequences of using chemical pest repellents and taking natural pest control remedies into their own hands. While laws exist to help protect consumers from dangers in the commercial pest control industry, it’s empowering to make your own natural pest control so you know exactly what you’re spraying.
There are also practical reasons for making your own repellents with natural ingredients. Children and pets can easily ingest or come into contact with chemicals, which can have effects as mild as skin irritation or as serious as a call to Poison Control. Over time, these chemicals have the potential to cause long-term damage to your family’s health.
From natural ant control to natural mice repellent, these home remedies and tricks will help keep unwanted pests away naturally.
Natural pest control remedies
The following seven natural pest control remedies were researched based on several factors. First, they had to have some proven traits for effectiveness against a targeted group of pests. Second, they needed to be safe for humans and pets and avoid ingredients that are common allergens. Lastly, they had to be something that you’d likely have around your house already or could easily acquire.
- Garlic brew
- Lavender and basil
- Homemade fly traps
- Botanical rodent repellent
- Dish soap ant spray
- Vinegar tick repellent
- Peppermint spider spray
Garlic brew to deter garden pests
This remedy comes from the Peace Corps, which documented how to use simple and accessible ingredients to control pests. Though focused on crops and gardens, this recipe is valuable and safe anywhere on the exterior of your home. Blend half of a cup of finely chopped garlic with three-quarters of a liter of water and steep for 24 hours. The result is a strong brew that can effectively deter caterpillars, stink bugs, ants, aphids, and other pests. And vampires, of course.
Garlic is easy to come by and has a low chance of being an allergen to families or pets. Distribute the mixture with a spray bottle or a pump sprayer on your home’s exterior and around doorways and windows.
Lavender and basil to deter mosquitoes
Mosquitoes can be a nuisance when you’re trying to enjoy your yard or outdoor living space. Certain plants naturally repel mosquitoes, but they need to be near the areas you want to protect. For example, planting citronella, lavender, and basil at the very end of your yard isn’t going to help, but planting around your patio can help keep mosquitoes away.
This method is certainly not as effective as using a synthetic repellent like DEET, but it supports a long-term plan to keep mosquitoes from using your home as a hangout.
Homemade fly traps to control house flies
One of the more annoying house pests is the common housefly. These bugs can reside in fruits and vegetables before they ever come inside your home, so no amount of airtight storage can fully prevent them. Thus, it’s important to try to control them.
Instead of turning to chemicals or trying to swat them out of existence, set up a home fly trap. Add a mixture of dish soap and sugar to a glass jar (about half full), then roll a piece of paper into a cone in the opening of a glass jar and tape it down. This will attract and passively kill flies. This simple tool is effective, especially if you put a piece of old fruit in the jar as bait. Plus, you likely have all the parts and ingredients in your home, and regular dish soap is the only synthetic ingredient.
Botanical rodent repellent to deter mice and rats
Mice can cause extensive damage in areas where they like to hang out, usually the kitchen or cluttered rooms. According to the CDC, mice and other rodents can carry up to 35 different diseases. Though you can avoid using poison and harsh chemicals by using mechanical traps, it’s more humane if you can prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
One of the most reputable options for natural mice repellents is Botanical Rodent Repellent. This spray is all-natural and made with very few ingredients, including Douglas fir extract, so it should be allergy-safe for most households.
Dish soap spray to deter ants
Dish soap saves the day again as a harmless, easy-to-find ingredient to deter ants, which can quickly colonize in your home or kitchen. Ants are notoriously difficult to repel, but a simple spray composed of one-third parts dish soap, one-third parts baking soda, and one-third parts white vinegar will not only deter ants, but also kill them without any adverse effects to your family, pets, or other wildlife.
It’s important to note that ants will scatter in a random pattern before forming a line to either enter a home or exploit a food source, so be sure to spray over ants that you see randomly scurrying around, and then establish a barrier between your home and the outdoors. This will kill the “scouting” ants, and ensure others won’t follow in behind them.
Tick repellent for you and your pup
Ticks have become increasingly more dangerous in the last couple of decades with the spread of Lyme Disease. Thankfully, it’s fairly easy to prevent ticks, along with any diseases they may bring.
A DIY spray consisting of two cups of white vinegar, one cup of water, and 15-20 drops of peppermint oil sprayed onto clothes while outdoors in areas where ticks live, will keep them from wanting to attach to you in the first place. It’s also easy to use on your dog who can bring ticks into your home.
Peppermint spray to deter spiders
Though most are harmless, some spiders can be considered quite dangerous and may even give you an annoying bite. Thankfully, you rarely have to contend with these species, and a simple peppermint spray can be made and applied by your children.
Mix a few drops of peppermint oil into half a cup of water and spray around windows, doorways, and other entrances into your home. Just be sure to use a smaller glass sprayer, as a little of it goes a long way.
Frequently asked questions
What is a natural mice repellent?
Typically, a natural mice repellent is a product that combines different materials that mice associate with a lack of available food. Mice dwell in places where hardwoods and other plants provide them with nutrients, while places with evergreen trees (like Douglas fir) don’t, so mice instinctively move on.
Are there natural remedies for flies?
Yes, but not typically as a repellent. Flies usually enter your home via food and mature as they hatch from tiny eggs, so you will likely need to trap them. There are many commercial and chemical traps, but you can easily and cheaply make your own with simple household ingredients like dish soap and sugar.
Are natural pest remedies safe for pets?
For the most part, yes. The advantage of using natural or homemade remedies is less harsh chemicals in your home, which can be ingested by pets. Be sure to avoid spraying high concentrations of essential oils, undiluted dish soap, or anything else that can be harmful in large doses around pets.
Are natural pest remedies effective?
Effectiveness is hard to determine from natural pest control remedies, which is why scientific institutions are reluctant to acknowledge their benefits or effectiveness. However, they endure because they often work. Though they may not be 100% effective against every pest every time, natural remedies can be safely tested without introducing unnecessarily harmful chemicals to your household.