Natural Ways to Rid Your Home of Pests

Fleas, spiders, termites, flies, centipedes, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, these tenacious intruders won’t give up, so we humans have to fight for our living spaces.

In the quest to keep their homes clean and bug-free, many people don’t want to expose their households to toxins or shell out lots of cash to debug.

Fortunately, many homes don’t require a professional exterminator to keep pests at bay. There are plenty of cheap, natural ways to control these invaders.


Break Out Borax for Roaches

For cheap, natural roach bait, use borax (or boric acid) or a mixture of equal parts baking powder and sugar. The bugs carry the bait back to the colony, poisoning the lair.

Sprinkle it along floorboards in rooms where roaches appear. (Note: Keep borax out of reach of kids and animals, and consider the baking powder/sugar mix in households with kids or pets.)


Use Spice to Make Lizards Shoo

Small insects and bugs naturally attract reptile predators, so with one pest problem comes another. Fortunately, many household ingredients drive out lizards.

Try a spray of water plus hot sauce, onions, garlic juice, or pepper and chili powder. Spray around dark areas (behind cabinets and furniture), windows, and doors.

If the solution doesn’t work, rolled balls made of ground coffee and tobacco powder, fly paper, or cheap mouse traps can take care of lizards too. It’s preferable not to kill them, though, as they’re harmless and control the insect population outdoors.


Protect Dogs with Essential Oils

Dog owners can protect their pets and homes from fleas without pricey flea-and-tick collars. Mixes of certain essential oils and natural ingredients function as do-it-yourself flea and tick repellants.

Recipes generally incorporate rose geranium oil, lemon oil, eucalyptus oil, citrus oil, peppermint oil, or almond oil. The bottles are small, but just a few drops at a time do the trick. Be sure to avoid any oils potentially harmful to dogs (listed here).

Some DIY sprays also involve distilled white or apple cider vinegar. Apply the mixture to a doggie bandana, or spray lightly on the dog’s harness and/or coat before venturing outdoors. One other natural way to repel fleas: cedar chips on the lawn.


Ward Off Spiders with Plants

While spiders help with household insects, such as mosquitos, flies, earwigs, roaches, and moths, arachnophobia may be encoded in our DNA. Many plants and natural oils repel spiders with great success.

Eucalyptus, garlic, cilantro, conkers, and Osage hedge balls can be grown or placed in or outdoors to ward off spiders cheaply. Also, consider putting chestnuts near windows and doors; spiders find them rank.


Got Ants? Stop the Line

Step one in addressing that eerie line of ants is to clean up the source of attraction food left out, unnoticed spill residue, crumbs, or stickiness.

If the sink and counter areas are free of food detritus and standing water, try natural ant repellants such as cucumber, mint, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne pepper, coffee grounds, and lemon juice.

If the marching ants’ origin point becomes apparent, dab one of those items (on a watery cotton ball) at the spot and along the ant line. Spray the area with a mix of water and a natural repellant from the list. Afterward, leave a nightlight on in the room for three nights to confuse their foraging habits.

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