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.
Here are some of my favorites natural pest remedies:
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 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.
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!