Pest control is something all of us have had some experience with at one point or another. However, many commercial pesticides are harmful to beneficial insects as well as problem pest. In addition, they are not safe for use around pets or children.
This is why many people have turned to organic pest control and other natural options. There are many different options you can create using ingredients commonly found around your house. This article is going to cover 15 different ways you can control pest naturally.
Use Mint To Ward Off Ants
Mint has proven to be beneficial in discouraging ant behavior. An article in the Journal of Economic Entomology explored the use of concentrated mint granules in controlling fire ant colonies. It proved that mint discourages ant activity and caused them to move their mounds over time.
To use this method at home, consider recycling mint tea leaves. Place them along common entry points into your home. They will help to discourage ant activity in those areas. You can also bury recyclable tea bags to compost them naturally.
A simple solution of dish soap and water is very effective in controlling many insects like stink bugs. Mr. Crenshaw is a professor who discusses this method of pest control here.
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The exact mechanism of control is not readily understood. Many scientists believe that the soap works to disrupt the delicate cell membranes of insects causing death.
It is important to dilute the soap mixture appropriately and to remove the residue from your plants. If you do not, it can cause browning and other damage to the leaves and plant itself. LDSPrepper has a great Youtube video explaining how to mix and apply the mixture effectively.
Consider Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is a fine powder that is comprised of the fossilized remains of microscopic algae. It is used for many different purposes such as skin care, digestion aids, pet care, and more. The Arizona Cooperative does a great job explaining how this product effectively kills bugs.
In short, it basically dries them out and causes them to die from desiccation. The sharp edges of the powder help to speed this process up and doesn’t cause any harm to humans. To use the product safely, always apply while wearing a face mask to reduce the risk of inhalation.
Vinegar Drives Away Many Pest
Alexis Lawrence has a great guide detailing how to use vinegar to repel many different types of insects. To use, combine three parts water with one part vinegar to create a spray to drive off insects. You can use either white or apple vinegar in your mixture.
Be careful when applying this solution to certain plants. The acidic nature of the vinegar can damage some delicate foliage. Always test it in a small area first before applying in large amounts. It is effective against moths, slugs, ants, and more.
Boric Acid Destroys Roaches
Roaches are not a pretty sight by any means. They also are known carriers of pathogens that can make your family sick by contaminating food preparation areas. Fortunately, boric acid is an extremely effective killing mechanism.
Boric acid is fairly safe to use around pets and children. The key is to use it safely and effectively. It works best when applied in small amounts along cracks and crevices. NPIC explains how boric acid effectively kills bugs on their page.
Garlic Isn’t Just For Cooking
Garlic can be used to create natural repellants for many insects. It is great for discouraging mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and more. It is most commonly applied as a spray to exposed portions of the body while enjoying the outdoors.
To create an effective solution, combine one part garlic juice with five parts water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to exposed skin approximately every five to six hours for continued protection. You can also increase your garlic consumption in your diet to help discourage biting insects.
Neem Oil Is A Natural Repellant
Neem oil is found in the seeds of the Neem tree. It has unique repellant properties that make it great for driving away biting insects like mosquitos. It is a natural product that is relatively safe for the environment according to NPIC.
Generally, the oil is applied via a lotion to exposed portions of the body. It is available in both prepared lotions and as a standalone oil to prepare yourself.
Citronella Banishes Mosquitos
Citronella has been used for many years as a natural way to repel many insects. It is derived from certain grasses and is most often used as fuel for torches and incorporated into candles. It is generally safe to use around children and pets.
It is important to remember that this product has a fairly short range. It may require multiple candles or torches to cover a picnic area effectively. The concentration of the oil also is a determining factor in its range.
Cinnamon Kills Ants
Cinnamon is a great option for killing ants and is non-toxic. It works to disrupt the ants’ sense of smell and slowly suffocates them. It is not a quick solution, but it is much safer to use around children and pets.
To use, apply it liberally around the beds of existing ant colonies. You want to be sure that the cinnamon doesn’t get washed away. Be sure to apply it during periods of dry weather to maximize its effectiveness.
Consider DIY Flypaper
Flypaper is an excellent way to capture and kill many bothersome flying insects. There are many commercially prepared solutions available. However, you can quickly and easily prepare your own using common ingredients in your home.
Jillee has a great article that offers instructions on creating your own flypaper. It uses simple ingredients like honey and sugar to create flypaper that is effective and visually appealing. You also can sleep easily knowing it’s made with natural ingredients.
Eucalyptus oil is another great repellant option for flying insects. The scent seems to drive off a variety of bugs like flies, mosquitos, and more. A small amount of this liquid is able to drive away pest in a kitchen effortlessly.
A great way to use eucalyptus oil is to apply it to cotton balls and leave them in areas you want to discourage pets from entering. Be sure to regularly check the cotton balls to ensure they have not dried out.
Marigolds Are Great For Discouraging Pest
Marigolds are known for being an effective way to discourage pest in gardens. They have a scent that many bugs find to be appalling. The roots are also known to discourage nematodes as well. To use them efficiently, consider planting them each year in your garden.
Marigolds also pair well with other well-known natural insect solutions like lavender and sage. Each plant controls different types of bugs with varying degrees of efficiency. Consider planting multiple types of plants to maximize your coverage.
Ladybugs Fight Fire With Fire
Not all bugs are bad in your garden. Ladybugs are an example of beneficial insects. These beautiful creatures do not harm plants in any way. Instead, they focus their attention on other bugs and use them as their food source.
This makes them a great choice for naturally controlling problem bugs while brightening your garden. You can purchase ladybugs from many different online retailers for reasonable rates. Be sure they have a water source nearby to encourage them to stay in your garden.
Peppermint Spray For The Win
Peppermint is another great essential oil that drives off many insects. It is known for working particularly well against spiders and has an aroma that many consider appealing. Using the concoction is fairly simple.
To use, simply mix a small amount of oil in with water. You can add a few drops of detergent to prevent your sprayer nozzle from clogging. You can then spray cobwebs and other problem areas with ease.
Witch Hazel Drives Bugs Away
Witch hazel is another natural way to repel bugs. The strong odor drives away many flying insects that plague us during outdoor excursions. It is best used by diluting it in a sprayer and applying to exposed areas of the skin.
The astringent action is also great for soothing existing bug bites and nicks. It is often combined with other essential botanical oils to increase its effectiveness. Keep in mind, witch hazel can have a slight stinging sensation when applied to nicks and cuts.
Get Rid of Those Household Pests for Good!
Controlling bugs naturally is possible using many common ingredients available in your home. Creating your own pesticides and bug repellants is a great choice for you and the environment. You can create solutions that minimize or eliminate harmful chemical exposure.
Many of the solutions featured here are great for those of us with children and pets. They are also much more eco-friendly. Experiment with the many different solutions offered here and find which one works best for your family.