Various house plants in different pots against white wall

What are the Top Ten Home Remedies for Pest Control?

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. It’s also important to pay attention to allergies or other medical issues before using any of the methods below, but fortunately, most of them are completely harmless to the average person.

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.

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. Let’s get to work.

Ten Home Remedies for Pests

1. Herbs and Spices:

Summer is here, and with it come the bugs. To keep your outdoor space bug-free, you need to arm yourself with the right herbs and spices. Here are the top 10 herbs and spices that have been proven effective in repelling bugs:

  1. Mint: This aromatic herb has a strong scent that repels many bugs, including mosquitoes, ants, and fleas. It also has a calming effect on humans and can be used to make tea or as an ingredient in cooking. Be sure to keep mint away from pets, as it can be toxic if ingested in large quantities.
  2. Basil: This herb is known for repelling mosquitoes, flies, and other pests due to its strong smell. It can be used in cooking or as an essential oil for aromatherapy purposes.
  3. Lavender: Lavender is known for its calming properties, but it also has insect-repelling properties due to its strong scent. It’s often used as an essential oil or dried flower buds for aromatherapy purposes but can also be planted around your home to help keep bugs away naturally.
  4. Chives: Chives are a type of onion with a milder flavor than regular onions but still have the same bug-repelling properties due to their pungent smell. They can be used fresh or dried in cooking or planted around your home for natural pest control.
  5. Rosemary: Rosemary is another aromatic herb proven effective in repelling many insects due to its strong scent and flavor profile when cooked with food or used as an essential oil for aromatherapy purposes.
  6. Citronella grass: Also known as lemongrass, citronella grass has a strong citrusy scent that helps repel mosquitoes and other pests naturally without any harsh chemicals or toxins being released into the environment.
  7. Catnip: Catnip is well known for its effects on cats, but it also has insect-repelling properties due to its strong smell when crushed up and spread around your home or garden area naturally without any harsh chemicals being released into the environment as some commercial bug sprays do contain.
  8. Sage is another aromatic herb with insect-repelling properties due to its strong smell when burned or cooked with food items such as meats and vegetables. It’s also great for adding flavor to dishes while helping keep bugs away at the same time.
  9. Petunias: Petunias are a type of flower that has a sweet scent that helps repel many types of insects, such as aphids, whiteflies, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, leafhoppers, mealybugs, thrips, caterpillars, mites, slugs, snails, spider mites, stinkbugs & more. Planting petunias around your home will help keep these pesky critters away naturally without releasing harsh chemicals into the environment.
  10. Dill: Dill is an herb proven effective in repelling cabbage moths & spider mites due to its strong aroma & flavor profile when cooked with food items such as soups & salads. It’s also great for attracting beneficial insects such as ladybugs & lacewings, which help keep harmful pests away from your garden area naturally without any harsh chemicals being released into the environment like some commercial bug sprays do contain.

These are just some of the herbs & spices you can use to help keep pesky bugs away from your outdoor space this summer! Be sure to conduct thorough research before using any herbs & spices, so you know what precautions must be taken if there are potential side effects.

2. Chemicals:

Boric acid and borax kill roaches and ants, but applying the two is a bit tricky.

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

A person using natural pest control methods such as diatomaceous earth, essential oils, and beneficial insects

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. Here are some of the best according to experts:

  1. Citronella Oil: This oil is extracted from lemongrass and is known for its strong bug-repelling properties. It is effective against mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Ideal use cases include outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, and gardening. Its benefits include its pleasant smell and non-toxicity to humans and pets.
  2. Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil is well-known for its refreshing scent and cooling sensation. However, it also has bug-repelling properties that work well against ants, spiders, and mosquitoes. Peppermint oil can be used indoors and outdoors, making it a versatile choice for bug control.
  3. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil: This oil is derived from the leaves of eucalyptus trees and is highly effective against mosquitoes. Studies have shown that lemon eucalyptus oil can provide protection similar to DEET, a common chemical insect repellent. It is best used in outdoor settings such as camping, hiking, and gardening.
  4. Tea Tree Oil: This oil is famous for its antibacterial and antifungal properties but also has bug-repelling properties. Tea tree oil works well against mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, making it an excellent choice for those who want to repel bugs naturally. It is ideal for outdoor use and safe for humans and pets.
  5. Lavender Oil: Lavender oil is well-known for its calming properties, but it can also repel insects such as moths, mosquitoes, and flies. It is safe to use indoors and outdoors, making it a versatile choice for bug control. Additionally, lavender oil effectively reduces itching and swelling from bug bites.
  6. Lemongrass Oil: Lemongrass oil is extracted from lemongrass leaves and has a strong citrus scent. It is effective against mosquitoes, ants, and flies, making it an excellent choice for outdoor activities such as camping and gardening. Its benefits include its non-toxicity to humans and pets and its ability to mask unpleasant odors.
  7. Cedarwood Oil: Cedarwood oil is known for its woody scent and has been found to repel moths, ants, and fleas. It is best used in indoor settings such as closets and drawers to prevent moth damage to clothing. Additionally, cedarwood oil has a calming effect that can help reduce stress and anxiety.
  8. Thyme Oil: Thyme oil is an excellent choice for repelling mosquitoes and other flying insects. It is ideal for use in outdoor settings and can be applied topically or diffused into the air. Thyme oil also has antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infections from bug bites.
  9. Clove Oil: Clove oil has a strong, spicy scent and is effective against mosquitoes, ants, and ticks. It is best used outdoors and can be applied topically or diffused into the air. Additionally, clove oil has been found to have pain-relieving properties that can help reduce discomfort from bug bites.
  10. Rosemary Oil: Rosemary oil has a fresh, herbaceous scent and is effective against mosquitoes and other flying insects. It is ideal for use in outdoor settings and can be applied topically or diffused into the air. Rosemary oil also has antioxidant properties that can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals.

