31 Natural Pest Control Methods . . . For Those Little Things That Really BUG You!

natural pest control


I have had SO many people asking me through email and Facebook lately about how to keep pesky pests at bay this summer….I decided it was time for a full on ATTACK!

First of all…..the BEST best way to control pests is to not invite them inside in the first place. Most bugs are attracted to food and water, so keeping your kitchen clean, taking out the garbage regularly, and storing food and drinks in tight containers will deter most insects, and other pests. Removing water sources will also go a long way towards solving your bug problem, as will sealing off their point of entry.

If these methods don’t take care of the problem though…here are 31 MORE all-natural remedies for those critters that are really BUGGING you!


natural pest control

The PEST I have had the most questions/concerns raised about is ANTS!  For being such a TINY little thing…ants sure can be a nuisance!!!  Here are some tips to keep them out of your house and away from your picnics!





Keep your kitchen counters free of crumbs and sticky spots, cover the sugar and honey jar. Wiping down surfaces can go a long way toward keeping your home pest free!


natural pest control


Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants’ point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to cucumber.


Leave a few tea bags of mint tea near areas where the ants seem most active.


Trace the ant column back to their point of entry. Set any of the following items at the entry area in a small line, which ants will not cross: cayenne pepper, citrus oil (can be soaked into a piece of string), lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds.


Leave a small, night light on for a few nights in the area of most ant activity. The change in light can disrupt and discourage their foraging patterns.


If ants are attacking your pets’ food bowls, clean the floor thoroughly with hot, soapy water to eliminate the ants’ trail, then keep them from finding the food dish again by placing the food bowl into a shallow pan of soapy water.


natural pest control


Diatomacious Earth (often referred to as “DE”) is a talc-like powder that is the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. When sprinkled on a bug the fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate.


Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it ‘home,’ can’t digest it, and expire. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!


natural pest control


Dissolve 1 teaspoon of boric acid and 6 tablespoons of sugar in 2 cups of water. Soak cotton balls in this bait solution. (Boric acid is a low-toxicity mineral, but do keep it away from children and pets because it can cause skin, mouth, stomach, and eye irritation.)

Place one or two cotton balls on an inverted jar lid and saturate with the mixture.

Place the jar lids along ant trails or where ants have been seen.

Replenish the liquid as it dries until the ants are gone.

Be patient! The key is to get worker ants to continually carry low doses of boric acid back to feed the ants in their nest.



natural pest control





Mosquitos are most active in the early morning and early evening. They seek areas of still air because they are hampered by breezes. Close windows and doors on the side of your house which are opposite the breeze.


The most important measure you can take is to remove standing water sources. Change birdbaths, wading pools and pet’s water bowl twice a week. Keep your house gutters clean and well-draining. Remove yard items that collect water.


Ants leave a scented trail so other ants can find their way to food. Routinely wash away these invisible trails with a vinegar-based cleanser made from 1⁄4 cup vinegar, 2 cups water and 10 to 15 drops of peppermint, clove, eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil.


natural pest control


If you’re using the barbeque, throw a bit of sage or rosemary on the coals to repel mosquitos.


An effective natural bug repellent, mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repellent lasting up to 5 – 6 hours. Strips of cotton cloth can also be dipped in this mixture and hung in areas, such as patios, as a localized deterrent.


natural pest control


Some bat species can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour! You can attract these beneficial bug eaters by installing a bat house in your yard.


Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil extracted from the Neem tree in India. The leaves, seeds and seed oil of the Neem tree contain sallanin, a compound which has effective mosquito repelling properties. Neem oil is a natural product and is safe to use. Just add a few drops of oil to your favorite lotion and apply the mixture to your body.



natural pest control


Plant some catnip (Nepeta cataria) in your garden; not only will it repel mosquitoes, but you’ll get some pretty flowers, too. Other mosquito-repelling plants include rosemary, marigolds, citronella grass, and lemon balm.


Make your own mosquito-repelling candles using a mixture of essential oils and melted wax. A good rule of thumb is to use about 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of essential oil per pound of wax.

Here are some good mosquito-repelling essential oil blends to add to your candles from from About.com:

Recipe #1 – Simple and Spicy
5 parts Citronella
5 parts Lavender
5 parts Clove

Recipe #2 – Bright and Energetic
5 parts Citronella
5 parts Lavender
5 parts Peppermint

Recipe #3 – Deep and Green
10 parts Citronella
10 parts Cedarwood
5 parts Eucalyptus
5 parts Rosemary


For a DIY mosquito repellent, you’ll need essential oil and something to mix it with, like vodka, olive oil, or witch hazel. For best results, combine a few different essential oils such as lemon eucalyptus, citronella, cinnamon, cedarwood, and juniper.


natural pest control


Common sense is as good a guide as any. To avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, a hat or scarf. Use window and door screens and put mosquito netting over infant carriages or strollers


Nutritionally, you can drink a tablespoon or two of organic apple cider vinegar and eat lots of garlic. Vitamin B1 taken daily is also supposed to help repel insects.



natural pest control





Place sachets made from small squares of cheesecloth and filled with crushed mint, bay leaf, clove or eucalyptus around the house to repel flies.


