DIY Natural Pest Control: Possible? I say yes! – Effective? Of course!
I have added tid bits spread throughout my other blog posts & also on Facebook & Pinterest with natural safe & effective pest control ideas. But I am going to bring them all here to one spot so they are easier to find.
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I am adding this blog post to my series of articles on How to be Green & Healthy: Room by room. The Blog series of articles is about: All things DIY for the whole house, Green cleaning room by room, subjects being added: laundry, bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining room, bedrooms, kids bedrooms, nursery, office, floors, walls, ceilings, vehicles. So DIY pest control will become post #14 in this series, because lots of these ideas are already spread into the others posts in this series & because these ideas are safe for every room in your house & outside, plus many of them can be added right in your DIY cleaners with no extra fuss.
Do you want to know how to get rid of Lice naturally? Then check out my Lice be gone post here.
Lets get started!
Items I use for pest control:
- Food grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
- Apple cider vinegar / White vinegar
- Essential oils
- Colloidal silver
- Lemon Juice
- Baking soda
- And a few other awesome items & tricks
Some of the below ideas are similar, but I am copy & pasting lots of them from my other blog posts so I did not want to miss any of them.
Essential oils can be added to your DIY cleaners & sprayed, added to baking soda, DE, Borax & sprinkled or sat in bowls/sachets, mixed with coconut oil & rubbed on. The essential oils I use for pest control that repel or kill:
- Peppermint, Eucalyptus, spearmint: spiders, ants, roaches, aphids, fleas, ticks, beetles, gnats, caterpillars, lice, nits, moths, other flying bugs.
- Cedar wood: aphids, lice nits, moths, slugs, snails.
- Lemongrass: fleas, ticks, no see ums, mosquitos, biting flies, chiggers.
- Lavender: chiggers, fleas, ticks, flies, lice nits, mosquitos, moths.
- Sage/Thyme/Oregano: chiggers, beetles, flies.
- Lemon (or other citrus): fleas, ants, roaches, lice, nits, biting flies.
For fleas, ticks, ants, bedbugs, silverfish, & creepy crawly pests of all kinds, inside, in your garden, in your yard, on your pets & animals I use food grade diatomaceous earth & I purchase it from diatomaceousearth.com. It is my number 1 go to for pests. But the other items listed above are also used plenty. Check out my Pest control ideas below.
How I do it:
Fleas, roaches, silverfish, bedbugs, lice, mites, ants etc.
sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) on carpets furniture, pet bedding, baseboard, behind furniture etc. leave as long as possible ( this can be left behind furniture etc, hours, days weeks months) vacuum up any in areas where you walk or sit after fleas are gone. Safe for kids & animals. so safe we feed it to our animals & we take it daily. You can also sprinkle around the outside of your house, in your yard on plants in your garden, house plants, around roots on plants. Can also be sprinkled on rose bushes & other plants & flowers to kill aphids & other pests. Add new DE if it gets wet.
kill Bed Bugs & lice on bedding.
Simply sprinkle Food grade diatomaceous earth all over mattress (And room), between mattress & box springs, dust on legs & on the floor around legs, work into mattress with a broom or brush allow to sit overnight or longer is best to kill bed bugs spiders, ants, fleas, chiggers, mites, roaches etc.Only vacuum mattress top, leave a DE layer between the mattress & box spring for however long you want, sweep & vacuum floors, baseboard etc, if you have an infestation leave some DE in corners & behind things, sprinkle in window seals, wash everything in hot water with Borax, And sit legs of bed in plastic bowls with DE in them.
To repel & kill weevils & other bugs in flour, cornmeal etc: Simply mix DE in with all your powdered baking products like flour & corn meal, just a couple tbsp. will keep the whole package weevil free. You can also add to the bottom of canisters you add pastas & rice to. And DE is healthy for you so natural pest product you can eat.
Kill & repel Fleas, ticks & pests on animals: I sprinkle DE on my animals fur & rub in for fleas & ticks, I also sprinkle their bedding & add to their food, My pets fur stay so shiny & healthy with them taking DE & their skin looks better than it ever did before I started rubbing it on them, & as a plus it kills ear mites.
Naturally kill & repel Aphids & worms (& other pests): I found lots of Aphids & tiny green worms eating my roses & leaves on my rose bushes So I very slightly sprayed the rose bushes with peroxide water & then sprinkled Food grade diatomaceous earth on them, I did this one day & I sprinkled more DE on them the next day after it rained & I checked that afternoon & all the aphids & worms were dead or gone. The DE works better not wet so if it rains let the plant dry some before reapplying, & I only used peroxide water the one day because it was windy, so I only sprayed it on lightly so the DE would stick to the bugs & worms. (kill most bugs & pests the natural way inside & outside with DE)
Bugs (powder) ceilings:
Food grade diatomaceous earth is the best natural bug killer including roaches, it is a bit harder to get on ceilings (try not to breath too much in as just like any powder it can be a mild lung irritant) but you can use various way to get the DE in spots that bugs enter, like putting it in the holes & crack by applying with a damp or dry sponge, paintbrush, cotton swabs etc or using any number of dusters & applicators. I leave DE out at all times, I only clean it off the ceilings & add new about every 8 weeks or if I start seeing new spiders, roaches or other bugs.
