Friday, May 24, 2013

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!

 

ANTS

 

KEEP IT CLEAN FOLKS!

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

CUCUMBER

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

MINT

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

BLOCK THE ENTRY

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.

LIGHT IT UP

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.

BUILD A MOAT

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

DE

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.

CORNMEAL

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

HOMEMADE ANT BAIT

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

 

MOSQUITOES

 

BLOCK THEM

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.

REMOVE WATER

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.

COVER THEIR TRAIL

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

BBQ HELPER

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

GARLIC

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

BUILD A BAT HOUSE

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

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 MORE FLOWERS!

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.

LIGHT A CANDLE

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

DIY MOSQUITO REPELLENT MIXTURE

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

COVER UP

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

BUG-OFF DRINK

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

 

FLIES

 

HERBAL SACHETS

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

DIY FLYPAPER

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

SWEET BASIL

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.

EUCALYPTUS OIL

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

 

SPIDERS

 

SPIDERS HATE PEPPERMINT!

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.

COCONUT OIL & VINEGAR

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

CITRUS ESSENTIAL OILS

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.

ELIMINATE HIDING PLACES

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 IT UP

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!

 

ALL PURPOSE, ALL NATURAL BUG SPRAY

 

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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169 thoughts on “31 Natural Pest Control Methods . . . For Those Little Things That Really BUG You!

      1. Rebecca

        I was just going to say DE — glad someone else mentioned it. I wash my dogs with Miracle II soap and I use DE. I even use DE when I go camping, I put a line of it in a circle all around my tent, so no crawly bugs will get in, although flying insects still can get in…. :) And we take it internally for parasite cleanse, and give it to my dogs and cat twice a year for a week or two at a time. They have never been tested positive for parasites, but chances are if you have pets and they go outside, then not only will they get parasites (even undetected in a stool sample) but YOU will, too. Better safe than sorry, I say! :)

        Reply
        1. Cynthia

          Well, yeah…but so does all soap. Doesn’t your soap irritate you when it gets in YOUR eyes? What are you doing putting soap in your dog’s eyes anyway? If soap is getting in their eyes, I don’t think you’re bathing them correctly. Be more careful! Dog’s eyes are delicate (as are ours), and often deteriorate as they get older. My dog is 10, and the vet has only recently pointed out that his eyes are getting cloudier and his sight may be deteriorating. I wouldn’t dream of getting soap in his eyes! I put soap on a wash cloth and GENTLY clean his face. This is what I recommend you do as well.

          Reply
          1. norma

            A wash cloth, good idea. I usually just used water on the head. Thanks!

            By the way, everyone loves blue dawn, what is so special? Is it different from other dish soaps?

            Reply
            1. rleo

              Of course that is where our dog got sprayed by the skunk – right in the face where I couldn’t use anything harsh that would hurt his eyes, even just shampoo!

              Smart tip about the baby wash though, I will try…

              Reply
          2. Chrys

            This post was a little rude. I’m sure Normal isn’t shoving shampoo/soap in her/his dog’s eyes. It was a precautionary question. Hate online trolls!

            Reply
        2. Rita M.

          I use Dawn to wash my dog and baby shampoo to wash around his face and eyes. Never had a problem. I rinse him with water with a few drops of tea tree oil in it.

          Reply
      1. AJ

        Dawn Dish Soap is used after oil spills on all kinds of marine life, birds and other animals effected by such disasters. I don’t know if it would be ok for everyday or regular use, but it sure is great for removing heaving stains and grease. I personally use it to remove clothing stains accompanied by a toothbrush. It works better than laundry detergent, stain sticks, sprays, etc.
        As far as sensitivity to the eyes I would just add some of the soap to a soft dish cloth (perhaps microfiber) just like you would for a baby. Then carefully clean around your pets face and eye area. When it comes time to rinse, your pet will probably automatically close its eyes as a reflex just like a human baby would. If not just shield the animals eyes with your hands or fingers or a small clean cloth (lightly place your hand or fingers over the animals eyelids using a cloth or bare hands). I still cover my eyes with a small clean cloth when my mom washes my hair in the sink, and I’m in my late 30s. :-) You may want to call your vet and/or the phone number for Dawn Dish Soap and ask them if the product would be safe for everyday or regular use on an animal. Dawn does advertise/brag about their product for use on animals during animal spills so I think they should be able to answer this question. It’s most likely fine for occasional use, as we have seen it used on wild animals during disasters.

