Jun 25, 2012

How To Naturally Get Rid of Pests With No Harmful Chemicals!


How To Get Rid Of Pests Naturally!

Pests are everywhere!! In the garden, in the house, in the yard… what can we do to get rid of them?

Yes, yes, I know that we need bugs to keep the life cycle working right.  BUT… they can do everything that they need to do away from my house.  🙂

You guys probably know by now that I’m not a big fan (or a fan at all) of the pesticides and chemicals that are traditionally used to get rid of pests. Plus, these natural pest remedies are generally MUCH less expensive than the ones in the bottle.  You might have to reapply more often, but I think it’s worth it.

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Here are some of my favorites natural pest remedies:

Fruit Flies

Option 1:  Get a tall cup and put a little vinegar and some ripe fruit in the bottom. Then roll up a piece of paper so that it makes a funnel with a tiny hole at the bottom. Place the funnel in the glass so that the bottom of the funnel is about an inch higher than the vinegar/fruit. Tape the funnel together to hold it, and also tape it to the cup. Then set it out on the counter and let it work! The fruit flies will fly into the hole in the funnel to get to the fruit, but then they can’t figure out how to get back out.

Option 2:  Just use a bowl of apple cider vinegar and dish soap!  Even easier than the first method and it works for me every time.


I’m not a fan of spiders! I try to be brave for my kids, but I would just rather not have to deal with them at all.

Option 1:  After reading this article a few years ago, I decided to try Tansy Leaf. I filled an old sock with dried tansy leaf and put it under the beds to keep away the bugs (the bedrooms are where I’m most concerned about spiders). You can also buy the dried Tansy leaves from the website that I linked to above.  We haven’t had spider issues in a long long time (other than the few who make it in right by the doors from time to time).

Option 2:  From what I’ve read, spiders really dislike citrus, so the smell of orange or lemon might help to deter them.

Also, spiders like places that are dark, damp, and with a lot of places to hide, so just keeping things picked up and vacuumed can go a long way towards keeping spiders (and many of the other household pests) at bay.


Some people swear by Avon Skin So Soft to repel mosquitos, but I’m just not a fan of the oily feeling it leaves on my skin.

Option 1:  I love my homemade mosquito repellant!  It works really well for me and my kids!  Be sure to read through the comments on the post too for lots of other great ideas!

Option 2:  For YOUR OWN YARD (obviously you don’t want to make other people’s yards smell like lasagna!) you can sprinkle minced garlic all over the grass.  Yes it smells, but I just so happen to love the smell of garlic.  🙂


Ants Inside:  For ants inside, you can use whole cloves sprinkled under and inside cabinets (or in old socks) to keep them away (I LOVE the smell of cloves anyway!)  Ants also don’t like cayenne pepper, chili pepper, peppermint, paprika, cinnamon, or sage… so let us know what works for you!!

With ants, or any of the crawling insects, be sure to do a thorough inspection of your baseboards and door frames with some caulk to make sure that there aren’t any tiny little holes.  We were having problems in our laundry room and sure enough there was a TINY little hole at one of the corners that they were getting in through.  We caulked that up and haven’t had a problem since.

Ants Outside:  So Ryan thought I was crazy when I got a jar of minced garlic and a spoon and started sprinkling it around the yard for mosquitos (see above).  He totally didn’t think it would work… and I might have gloated a little bit when it did.  But I noticed something else after putting minced garlic all over our yard.  We didn’t have any more ANT issues in the backyard either.  So I did a little bit of searching online, and it turns out that others have also found that garlic keeps the ants from making their home in your yard.  Who knew??

For ants that have already created a mound you can just pour boiling water over the mound and that will encourage them to move.  I have also read that pipe tobacco water will get rid of the mound.  Just soak the pipe tobacco in water overnight, strain off the tobacco, and pour the “tobacco water” over the mound.

I have also read that using instant grits will make them “go away”.  The ants eat them, their tummies swell, and then… well, then they are gone.

Bugs In The Garden

Option 1:  Diatomaceous Earth – You can get this online or at most garden supply stores. Just sprinkle the “DE” around and on the plants and it will cause the bugs to dry up (this doesn’t work to repel flying bugs, but it helps with the ones on the ground).

Option 2:  Putting crushed eggshells around the plants will help to keep away slugs and snails.

Option 3:  Combine one tablespoon of oil, a few drops of liquid soap and a quart of water and then spray all over (including underneath) the plants. MAKE SURE you don’t put too much soap or it can kill the plants. You will need to reapply this regularly.

Wasps & Bees

Wasps, Bees, & Hornets:  This remedy won’t keep away wasps for good, but will help keep them away from people when outside. Get a jar with a lid and make a small (about the size of your pinky) hole in the center of the lid. Then fill the jar about halfway with sugar water and set it in the corner of your yard (away from any kids!!) The wasps and bees will be attracted to the sugar, crawl into the hole, not be able to get out and then drown. Again, for obvious reasons, make sure to put this in a place where kids would not be able to get to it.