Bugs/pests roaches etc in babies room (Nursery): The last thing you want is creepy Crawlies in the Nursery, so routinely put Food grade diatomaceous earth on carpets & around overnight & vacuum up (a deodorizer also) you can also repel pests by leaving under rugs, behind furniture & along baseboard.
To freshen, deodorizer & kill dust mites.
Add 2 cups of baking soda, 10 drops lavender essential oil, 5 to 10 drops Tea tree oil to a bowl use a fork & your fingers to evenly mix & break up clumps, simply sprinkle on bare mattress & work in with broom, brush or hands & let sit on mattress several hours before vacuuming up. A great tip is to add this mixture to an empty parmesan cheese container for easy sprinkling.
Options to add to mixture: 1 cup of eucalyptus leaves ground in a blender till fine or other herbs fresh or dried, Any other essential oils you wish to add, 1/2 cup of corn starch (this is great to absorb oils etc) 1/4 cup salt, 1/2 cup of food grade Diatomaceous earth (to deodorize & kill fleas, mites, bed bugs, ants etc) 1/2 cup borax (helps freshen, remove odors, sanitize & kill critters) &/or several caps of peroxide just enough to make a nearly damp crumble (sanitizes, deodorizer, freshens, brightens & stain removal)
Sachet ideas for drawers & closets that repel bugs & are great to get rid of odors too:
Use a mesh bag, bowl with lid & holes or sock tied, baking soda & favorite essential oils, just baking soda, baking soda & borax, baking soda & crushed dried eucalyptus leaves (or other dried herbs) potpourri & baking soda &/or essential oils
Fleas, roaches, silverfish, ants etc
Sprinkle Borax on carpets, furniture, baseboards, behind furniture etc. leave as long as possible & Vacuum up. You can mix some salt in with the mixture for extra flea killing power, but make sure your vacuum can handle salt. The Borax as a plus is a great odor absorber & great carpet & upholstery cleaner.
Musty odors on carpet or in room (& repel bugs, fleas & ticks)
1 part Borax, 1 part baking soda, sprinkle in room all over floors rather there is carpeting or not, allow to sit overnight & sweep up or vacuum up.
Lemon juice & Peroxide as bug spray: you can simply add the DIY bleach alternative here to spray bottle & spray bugs & spray where they are entering your home such as around doors & windows. You can also just add lemon juice & water 5/50 in a spray bottle & add essential oils. Lemon juice & lemon essential oils are both great for bug deterrents.
Fleas in carpets, bedding & furniture: Mix peroxide in a crumble with baking soda, the crumble should be damp not over wet, mix & rub in with a brush or broom, allow to totally dry & vacuum up or sweep off, peroxide is great to repel fleas & to kill them, you can mix 1 part peroxide with 2 parts water & essential oils in a spray bottle & spray legs to keep fleas from biting.
To repel spiders
Spray bottle with 10 drops of liquid soap & 10 to 20 drops peppermint essential oil, spray spiders & spray areas where the hang out. You could also add the peppermint essential oil (& eucalyptus &/or spearmint essential oils) right to your normal DIY cleaner so you can repel & clean with a great scent.
Baking soda & Essential oils to absorb odors & naturally repel bugs & pests: mix up your favorite essential oils with baking soda in a bowl & sit under your desk or close by to absorb odors: One box of baking soda & 20 to 30 drops essential oils.
Carpet Odor remover (& pest control):
Sprinkle with baking soda or baking soda & borax, work in with broom, allow to sit several hours or overnight & vacuum up.
Options to add: (pre mixed before sprinkling) Essential oils, Peroxide or vinegar, Food grade Diatomaceous earth.
Spiders, Roaches & pests on walls or anywhere (repel): 20 drops peppermint essential oil in large spray bottle filled with water or added to one of your DIY spray cleaners. spray spiders directly then just wipe to remove any excess wetness after using a broom to remove spider (spider will probably still be alive) after removing all spiders spray areas they tend to live with your mixture, wipe off excess water, this might need to be repeated daily(also repels some other bugs & repels mice). You can also make a food grade diatomaceous earth & water mixture to spray, just do not add to much DE since it will clog the sprayer (Great for most pest in home & garden). To kill roaches add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of colloidal silver to a large spray bottle with water, or add 1/8th cup to your DIY spray cleaners, simply just use everywhere you have seen roaches & it repels them & you will start finding dead roaches.
Killing & Repelling Flies, Gnats/Fruit flies, Spiders & other bugs (Spray): Use a large spray bottle 16 oz rubbing alcohol (or grain alcohol) 1 tsp. eucalyptus essential oil 1 tsp. peppermint essential oil 1 tsp. natural liquid soap (Like Castile etc or original blue dawn) shake. Fill the rest of the bottle with water or use straight for best results Lightly mist on ceilings, & spray spiders & other bugs, I use this on my drywall ceilings that have knockdown on them just fine, never have issues. Can be used as a cleaner to help repel around the house.