        Reply
    1. Strawbery

      There are lots of remedies concerning tea tree oil to rid fleas… fleas are a hard one to get rid of and keep at bay though… good luck!

      Reply
      1. Christine Baker

        There are tablets that can be taken orally by pets from vets that last up to 3 months that is usually long enough to get through the summer for fleas, black flies and mosquitoes, and also things that things that harmful thing heartworm and good for cats. Our cat gets it because he likes to lay on cool surfaces, and lay down near us. Check it out last time I got it, it was $17.50 so for three months not bad.

        Reply
      1. lela clingan

        I heard somewhere garlic is toxic to dogs, please check with your vets just to be on safe side, would hate to see fur babies dying from garlic

        Reply
      2. Brandette W.

        Yep, I have also always heard that garlic is NOT safe for pets. Our vet has a list posted in the waiting room and in addition to onions and chocolate is garlic. Please don’t give your pets garlic products!

        Reply
        1. Lori c

          Garlic is only toxic If given in mass quantities :) I’ve given my dogs garlic tablets for quite awhile and no problems so far. Also , the vet should tell you the same thing.
          I give them all baths in dawn dish liquid and it kills the fleas , living on a farm there is lots of critters also being on a dirt road don’t help matters !
          But yup go to Walmart and they have garlic tablets (softgel ) over by the vitamins for humans . Here they are like 3 dollars for 120 tablets.
          Being friends with animal rescues helps out in the long run . Learn all kinds of tips and tricks :)
          Have a great night

          Reply
    2. Hazel

      Eliminate fleas on your dog by giving a good soak in a tub with 2 parts water 1 part apple vinagre, to keep them under control add a splash of apple vinagre to your dogs drinking water, in your home sprinkle a mixture of half borax half salt leave it to work for an hour or preferably over night then vacuum it away, you want to do it again in a couple of weeks just in case eggs hatched

      Reply
    3. Beth Sherrill

      we have awesome luck with Vets Best Home spray for fleas and ticks, I spray it right on the dogs, and furniture bedding and so on, buy at pet store, all natural and premixed essential oil based . doesn’t hurt my dogs and cats skin the way the meds from the vet do.

      Reply
    4. Cherie

      To initially rid of them, use Adams brand carpet powder, flea shampoo and flea dip. Then use vinegar in their water ( about a quarter cup per bowl) and garlic powder on their food (apply liberally and mix around) . I never had to use flea chemicals.

      Reply
    5. kathy b good

      sounds like you are going to need to set off bug bombs. If I find a few fleas on my cat, I comb olive oil through the fur & it smothers them.

      I have been in the position you are and I remember how awful & overwhelming, and expensive, it was to address. I’m thinking generic grocery store equivalent of Frontline for dogs, flea bombs for the home, and Raid for the yard, probably every dry day for a week. Hope this helps. I am NOT an expert and would suggest you look into the effects of these treatments on you, children, plants, your pets, etc. with a more knowledgeable person than myself.

      Reply
      1. kathy b good

        having read other solutions from others here (which I should have done first LOL), I think their solutions are much better than the ones I’ve suggested.

        I used a tube of Vaseline-type product along moldings & entryways where I saw ants galore, and they never came in again. I have no small children to worry about coming into contact with Vaseline, and it wasn’t anywhere my cats would walk through. I didn’t even have to reapply it this year..think the word got around not to bother with my place : )

        thank you all so much for your comments, I found them so helpful!

        Reply
    6. Porsha

      I need help with fleas also .I have tried vinegar and salt ..Sprays,sevin dust ,,Also Roches I live in Apts and everytime they spray they come to my apt . Please help

      Reply
      1. fs

        For fleas………….if you have carpeted floors……….try borax powdered soap and iodized salt, mix it 1/2 &1/2………..spinkle on carpet……….after a week no more flees…….they love the soap(don,’t know why) They eat the salt thinking it is the soap…….dehydrate from it and die. Vacuum them up..lol

        Reply
    7. LE

      wash your dog with some dawn dishsoap, then put some lavender essential oil on the dog. smells good and works! i say this from experience. :)

      Reply
  1. Michelle

    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,
    Michelle

    Reply
    1. Debbie

      Jillee, I agree with Michelle. I have been trying to “green up” our lives, too, and your blog has been great. I am teaching a summer math class at our local community college and have shared the liquid laundry detergent recipe and the windshield washer fluid recipe with my students. Several seem excited to try them. Isn’t saving money all about math? Thank you so much . You make saving money so much fun!