Mix 1⁄4 cup corn syrup, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut strips of brown kraft paper and soak in the sugar mixture. Let dry overnight. To hang, poke a small hole at the top of each strip and hang with string.


natural pest control


Plant sweet basil next to the doors, or plant in containers. The flies will stay far away.
Cut a nice size bunch of it to take with you when you go on picnics. As an added bonus, mosquitoes don’t like it either.


For creating a fly-free area, apply eucalyptus essential oil to a small cloth or rag and leave it in an area plagued by flies.



natural pest control





Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil into a spray bottle. Add a squirt of liquid detergent and fill the bottle with water. Spray the mixture on cobwebs, around doors and windows, around the lawn and garden and on any surfaces where spiders lurk. In addition to having a pleasant aroma, this mixture is nontoxic and safe to use around children and pets.


The combination of coconut oil and white vinegar also makes an effective spray for repelling spiders. As oils may stain or cause spots, test the mixture on a small, hidden area of carpets, curtains or upholstered furniture.


natural pest control


Spiders taste through their feet, and in addition to peppermint…..they do not like the taste of citrus which includes lemonlime and orange. Although it will not kill them, it will make them avoid places where they can “taste” them. Always purchase real essential oils and not synthetic versions.


Spiders thrive in dark, cluttered places, so keep stacks of debris, woodpiles and thick plant growth away from the sides of the house. The fewer places spiders can easily inhabit, the more effectively they can be repelled.


Seal cracks in the foundation and close gaps in windows or beneath doorways to deny spiders access to the premises.


And last but not least….an all natural homemade insect repellent that should help out with all of the above!




natural pest control

Homemade Insect Repellent Recipe

8 oz apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or vodka
45 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
15 drops Lemon or Wild Orange Essential Oil

Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and apply liberally. Store in the fridge when not in use. Should last 2-3 months.


What are your most effective pest control practices??

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Add the 5ml bottle of Wild Orange essential oil to your shopping cart and use the coupon code MEMORIAL at checkout to get it for FREE!

Don’t forget to ALSO use the coupon code JILLEE for an additional 10% off your order!



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  1. Michelle says

    Jill, You must be reading my mind! I am such a huge fan of your blog, pinterest, twitter!! I’m 44 years old and have been trying to “Green” my family for a few years now and your blog has been the greatest influence, and the most helpful of anything on the net or in the libraries!!! Yesterday I was thinking about my wiper fluid, I open my email at work, and that’s your post for the day! Tonight I’m looking for “bug be gone” remedies, and WOW look at todays post. I just want you to know you are the best thing I have read and followed ever. I’m so excited by your ideas that I have even started a group of friends at work that I forward your daily email to and we talk it about it at break!! Soon the whole company will be Jillee fans. I live in Modesto, CA. Cali girl my whole life. Can’t believe we let a good one like you get away.

    Respectfully yours,

  2. Sally says

    DE (Diatomacious Earth) will help with fleas and is safe for animals and humans

  3. says

    OMG…this came at the PERFECT time. I just moved to Hawaii from the desert and there are bugs EVERYWHERE! I have 2 cats and don’t like toxins in my house anyway, so I’ve been going crazy trying to find natural repellents. Have already tried DE, but will be looking into all the others. Thank you!!!

  4. Lori Sue Johnson says

    My main problem is those stupid pantry moths. I think I just about have everything under control and then a new hatch of the flying nightmare appear. I have sealed containers with added bay leaves to the flours, sugar, cornmeal, etc. I don’t use store bought mixes, and my homemade mixes (like SOS) are in sealed mason jars. Any help would be gratefully received.

  5. Diane says

    Make sure you freeze the goods right as soon as you bring them home. 1-3 days in the freezer will kill off the bug eggs.

  6. Jeanne says

    I am not sure how well this works, but I have always heard that if you put a dryer fabric softener sheet like Bounce, it will keep mosquitoes at bay. Just put one in your pants pocket and let it hang out a bit. It can’t hurt! ;-D

    Thanks for your great blog, Jillee!

  7. Alisa says

    Those darned stinkbugs are constantly finding their way into my house. Screens don’t seem to stop them. I have even had an exterminator out to spray. Not happy about having done that, but I was desperate! Did not help. Any suggestions?


  1. [...] natural products come in a variety of forms, you may discover such common items as cucumber, mint, cornmeal, sweet basil, eucalyptus oil and even vodka can be effective against such pests as ants, spiders, mosquitoes and the like. Because these are [...]

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