You can use the mixture without the essential oils but it will not work to repel spiders & in other cases might not work as well
Optional add 1 tsp. food grade diatomaceous earth, but if you add the DE do not use as a cleaner simply because it can leave a chalky residue behind. Spray gnats & flies etc.
Bay leaves, roaches & other bugs: Roaches hate bay leaves, so head to the spice isle & buy whole bay leaves, now add them to your boxes, containers, drawers or wherever you are having a cockroach or palmetto bug problem. You can also add bay leaves to your spray bottle of vinegar cleaner (or other DIY cleaner) & repel roaches while cleaning. Ants & fleas also are repelled by bay leaves
Roach killer & repel spray:
Simply colloidal silver is amazing at killing a repelling roaches, it does not work as fast as DE does but it is great, I add colloidal silver to a spray bottle & spray the areas they frequent or enter, after a few days you see less roaches then you start finding some dead roaches. I add colloidal silver to all my DIY spray cleaners DIY room/deodorizing sprays & DIY bug sprays it is not only great for germs & bacteria & preserving the cleaner naturally it helps repel roaches while you spray. more info here)
For pests such as ants, roaches, fleas etc in vehicles.
Sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) &/or Borax on carpets flooring & seats, under mats etc. leave as long as possible then vacuum up, leave some under seats & mats if possible. Safe for kids & animals. so safe we feed it to our animals & we take it daily.
For killing roaches in the kitchen cupboards, closets, drawers: Borax, which is often used for washing clothes, is one of the most powerful weapons in the arsenal against cockroaches. It’s also completely harmless to humans and absolutely natural, making it the perfect organic pest control. (copied from here)… How I use Borax, sit in small jars or bowls, in sachets, or sprinkle in the backs of cupboards, under sinks etc, you can mix in baking soda, DE & essential oils.
To kill ants & roaches with baking soda: mix baking soda with regular white sugar or powdered sugar, you can also mix Borax into this mixture. (here)
Ants in Garden: Sprinkle baking soda &/or self rising flour on your plants & around them, repeat when they get wet, you can mix DE in this mixture as well. You can also sprinkle salt on ant trails & on ant hills.
Draw a chalk line to repel ants: This was a favorite of several old folks I grew up around, I was always amazed to watch how the ants would not walk over the chalk line (info here). You can also do the same thing by making a thin line of baking soda making sure to have no breaks in the powder line.
Bug repel sprays: Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and witch hazel in a spray bottle. Add a few drops of lemon juice and spray around the corners of doors and windows to repel bugs. (more ideas here)
Bug Spray for garden (Vegetable plants) I adapted this recipe & used Tropical Traditions Natural Dish Liquid in the recipe (You can use any dish soap). In a large jug or bucket mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tbsp. of Dish Liquid one gallon of water mix with hand or spoon. Helps control whiteflies, aphids & other soft-bodied insects. Add to spray bottle or pump sprayer & spray bugs.
For spider mites: 3 tablespoons Dish Liquid. Add to spray bottle or pump sprayer & spray bugs.
Spray the plants with the appropriate soap solution, thoroughly coating the plants. Apply the solution on the undersides of leaves where most insects tend to congregate. Spray the plants a second time two to three days later if there is no burning or other damage to the plants. Continue to apply every three days until most of the insects are dead. Rinse the plants with clear water the day after spraying, rinsing away the soap scum. The soap can block the pores on the plant’s foliage and prevent respiration if not rinsed away
Garden pest control spray: Use hydrogen peroxide to eliminate some garden pests such as the potato beetle, Spray the bugs in the mornings or evenings, being sure that the spray contacts the pests. (here)
Apple cider vinegar & White vinegar: Just cleaning with straight vinegar repels many bugs like ants, & roaches are not fond of the small either. And bathing pets with apple cider vinegar kills fleas & repels them. Using apple cider vinegar in your hair can repel lice & nits as well. (more info here)
And what about mice: Well mice hate peppermint, peppermint essential oil sprayed very strongly works but the actual peppermint leaves are even better.(info on peppermint oil for mice) Also read the article Dealing with Mice in Your House Natural Mice Prevention & repellent~ I Declared War On Mice & Things I Learned here
To repel & kill gnats: Fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol & spray them and watch them fall, immediately wipe up with a wet washcloth so they do not dry off & fly again. Optional add essential oils.
Here’s an all-purpose household bug spray:
You can adapt this recipe to deal with specific pests by substituting essential oils (article here, including a Aromatherapy Moth Repellent Sachets how to)
For Mosquito sprays
Check out these great articles
A quote from Grandpa’s Diatomaceous Earth Facebook page about food grade diatomaceous earth & small pets: DE for Smaller pets ….. Rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils and other small animals are among the toughest to treat for mites, fleas, and other harmful pests. Their skin is so soft and sensitive that flea powders, shampoos and even soapy baths can cause great irritation and fur loss. Diatomaceous earth is among the leading treatments recommended by veterinarians. Simply rub as little as 1 teaspoon into the coat or fur every-other day until the infected areas have been resolved. These little guys can also handle little amounts spread throughout their cages to prevent harsh smells and further outbreaks. Food grade diatomaceous is safe and non-toxic to even the smallest and most fragile of pets
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