10 Natural Ways to Keep Pests at Bay

Many commercial pest control products away are highly toxic. Luckily, there are safe and natural ways to keep pests away.

By Benjamin St. Jacques

 

One of a homeowner’s top priorities is keeping insects, rodents, and other critters away from the house. But many commercial products to keep pests away are highly toxic — even deadly. People are often reluctant to use them, especially if they have pets or small children.

 

Luckily, there are easy and non-toxic alternatives you can use to keep pests away while keeping your pets and family safe. Try combating the creepy crawlies with these simple techniques.

 

Spook Spiders with Citrus

Did you know spiders hate citrus? It’s true! That means you can easily make your own spider repellent. Mix about 1 cup of unsweetened lemon or lime juice (doesn’t have to be freshly-squeezed) and 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Then, liberally spray countertops, doorways, windowsills, and other places you see spiders two or three times a week. The spiders will be gone in no time.

 

view

Photo by bigstock

 

2. Attack Ants with Vinegar

Are armies of ants marching into your home? Make them retreat with vinegar. Mix water and vinegar in equal portions in a spray bottle. Use the solution to clean any areas where you’ve seen ants. This solution will destroy the scent trails ants use to navigate, so once they leave they can’t find their way back.

 

view

Photo by dreamstime

 

3. Wave Bye-Bye to Wasps with Fake Nests

Wasps are very territorial. A wasp colony will never build a nest near another. You can buy a couple of fake nests and place them around your property to intimidate the real wasps. Problem solved.

 

view

Photo by dreamstime

 

4. Make Fleas Flee with Salt

Have a flea problem? There’s a salty solution. Pour salt on your floors, wait three days, then vacuum. It’s not necessary to coat the entire floor with salt, but concentrate on areas near cracks, crevices, and loose floorboards. If you have carpet, then salt the entire rug. Repeat the process at least three times. Be sure to empty your vacuum and throw away the contents each time to keep any live fleas from coming back.

 

view

Photo by dreamstime

 

5. Destroy Dust Mites with Cinnamon Oil

You can make your house smell good and get rid of pests at the same time. Simply mix a few drops of cinnamon oil into a 50/50 solution of water and alcohol. Then spray on bedding, carpet, under furniture, and any other place where dust collects. You’ll kill dust mites and freshen your home.

 

view

Photo by bigstock

 

6. Forget About Fruit Flies

Love fruit but hate the little flies it attracts? Fill a glass three quarters full with vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Add a squirt of soap or dishwashing liquid. Then, fill to the top with warm water. Place it next to your fruit bowl. Fruit flies can’t resist the scent of vinegar, but the soap makes them sink and drown when they land on it. What fruit fly problem?

 

view

Photo by dreamstime

 

7. Drive Away Deer with Soap

Deer are cute, but they can be considered pests if they’re eating your garden or shrubs. Get a few bars of Irish Spring soap (yes, it has to be that brand) and cut it up into chunks. Simply hang it on a branch or spread it on the ground near the things that deer like to eat. Deer hate the smell of this soap and will stay away.

 

view

Photo by bigstock

 

8. Banish Bees with Mint

Who doesn’t love the smell of fresh mint? Bees, that’s who. Plant mint around your house and windowsill to keep them away. Bonus — this works for mosquitos too! Just be aware that mint can become a pest itself.

 

view

Photo by dreamstime

 

If a bee colony has already built a hive on your property, then spread cinnamon around it for one to two weeks. This will cause the bees to relocate without causing them any harm.

 

9. Get Rid of Gophers with Gross Stuff

Are gophers invading your yard? Sure, you want them gone, but many of the common solutions involve killing the poor things. Luckily, gophers detest any kind of strong smell, so you can use that to your advantage. Place raw fish or pet waste around a gopher hole to encourage them to find a new home. Coffee grounds will work as well, but too much may deplete the soil of nitrogen.

 

view

Photo by bigstock

 

You can also create this mixture: Blend 3 tablespoons of castor oil and 2 tablespoons of dish liquid. Then add 2 tablespoons of that solution to 1 gallon of water. Spray liberally to any areas where you’ve seen evidence of a gopher. This mixture will give the gopher diarrhea and make it want to find a new home, but won’t do any permanent damage.

 

10. Scare Off Skunks with a Red Hot Recipe

If you see skunks around your property, head to the kitchen and follow this recipe: Chop up one yellow onion and five jalapeno peppers. Drop the onion, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper into 2 quarts of boiling water for 20 minutes. Let the mixture cool for an hour, then strain it into a spray bottle.

view

Photo by dreamstime

 

Spray this spicy solution every two to three days around the areas you’ve seen the skunks — especially after it rains. Those little stinkers won’t come back. Bonus: This recipe works for gophers too!

 

Solving your pest problems doesn’t have to involve poison. Try some of these natural methods to keep your home pest-free and your family safe.

 

view

Photo by dreamstime