      Reply
      1. CTY

        Go “greener” by making Jillee’s powdered laundry detergent. You’ll save water & save the fuel to heat the water & the hot water needed to clean the pot & less fumes from it “cooking”
        It also takes up less space, is easier to measure & saves you time.

        Reply
  2. Chessie

    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!!!

    Reply
    1. lori

      essential oils can be deadly for cats. Please do your research before using them. Even using oils on your skin can come into contact with a cat licking you or laving on you and your cat can get sick and even die.

      Reply
  3. Lori Sue Johnson

    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.

    Reply
    1. Cindy

      I had a major invasion of pantry moths a few years ago from a plant next to my garage and from there into my house!! I used a Pantry Moth Trap (Lowes) and my vacuum cleaner to suck them up. Also got rid of boxes are they were laying their eggs in the corrugated edges. Found the eggs and caterpillars in the popcorn of my ceilings and had to manually remove. It took me a month or more to get them all AND I removed the plant housing these little buggars!! I agree with the freezing method and containers. Good luck!

      Reply
      1. Kristi

        I just heard that you can put a stick of spearmint gum in your perishable (flour, etc.) and the eggs won’t even hatch out.

        I always freeze any mixes or pasta to kill anything that might reside there. Be careful, however, if you then take them out and put them in sealed containers. I did that with rice and lost about 5 pounds as it had condensation from the temperature change, then it molded while in the Tupperware. You have to first let it get to room temperature so any condensation can evaporate, then seal it.

        Hope this helps.

        Reply
    2. Lori

      I too get them but in my bird food for my inside parrots. I keep it in well sealed containers but still see them occasionally flying around. I’d love to know if there is an herb or EO to deter them too.

      I live in PA and we have “stink bugs” ALL YEAR! They are the grey ones that look like little rhinos. Luckily, when they land it’s easy to get them in a tissue and toss them in the toilet but when they fly around you can’t swat them or the whole house will stink. Ugh. Any thoughts would be MUCH appreciated!

      I agree with Michelle. It’s uncanny how you post subjects that I am just now looking for ideas for! The only other blog I subscribe to is Proverbs 31 besides yours. I figure advice for my spiritual life and physical life will supply me with just the right “ingredients” for me!

      Reply
  4. Jeanne

    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!
    Jeanne

    Reply
    1. mschavi

      Dryer sheets DO work . . . I shove one in a pocket or inside my shorts when I work i the yard . . . no bug bites or flying critters bugging me.

      Reply
      1. Christine Baker

        Try Therma Cell sold in the sporting goods stores. They have been tested by sports people who have to sit still on long hunts. The Canadian Lodges tried it and were so successful and sold out the first season that they double and tripled their orders the following season because hunters were asking for them. So we tried it. We do not go in the woods without them. That why Off came up with a small similar smaller version I don’t find working at all except killing batteries. Therma cell has to be lit properly like a lighter so the smell comes (like a faint smoke comes out). Very effective.

        Reply
  5. Alisa

    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?

    Reply
  6. Marianne

    Hi! I like to use ground cinnamon or clove against ants. Just sprinkle in the cracks atthedoor and they will not cross. Also great to mix in with sand in the sandbox, keeps bugs out of there too!

    Reply
  7. cl

    Just an FYI-ants are attracted to water and the oils in the soaps we use. That is why you can have an extremely clean kitchen or bathroom and still get ants.

    Reply
    1. Lynda

      Christy, Don’t hurt the bees!! We need them. But if you are around them, do not use anything with lemon grass or lavender. They are attracted to those scents.

      Reply
  8. Anita

    Thank you Jillee! I, too, had been thinking of writing you and asking for a list such as this! Do you have a printable version? Sometimes I just let a few spiders live as they catch and eat so many other bugs.

    Reply
  9. kk

    Thanks Jillee…very helpful! I too let spider live (mostly) to help out with other bug extermination:) How can I use DE on my cat? Also, I need help with pantry moths too…once the weather gets hot, they reappear.