Natural essential oils can be a safe and effective alternative to chemical insect repellents. The top 10 essential oils with bug-repelling properties provide a range of options for different use cases and preferences. Whether you prefer a strong citrus scent or a calming woody scent, an essential oil can work for you. So next time you plan an outdoor activity or want to protect your home from bugs, consider using natural essential oils as a bug repellent.

4. Plants:

Various house plants in different pots against white wall

Here are eight of the best house plants to deter bugs according to the pest control experts.

  1. Basil: Basil is an herb that’s known to repel flies and mosquitoes. It contains natural oils such as camphor, which has insect-repellent properties. Basil is easy to grow indoors, and you can place it near windows or doors to keep bugs away.
  2. Mint: Mint is another herb that contains natural oils that repel bugs. Its strong scent can also mask other unwanted smells. You can grow mint indoors in a pot or planter, and it can help repel ants, flies, and mosquitoes.
  3. Lavender: Lavender’s sweet smell makes it a popular choice for many people, but it’s also effective at repelling moths, fleas, and flies. This plant is easy to grow indoors, and you can harvest its flowers to make sachets or potpourri that will keep bugs away.
  4. Lemongrass: Lemongrass is another herb that’s known for its bug-repelling properties. It contains citronella, commonly found in candles and sprays marketed as bug repellents. Lemongrass is easy to grow indoors, and it can help repel mosquitoes and flies.
  5. Rosemary: Rosemary is a fragrant herb that’s commonly used in cooking, but it also has insect-repellent properties. It contains natural oils that repel mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs. You can grow rosemary indoors, and it’s a great addition to any kitchen.
  6. Chrysanthemum: Chrysanthemum is a beautiful flowering plant that’s also an effective insect repellent. It contains natural chemicals called pyrethrins, which are commonly used in insecticides. Chrysanthemums are easy to grow indoors, and they can help repel ants, roaches, and spiders.
  7. Marigolds: Marigolds are another flowering plant that can help keep bugs away. They contain natural chemicals called thiophenes, which are commonly found in insecticides. Marigolds are easy to grow indoors and can help repel mosquitoes, flies, and other bugs.
  8. Spider Plant: Spider plants are a popular houseplant that’s also effective at keeping bugs away. They absorb harmful toxins from the air, such as formaldehyde and benzene, which can attract insects. Spider plants are easy to grow indoors and can help repel ants, roaches, and spiders.

5. Kinds of vinegar:

Unleash the power of apple cider vinegar to create a natural insect repellent and pesticide that’s safe for your furry friends and little ones. But wait, there’s more! White distilled vinegar is also a potent weapon in the battle against bed bugs. Mix up your own spray and distribute it throughout your humble abode, making sure to get into every nook and cranny around your sleeping quarters. Show those pesky critters who’s boss!

6. Cedar chips:

Looking for a natural way to keep those pesky spiders and fleas at bay without harming your little ones or furry friends? Look no further than cedar chips! These fragrant chips pack a powerful punch when it comes to repelling small insects. Spread them around your home in small bags or baskets, or sprinkle them throughout your garden and around the perimeter of your house. Your home will smell fantastic while remaining pest-free (hopefully)!

7. Coffee grounds:

Did you know you can use coffee grounds to keep pests like mosquitos, wasps, and bees at bay? It’s true! This versatile substance can be used outside and inside your home to send those pesky critters packing. Just be careful not to use them in your garden, as they can also repel the bees vital to pollinating your plants. So go ahead and enjoy your morning brew knowing that you can also use its grounds to protect your home from unwanted pests.

8. Cornmeal:

Still looking for an all-natural solution to pesky ant problems? Look no further than your kitchen pantry! You can keep those annoying critters at bay with just a sprinkle of cornmeal. This versatile substance not only repels ants but can also keep other common household bugs at bay. Its long-lasting effects make it a cheap and effective way to protect your home without relying on harsh chemicals. So next time you’re facing down an army of ants, reach for the cornmeal and show them who’s boss!

9. Citrus:

Keep your home smelling clean while also repelling pesky bugs! Try the power of citrus to keep the bugs at bay with various citrus. These zesty fruits pack a powerful punch for deterring insects, making them an ideal choice for those who want to avoid harsh chemicals. By creating a simple spray with lemon or orange zest, an essential oil of your choice, and some dish soap, you can efficiently distribute the repellent throughout your home and send those creepy crawlies packing. So why not add some citrus to your daily routine and enjoy a pest-free home that smells great too?

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.

The Recap

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.