Yellow Jackets: For yellow jackets, since many times they make their nests in the ground, the best natural remedy that I have read about (I haven’t tried this since we don’t have a big yellow jacket issue at our house) is to get a 5 gallon bucket and fill it up about half way with sand.  At night when the yellow jackets are in their nest (they leave their nest during the day), turn the bucket with the sand upside down on the hole and leave it there.  In the morning the yellow jackets will crawl out like normal but they will crawl through the sand to the top portion of the bucket.  They will not be able to crawl back down through the sand and will die from the heat inside the bucket.  I would want to leave the bucket on for several days and wouldn’t want to be the one to take the bucket off though.

House Flies

I’ve tried pretty much everything from plastic baggies filled with water to fly traps and nothing has worked for us.  The only thing that has helped somewhat is the “as seen on TV” screen that closes with magnets.  I just doubt that we will get more than one fly season out of it.

Anyone have any ideas to help with flies??

Do you have any tips for naturally getting rid of pests? Leave a comment and let us know what has (or has not) worked for you!

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  1. toxicpuree says:

    Thank you for passing on that outdoor ants tip! We have some ridiculously large hills in the yard… I’m sure they are planning a takeover *paranoid*

  2. Cassie J. says:

    I'm all for anything that gets rid of the mosquitos! I'm going to order some tansy today. How exactly do you brew your tansy tea? Thanks!

    cassiejowers at sbcglobal dot net

  3. Thanks for the tips! So far we haven't had problems with pests but I did bookmark this page, just in case!

  4. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely be trying some of these!

  5. Chrystal says:

    Wow, thank you! I didn't realize that these were fruit flies in my house, but I'm sure they are because they came from the rotten banana in my room, lol. I feel bad, I forgot i had it in a bag and started rotting. Next thing I know it's full of fruit flies and now they are in flying around the trash. I will use this idea!

  6. Stephanie says:

    Okay, the fruit fly trick totally works! Thanks Rachel!

  7. Anonymous says:

    We lived across the street from an apple warehouse, so mice were often a problem. Peppermint oil can help keep the mice away. i found evidence that Mickey had visited in my utensil drawer one morning (i know, i know! Awful!) and read that i could use peppermint oil on a cottonball to repel them. i put the cottonballs in my kitchen drawers, and it worked, as long as i refreshed it periodically.

  8. Logan Flinke says:

    To keep bees and wasps away from you just put a dryer sheet in your pocket. Bees an wasps just hate the smell! To guard things inside your home from ants just make a circle of salt on the surface the item you want guard sits on (table, counter, ect.). For gophers and moles put a small radio tuned to a rock station into the gopher’s/ mole’s hole to drive them away. If you want to kill the gopher/mole then put a red pepper into their hole instead. It’ll kill them when they eat it.

  9. Kelli McKay-Conrady says:

    I had fruit flies and put a small amount of apple cider vinegar and squirt of dish soap. Put plastic wrap with a holes poked in it. Killed tons of them. I had 3 cups set up around my kitchen.

  10. Please don’t kill honey bees! They incredibly important to a healthy ecosystem and food system. Honeybees are usually very docile but should still be respected. If you should ever be lucky enough to come upon a swarm, enjoy from a distance then call a beekeeper. They will be thrilled to have the start for a new hive!!!

    • Technonana says:

      Diatomateous earth will not harm bees. BUT, NEVER use SEVIN dust. They think it is pollen and take it back to the hive. SEVIN dust will kill a hive. IF you must spray, spray very early in the morning so the spray will have dried before before the bees are out.

  11. I just saw on Mythbusters that the bag of water thing doesn’t work for flies. In their experiment it actually attracted more!

  12. newsjunkie213 says:

    @Logan Flinke -i thought you were going to say to kill them, switch the radio station to a rap station.

  13. Technonana says:

    One of the reasons you do not have a yellow jacket problem is you are using diatomateous earth. Any insect that crawls through DE will die from dehydration. Their exoskeletons are sliced by the silica in the DE. It gets rid of fleas, chiggers and ticks as well. Only use the FOOD GRADE kind and be careful about breathing it in (wear a dust mask when applying) as the same silica that slices the bugs up will harm your lungs and other mucous membranes. Earthworms will eat it and digest it and it will not harm them but will become part of their by-products and enrich your soil.

  14. For flea’s gralic powder works my mom had many dogs and that worked very well

  15. I love this post. I am a Tupperware lady and people ask me about bugs a lot! One thing I will share is not to push tupperware but there is truth in this.. If you buy say flour put it in a tupperware container the bugs will come to the top overnight IF THERE ARE BUGS otherwise you got good flour which is usually the case but if not… go back to the store and get your money back.. and DO NOT SHOP THERE AGAIN.. it means the whole store is infested… bugs can live on the glue on a box for months.. shop somewhere NEW . Many times the critters come in right from the store! … they love the heat in electrical appliances etc… …if you find that you have a problem the best solution put ALL your stuff in tupperware … and then God forbid if you bring home something bad… you only have to toss out the stuff that has been contaminted …everything will be in it’s own air tight container so you should be good… you can’t live in fear, but i know in the warmer climates this may be a issue I am in New york so bugs aren’t a issue… but I have lived in the south before and have had friends very concerned. I hope this is helpful 🙂

  16. Had to post this… to useful not.. I had spiders in my house about 10 years ago my sister told me to get those plug in Riddex things.. and that would take care of it, I thought it was a scam but they really do work. I moved about 2 years ago… we have them in the house and in our barn to keep out all the spiders I have seen 1 daddy long leg in a year!