    Reply
  10. vandana

    Hi… I am new to this blog and I’m already addicted. I’m now catching up with your old posts which I missed so far.
    I’m loving it so far…:-)

    Reply
  11. Vandana

    Hi jillee… I would like to suggest something, if it is ok with you. Red chilies(dried once) can help with moths and other small pests we see in rice grains, flours and pulses.

    Reply
    1. Patty

      What exactly do you mean by red chilies dried once? And WHAT do you do with them?? I thought I finally had my moth situation under control, but here they come again! HELP! Thanks Vandana!

      Reply
  12. Angela

    Jillee!!!! You must’ve peeked into my kitchen window! I’ve been fighting ants all week! I FINALLY got rid of those big carpenter ants with my kids sidewalk chalk (LOL). I saw where they were coming into the house in between the steps and doorframe. So we drew a thick chalk line across the steps. The next day they were gone!!!

    Now I’m trying to get those small sweet ants out of my pantry. I can’t figure out how they’re getting in there. All of my pantry items are sitting on the table while I figure this out… I need that space back! Anyway, I am definitely gonna try some of your ideas. Wish me luck!

    Reply
    1. Katy

      We had sugar ants in our kitchen a few weeks ago… out of desperation (it was 7 am on a work morning when I found them!) I grabbed my vinegar spray cleaner and doused them and their trail. Guess what… they didn’t return! In previous summers we’ve battled them for weeks on end. I’m now convinced they don’t like vinegar! So that might be an easy thing to try.

      Reply
      1. Laurie

        I’m pretty sure they don’t like tea tree/melaleuca, either. Stay away from cleaners with orange oil, and stick with the tea tree – works for me! The vinegar is a good idea as well – thanks for the idea!

        Reply
  13. Rejena

    You didn’t mention gnats! I eat lots of bananas and used to have lots of problems with them. I found a trick online that really works for me!! Cut the top off an empty coke bottle, invert it and tape it into place–basically making a funnel. Put a vinegar/sugar mixture in the bottom. The gnats fly in and can’t find their way out. I have also put yeast and sugar water in the coke bottle. Just make sure not to fill it too full–you want to leave space between the bottom of the funnel, and the bait

    Love your website, Jillee!!

    Reply
    1. AlohaGrama

      We have banana trees in our backyard and our neighbors do too. If we don’t pick the bananas before they ripen on the tree we get THOUSANDS of gnats/fruit flies in the house. Fill a bread pan or other reflective metal pan half way with soapy water. Place a desk lamp next to it and shine the light straight down into the pan. The gnats/fruit flies will go to the reflection of the light and drown. Make sure the other lights in the house are out so they only go to the light in the pan. We get hundreds overnight this way.

      Reply
    2. ex army girl

      Hi there, I just saw your post about the coke botttle cut & inverted. I thought I would add my 2 pennies worth. I just saw yesterday on piterest that same idea, but using a sheet of paper as the funnel taped into the mouth of a jar–any jar would work, so save the next glass jar that gets emptied for that sole reason. (If you are like me, I can’t stand to see thoses labels still on the jars, so I soak them in super hot soapy water with a splash of bleach. After scraping the glue off any remaining residue comes easliy off with a tad bit of Bar Keepers Friend.) I would think that will be much easier for most folks to accomplish than a glass bottle & much safer as well. Anyway, thanks all for posting your bits of insight, I learn as much from them as I do anything on this website.

      Reply
    3. Stacie

      You can get rid of gnats by filling a glass halfway with apple cider vinegar and a drop of dishwashing liquid (I use dawn). The gnats are drawn to it go in and drown. It has never failed me!

      Reply
  14. silverdust

    Angela, I can’t wait to try sidewalk chalk to deter carpenter ants from my clothes lines. One end of the line is attached to the deck, and the other to a massive oak tree. The ants start from the tree end and travel to the deck end. It’s gross seeing them one clothes and actually hard to get them off sometimes; they stick! I’ve tried Vicks salve where the lines connect with their anchor points as well as cornmeal (but that takes too long to kill them), but it’s messy and seems wasteful. I need to keep them off the line from the get-go!

