DIY Natural Insect Repellants
SpidersMake a spray repellant using scents that spiders hate: spearmint, peppermint and garlic. To save your own olfactory system, don’t combine the garlic and mints. To make the solution with spearmint or peppermint, place several drops of either herb’s essential oil into a water-filled spray bottle. To make a garlic solution, smash a clove of garlic in a garlic press. Then place the pureed garlic in a spray bottle with water. Shake the spray bottle before using it to mix the ingredients.
AntsMake a repellent spray to clear the chemical trails that ants make and prevent the return of the insect. Use the spray that you made to repel spiders or make a different concoction using mint-scented soapy water. Undiluted vinegar also works well.
As you garden, incorporate plants that ants hate around the perimeter of your home and in window boxes. These plants include spearmint and lavender.
Use household items to make a defensive barrier that you place around windows, doors and other strategic locations with one of these items: baby powder, ground cinnamon, used coffee grounds, food-grade diatomaceous earth, citrus oil or petroleum jelly. Experiment with them to see which works best for you.
MosquitoesThe best way to repel mosquitoes is to not have any sources of standing or pooled water on your property, like in flowerpots or on a tarp. If you have one, change out the water in a birdbath regularly.
Also, incorporate the following plants into your garden to help keep mosquitoes away: catnip, citronella grass, rosemary, pitcher plants, wormwood, marigolds, eucalyptus, basil, horsemint and lavender.
Fruit FliesThe following natural pest control solution traps fruit flies. Fill a glass bowl or cup with 1 or 2 inches of apple cider vinegar. Stretch a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the container and poke a few holes in the plastic. The sweet smell of the vinegar lures fruit flies and the plastic wrap traps them in the container, causing them to drown in the vinegar.
House FliesSends house flies buzzing away from your home by hanging aromatic sachets from the ceiling filled with eucalyptus, cloves and clover blossoms.
CockroachesRoaches seem impossible to kill with chemical insecticides, but you can wipe them out with two ingredients in your pantry: powdered sugar and baking soda. Mix equal amounts of each ingredient and place a bit in an area that the cockroaches frequent. The sugar attracts the bugs and the baking soda kills them.
You can also send cockroaches running with a spice blend. In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of the spiciest hot sauce that you can find. Spray the mix in the areas where you tend to see cockroaches, like in the kitchen or the outside garbage cans.
Natural Pest Control Tips
Pest control pros share that regular home maintenance and simple tricks are some of the best ways to naturally prevent pests:
• Keep your landscaping tidy and manicured.
• Don’t let produce rot in your garden.
• Keep your woodpile dry, away from your home and elevated off the ground.
• Dust and vacuum regularly.
• Fix all the leaks on your property.
• Always use the lids on outside garbage cans.
• Welcome beneficial bugs into your garden such as ladybugs, bees, spiders and praying mantises.
• Immediately clean food and beverage spills.
• Don’t leave food out in the open after a meal and avoid dirty dishes sit in the sink overnight.
• Seal cracks on the exterior and interior walls of your home.
For more tips about how to naturally prevent pests at your own home, schedule an inspection with a green pest control company. (Many offer this service free of charge.) The professional who comes to your home can point out the spots around your home that are vulnerable to a pest infestation.
This post was contributed by Jen McCauley, the marketing director of Eden Advanced Pest Technologies. Eden Pest is a leading integrated pest management company in Western Washington and Oregon that offers green pest control solutions and advice for both residential and commercial customers.