  17. Ants do not like black pepper and if anyone has a roach problem, roaches don’t like , bay leaves, moth ball, and cedar wood. Keep in mind, roaches love to snack so it’s not good to eat on the sofa due to crumbs droppings. Roaches come out at night. I use to live in an apartment that had roaches which I was unaware of when I moved in and after signing a year lease didnt make me happy. I got the moth ball from the 99 cent store and would place the moth balls behind the fridge and oven, under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, closets, in the pantry and in any DARK warm areas. I would do that every 2 months since the moth desenigrate. But most of all BORIC ACID! I would sprinkle Boric Acid outside, all along the border of the apartment, since I lived down stair. Boric Acis is not safe for animals but my dog is fine and has not eatten it nor goes near it. You can also put Boric Acis in Carpet Fresh and sprinkle it on the carpet and vacuum once a month. If you do that for 3 months, you will no longer have an issue with roaches. But continue to use the moth balls very 2 months. It really works!!

  18. i put up my as seen on tv screen last summer and it is still wearing great!!! my dog goes in and out of in so it gets lots of use. The only thing I have had to replace was the tacks along the side at the bottom 12 inches. but still works great.

  19. So, how would you recommend that you get rid of geckos in your house… We have them come in at different times of the year… Scare me to death when they run across the floor. They lay eggs and babies hatch, so it’s a never ending problem. Any suggestions?

  20. We live in Peru and there are a LOT OF ANTS. I have found that if I sprinkle baby powder with cornstarch in it across all doors , windows and in cupboards they have not returned. We will be moving soon. Before we move in I am going to pour a band of the stuff all around the outside of the house in hopes of deterring them from the beginning.

  21. Love these ideas! Just wanted to say that dog owners be careful with the garlic and garlic powder. Garlic can be very toxic for dogs.

  22. Brandy Gunderson says:

    Just wonder if anybody has any idea on getting rid of mice. I have to store my ridding lawn machine for the winter in my pole barn. Well in the spring I found they ate the electric wires. Ouch with the bill. Any ideas???

  23. Do you know of any natural remedies, that you might could put in luggage to keep from bringing home bed bugs. There is an outbreak of them now in hotels and I like to travel and we stay at good hotels, but this concerns me, that you just don’t know anymore where there could be a problem. do you have any suggestions?

  24. What about SKUNKS ? They are about to cause me to move out !! Please advise ! Thanks !

  25. Cindy Barnstorf says:

    We use a garden sprayer ( the kind that you put weed killer in and attached to the of your garden hose) filled with regular pine-sol, and spray the entire surface of our house, deck, windows, and patio. You have to do it again after it rains hard, but it works pretty well. We also bought some of those fly traps from the garden center and placed them about 6′ off the ground (usually hanging in a tree), in the sunniest spot you can find, and a good distance from where you spend your outdoor time – because they really stink!

  26. What can i do to get rid of wood boring bees?

  27. I find that putting cornmeal in dry soda cans and stashing them in the ant ridden areas such as flagstone stacks it will kill them off – see your statement re: bloating them up to die. This works inside the house as well – I just set out little dishes amongst my plant population which is where they seem to hang out.

  28. Flies! There is nothing more effective than keeping the doors closed and becoming very proficient with a fly swatter. I have had to end piano lessons (I am a teacher) because students are so squeamish nowadays that they freak out when there is a fly in the house. So I have fly swatters in every room. At night, to rid of a fly, turn out all the lights except the bathroom. This will lure him into the bathroom where he can be killed more easily..

  29. Getting rid of cockroachees for good can and will be difficult, especially if you’re not aware of what you’re up against.
    Be aware that pet drinking dishes, aquaria and pipe condensation (under sinks,
    in wall voids) can also be sources of moisture. Keep in mind that
    most off the chemicals aren’t wonderful for our health either.

  30. Fly Predators, we spend about 30.00 a month on this, (the amt of fly predators that are sent you is based on the number of animals you have), and we practically had zero flies!! I am in love with these tiny wasps that you place yourself where needed!

  31. Thanks for the collection. Has anyone had any success in using any of the products listed?

  32. If you have a flea problem or wish to prevent one try sprinkling borax laundry soap on carpets furniture pet beds even your pets. Sprinkle it after you vacuum and leave it down. It won’t harm them or you. Sounds crazy but it works! I haven’t had a flea problem in years.

  33. Good tips! The problem with most natural remedies is that most of them are only temporary fixes. The best way to get rid of pests is to prevent them altogether. One tip I would add is placing rosemary and other repellents around your house as a way to get rid of ants specifically. Thanks for the post and offering your tips!

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