    Reply
  15. Mighty_mama

    Our problem is a bit bigger of a pest. I’m embarrassed to say, but we have rats in the attic. Haven’t noticed any in the house or in the garage, but cant seem to get them out of the attic. We have traps and have tried to block all seen gaps. Anyone have any tested and worked ideas? Used to have ferrel cats in the neighborhood, but now that those have gone we are struggling with the rats. I think I prefer the cats!

    Reply
    1. CTY

      Check with your local Extension Service–many counties have a rodent control program and can advise you– our program uses traps– they take the rodent & test it for diseases etc. so they can stay ahead of possible outbreaks. Also if you live near a wooded area our county has food pellets with various inoculations it so at least these critters don’t spread rabies etc. Our county had a particular problem with raccoon fighting the indoor/outdoor cat.

      Reply
    2. Chris

      We’ve had trouble with racoons in our attic. Anyone have any experience with those critters? They can be very destructive, dig up potted plants, etc.

      Reply
    3. Dinahbug

      Mighty Mama I know it’s not a very green way to do it…. But OneBite works wonders! Just put it up in the attic and they will eat it and be GONE. You should try to find where they are getting in and seal it up. Good luck!

      Reply
  16. JennB

    Any suggestions for No-See-Ums, and roaches? Can’t do the DE in the house bc I have a car who is allergic and he likes to sleep in cupboards.

    Thank You!

    Reply
  17. Phyllis

    I am looking for remedies to repel ticks and stink bugs. I would appreciate any suggestions.
    I just starting reading these posts and need to catch up on some of the older ones. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  18. kat

    help! We have a neighbourhood cat who keeps pooping in our yard – I’m looking for something natural to keep it out. I tried planting geraniums and sprinkling red pepper and chili around the yard, but it didn’t help. I need to keep it safe for my 2 year old to play too…any recommendations?

    Reply
  19. Catherine Heather graham

    Hi there Jillee! I just want to say I love your posts and this page is just super! I lived on a farm most of my life and had many bug problems..some you learn to put up with and others you try different things until you find one that works. At times on bad years I gave up and put diluted molasses in a saucer to divert the ants and they got stuck in that..but I like many of your suggestions. and have pinned your page so others can read and get help..thanks to you. I have tried planting lavender all around house and also peppermint yet still they come marching in..used vinegar to wash counters etc but as soon as the smell goes off they are back again. I finally made a concoction with Borax and honey..found a nest and set a dish close to it..all gone..but now there is another somewhere and a different type of Ant is coming in.so the war is still on.. Thanking you for many useful things you post and especially environmental ones.

    Reply
    1. Joy Mom

      I read somewhere about making a sweet concoction for ants with Boraxo, the laundry product, rather than boric acid. I have Boraxo on hand, but don’t know the ratio I should use.

      Jillee recommends soaking cotton balls in a sugar water/boric acid mixture. How long does this stay appealing to the ants?

      Reply
  20. CTY

    Jillee–thanks so much for this article. Our current woe is a mouse. DH sealed up all our holes– but I believe we actually trapped him in our house & he can’t get out. We are going to try a trap & release program for this little guy.

    For insect control we invite birds into our yard. A bird bath, some bird houses and non food goodies-like scraps of yarn for nest building. Also for the most part we leave outdoor & garage spider webs alone– we also mist the web with a little water in case they get thirsty–the droplets of water also attract insects to the web–it a a win/win for us & the spider. As a bonus we get very cool pictures of webs.

    Reply
  21. Suzanne

    Here in Texas, we have big roaches! Any comments someone can share on a homemade remedy for those guys. You know they are nasty when your animals don’t even want to eat them. LOL

    Reply
  22. Lori

    Back in the days of shag carpets…we had a trail of ants come in through the door, through the carpet to some food dropped by the kids on the floor (hidden, of course, by that lovely shag carpet!!!)
    We weren’t so “green” back then and only had ant spray – but who wants that oily stuff on your carpet?

    Enter any type of powder – baby powder, corn starch, flour – they suffocate the ants and then you can just vacuum it all up!!

    Reply
  23. AlohaGrama

    A thick line of cheap, generic, black pepper where ever the ants are coming in will stop them in their tracks. I also put some around the refrigerator and around the stove. Since I started this, I haven’t seen a single ant in the house.

