Your home is where you want to feel safe and comfortable, but it’s difficult to do that if you’re worried about roaches, ants, bed bugs, flies, or other pests invading your home. In addition, you want to protect your home from these pests, but you don’t want to use harsh pesticides or spend hundreds of dollars paying a pest control company.
With your concerns in mind, we’re offering the top ten home remedies to repel or kill pests as well as an evaluation of the common pests and how to protect your home from them.
What are the Top Ten Home Remedies for Pests?
The best home remedies for deterring or killing household pests range from DIY sprays to using essential oils that will repel or get rid of pets. The best solution depends on what type of pests you have because different substances repel and kill different bugs.
Ten Home Remedies for Pests
1. Herbs and Spices:
- Garlic and mint repel spider mites, Japanese beetles, and many other small bugs. You can mix the two in a spray bottle and spray plants and the edges inside and outside your home. You may want to boil the mixture first to help the mint leaves release their oils.
- Cloves and Cinnamon can be spread around your home to repel numerous insects, such as mosquitos.
- Rosemary can repel fleas.
- Cayenne wards off ants.
2. Chemicals: Boric acid and borax kill roaches and ants but applying the two are a bit tricky.
- Boric Acid: While wearing a respirator, spread it through the house including in cabinets, under the fridge, and so forth. Make sure to clean it up the next morning. Also, keep it away from children and pets because it can be harmful to them.
- Borax: Mix borax with sugar and place it in areas where you’ve seen roaches or ants. If you have pets, put the mixture in areas where your pets cannot reach like behind the fridge and stove. The sugar will attract the pests, and the borax will kill them when they eat the sugar.
3. Essential Oils: Lavender, peppermint, and other essential oils can repel many different kinds of pests including ants, roaches, and fleas. Make your own spray by adding several drops of one of the oils below to water, then spray it around your house.
a. Spearmint and Peppermint: Repels ants, beetles, fleas, gnats, moths, roaches, and spiders.
b. Lavender: Repels chiggers, ticks, mosquitos, and flies.
c. Lemongrass: Wards off chiggers, fleas, mosquitos, and ticks.
d. Tea Tree Oil: You can make a spray that will get rid of many types of bugs including bed bugs, which are particularly difficult to get rid of.
- Onions repel several pests like spiders.
- Sweet basil plants can be used to repel multiple types of bugs from your garden and home. You can even use it on your skin as a natural bug repellent.
- Eucalyptus may repel mosquitos and ticks. Like the other substances we’ve suggested, you can make your own eucalyptus spray. Be careful with eucalyptus, it can irritate your skin and it can be harmful if ingested.
5. Kinds of vinegar: With apple cider vinegar, you can make your own insect repellant and pesticide that is safe for children and pets. You can also use white distilled vinegar to kill bed bugs by creating your own spray and dispersing it throughout your home. Make sure you get in small cracks and crevices around your bed.
6. Cedar chips: Cedar chips are great for repelling small insects like spiders and fleas. They are especially great if you have children or pets. You can spread small bags or baskets of them throughout your home and use them in your garden and around the edges of your house.
7. Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds can be used around the outside of your home and inside your home. They ward off mosquitos, wasps, bees, and other pests. Do not put them in your garden because they will ward off the bees that pollinate your plants.
8. Cornmeal: If you sprinkle cornmeal around your home, it will repel ants and other bugs.
9. Citrus: Orange and lemon oils or juices repel bugs and make your home smell clean. You can create a spray with lemon or orange zest, an essential oil of your choice, and dish soap, then spray it through your house to deter pests.
10. Dish soap spray: Like some of the suggestions above, a DIY spray is a great, safe remedy for dealing with pests. You can add whatever dish soap you want, essential oils, vinegar, and the other natural remedies we’ve discussed above. Do not add borax or boric acid because they could harm you, your children, or pets.
Most of the remedies we’ve suggested are safe for people and pets except for borax and boric acid, which is why many people choose not to use these chemicals. However, they are extremely effective if you have a serious infestation. You have you wear protective gear and put the mixtures where your pets and children cannot get into it.
Before you go out and purchase everything we’ve suggested, you should first know the signs of certain pests and ways you can protect your home before you have a pest infestation.
What are Signs that I have Pests or an Infestation?
The answer depends on what type of pests you have. The signs can range from seeing a pest’s droppings to odors in your home. Keep reading to learn about the most common pests and the signs of an infestation for each.
The signs of the most common pests include:
- Roaches: Feces or little black specks all over your home. Egg casings that look like little brown or black shells. Dead roaches or roaches running around during the day and an oily, musky odor.
- Bed bugs: They are more common than you think, especially if you buy used furniture. They are not in just beds; they can be in sofas, dressers, desks, and more. You’ll see little black bugs at night and little red spots all over your body where the bugs have bitten you.
- Spiders: Spider infestations are not very common, but the signs that they are present in your home are webs and seeing the spiders.
- Ants: You’ll see ants fairly quickly. They’re attracted to food and water and will come out during the day to get it.
In addition, you should understand how to protect your home from pests before they have entered or caused an infestation. Like with most things in life, a proactive approach is always better than a reactive approach. This is particularly true for pests like roaches, which can be difficult to get rid of once a severe infestation has occurred. Moreover, when an infestation gets out of hand, it can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars to get rid of them.
How Do I Prevent Pests from Entering My Home?
Some of the best home precautions for pest control are the easiest. You should keep your home clean, do not leave food or water out, and make sure you investigate furniture before you take it home. Let’s go over these steps in more detail below.
Clean Your Home
This means moving furniture around and cleaning under and behind it. You should also move your fridge and stove and clean around those because food often falls under and behind them, and this will attract ants and roaches. Vacuum your carpets often to prevent fleas, and surface clean with the DIY sprays we suggested above.
Declutter Your Home
Roaches love to hide in boxes, papers, and other items that are clustered together in your closest. Not to mention, these are good hiding places for spiders and bed bugs. Clear out your clutter regularly to discourage pests from nesting in your home.
Investigate Used Furniture or Do Not Buy Used furniture
Used furniture can easily bring bed bugs and roaches into your home, and it’s hard to get rid of them once they’re in your home. Investigate any used furniture you buy, look in corners between spaces where the wood connects or under the furniture. You might also want to consider buying furniture new if you can afford it since it is less likely to have pest infestations.
You can repel or kill pests in and around your home with many natural ingredients like essential oils, herbs, and spices, as well as several kinds of vinegar. Chemicals like borax and boric acid will definitely get rid of pests, but make sure you place them out of reach of children and pets. One or two bugs in your home on occasion is perfectly natural, even if you use repellent and homemade pesticide. Just remember to protect your home by keeping it clean, clearing away clutter, and inspecting furniture before you bring it into your home.