    Reply
  24. Sheila

    If I have ants creeping into my house, I find their entry point(s) and rub a garlic clove across it, no more ants. I also heard a rumour, haven’t tried it though, that if you put splenda down by ant hills, they take it in and it kills the queen which kills all the rest – not a terribly green solution, I realize, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Reply
  25. Lori

    ok….any ideas for slugs and snails in the garden, especially raised beds??

    I know about the preventative measures – copper tape, gravel, DE (but, of course, didn’t do any of that before planting).

    Reply
    1. Sarah

      Beer. Seriously, slugs and snails are attracted to it, crawl in and drown. Put a bowl or two, halfway filled with beer, in each of your raised beds and you’ll soon find dead slimy creatures in it. Gross, but effective!

      Reply
    2. ex army girl

      I compost & have for years. Not sure where I learned this from, but I always put my egg shells in there as well. By the way, I do not bother to bake my shells to prevent whatever the latest most horrible thing. I just toss the shells in there and let nature take its course.

      So in your situation Lori, I would keep egg shells aside for awhile, bake them if you feel you must {they don’t stink if you don’t} crush them in a zip bag–but not into powder–& then sprinkle that around your individual plants turning it into the soil rather shallow. It cuts the offending bug’s body & deters them from coming back.

      Now that I think about it, I hope that I have not been doing a bad thing for my angle wormms & night crawlers that I purposely add to my composter…. Anyone know whther that is bad for them? However I do know that the snails, slugs, grubs & other assorted ickys don’t do well either.

      Reply
  26. Tauna

    I’m a recently new reader, and a first-time commenter! First, Jillee, I LOVE this blog! I am so inspired to do so many things! My mom and I have a standing date to make your stuff every other week!

    Anyway, I just discovered something to get rid of ants. Somewhere I read about bugs hating Basil, so out of desperation, I took some dried basil, mixed it with water, and poured about a tablespoon full down the place where they get in (through my window frame!!!). I haven’t seen an ant since!!!

    Reply
  27. Paula Hardy

    I applied the cinnamon powder to a area where I keep my drink by my laptop….I have yet to see any since then. My teen age daughter hates it being there but it is working so she can learn to deal with it, it is not in the way and does not cause any other problems

    Reply
  28. Sharon

    DE (food grade) is also great for fleas. Can be used directly on a dog or sprinkled on the yard outside. Can also be used on carpets and furniture. We had a terrible infestation last year, and within 2 days of sprinkling de on the carpets and furniture (but make sure fans are turned off-I did not and had dust from the powder EVERYWHERE).

    Reply
  29. Dee

    A strong solution of Original Murphy Oil Soap concentrate (1 part Murphy’s to 4 parts water) will kill many crawling insects on contact. Mix it in a spray bottle. In my personal experience, it works on bed bugs, ants, earwigs & silverfish. It may work on others, too. I used it on ants in my kitchen to get rid of the ones crawling around, then, after it dried up, I put diatomaceous earth in the cracks they were coming out of. No ants within a couple of days!

    Reply
  30. Kathy

    If you are having problems with Buffalo Gnats try Buggins all natural bug spray. It really does work and is not harmful. It’s the only thing we found to stop those horrible gnats!

    Reply
  31. Juanita

    I’m another one who is HOOKED on your letter. Fairly new at it, but have tried
    several of your ideas. LOVE, LOVE , LOVE the citrus enzyme. Have wasps in my work shed ever year,this year I sprayed all the rafters, roof & around where wasps & dirt dabbers normally set up home. Been over 3 weeks & not a flying critter around. They didn’t die- just left! Used it diluted on flowers (outside ) that had bugs & they seem to be ok. now also !
    How do I find the older hints?

    Reply
    1. Laurie

      Norma – a tiny bit of banana in a very small bowl – add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar – cover TIGHTLY with plastic wrap – put a pinhole in the middle of the wrap – really – JUST a pinhole! They get in, but they don’t get out!

      Reply
  32. Brenda Hindson

    Great ideas, thanks for sharing! If I may just add one thing…neem oil is a sterility promoter and implantation inhibitor, which is how it works to decimate the insect population that it’s used on. So please DO NOT use it if you or anyone in the area wants to get pregnant, I would have to assume that that includes pets.

    Reply
  33. houston house cleaning

    It is no secret that the home is of vital things that one when you have a family, living with a partner or alone wants to maintain good neat and clean all the time. If you have time and you need to have it organized asap houston house cleaning you have the solution.

    Reply
  34. ex army girl

    I just wanted to add a few tips that have come to mind in addition to the couple comments I left under other posts.

    First off, grew up on a hobby farm where we had over an acre just devoted to our garden. We wrapped newspaper cut into strips about 4″ wide around the base of our tomato & pepper plants starting just above the roots {so tap the dirt off 1st}, but not more than 3 wraps around the stem. Make sure that about an inch of the paper is showing above dirt when the planting is complete, so adjust the width of the paper accordingly. That is really dependant on the size of the plant; small early planting needs a more narrow strip than a bigger more robust later planting. This keeps various worms, grubs & other pests from eating the stem below the dirt & those without legs that can’t climb that are on the surface from reaching the stem.

    Second, dig pepper plant holes an inch deeper than directions say in order to bury 3-4 book matches, cover with an inch of dirt, continue to plant as directed, not forgeting the newspaper. Pepper plants need the extra dose of sulfur that the matches gives them. I have planted without the matches and they just don’t seem to flourish as they do with.

    Third, I always add about 1/8 C of epsom salt to a gallon of water when I water my tomatoes. They go NUTS. I grew grape tomatoes in my living room one year in a gallon bucket. They grew to over 4 foot tall, as big as a cherry tomato & the sweetest things I ever tasted. They also bloomed & produced endlessly. That is saying alot during a particularly frigid Minnesota winter….

    Fourth, if you eat garlic or onions, it is a natural repellant to biting insects like horse flies & mosquitoes. The Koreans have a diet very high in garlic, & don’t have to worry. Since garlic–especially raw garlic–has it’s own food group in my house, it works out well. Plus, heat kills the anti-bacterial properties of garlic. Russia bought & used millions of tons of garlic for use on the battlefield in WW1.

    Lastly, if you take used egg shells & turn them into a powder which is added to bird feed, chicken feed or your duck/geese feed, it gives them the calcium boost they need for a stronger egg shell. Plus, because you have powdered it, they will not break their own eggs to get the shells to eat {they like the shells & when you feed them in the big pieces, sooner or later, they make that connection}.

    Thanks for letting me ramble a bit sharing this.

    Reply
    1. the beth

      Cool stuff, I’m going to pass some of this onto my boyfriend’s sister. She does a small (20′x20′ ish) backyard garden with her girls. Tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, not sure what else.

      Reply
  35. Sheila

    Do you happen to have anything for repelling roaches?

    We’d never had a problem with them before, but we moved into an apartment and about 6 months later the neighbours moved out and all of a sudden we were being overrun by roaches. Huge ones. Its terrible, embarrassing, and I’m worried about my daughter finding one. We come downstairs in the morning and there will be 3 or 4 of them belly up on the floor throughout the place.

    Reply
    1. Kate

      Put Borax around the edges of rooms (ideally under baseboards, if possible, or at least under furniture, wherever you can hide it). This really helps repel/kill roaches. For fleas, use cedar. They HATE it…this really works….find a cedar tree you can prune & put many sprigs under furniture, under sofa pillows, etc. They say many insects, esp ants, won’t cross a chalk line. Try drawing one over the area where ants enter the house.

      Reply
  36. ex army girl

    I saw a lot of people wondering about cockroaches…earlier someone had a link to Wolf Creek Ranch…have been there reading for quite some time fascinated I might add. Anyway, at this page: http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/defaq.html they talk about roaches. Hope y’all get some help here with this website. **NOTE: For whatever reason, they are unable to sell Food grade DE in TEXAS**

    Reply
  37. Naimah

    Is there a natural repellent for centipedes? Are apartment is always infested with them in the warmer months, which drives me and my roommate crazy. Plus the are gross.

    Reply
    1. the beth

      My boyfriend & I and his parents have bad centipede problems as well. I know they eat other bugs which is great, but we tend to get really big ones (we just had a 3-inch one a few days ago with 1-inch legs – YUCK) so they’re really creepy. We find them in the basement or on the first floor near the front door or in our office which is right next to the front door, never on the 2nd floor. Our only other bug issues that we have noticed and are aware of are spiders (occasionally in the shower (2nd floor), or near the ceiling in the kitchen on the 1st floor; they are also good-size, including legs, nickel-sized maybe, and I’m not sure what type they are), and boxelders in the basement.

      Reply

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