Skip to main content

Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Natural Pest Remedies

Mar 30, 2018 11:00AM ● By Kerri Regan

Pest Patrol

April 2018
By Kerri Regan 

IT SEEMS THERE'S a chemical to solve every problem in your home – but at what cost? Mother Nature has some pretty fantastic natural remedies for keeping your home and garden pest-free, without the risk that poisons pose to your children and pets. 

• Garden pests: Lady bugs and praying mantises will feast on the pesky bugs that want to feast on your garden. Or boil mint leaves, garlic cloves, cayenne pepper and a bit of dishwashing liquid for a concoction that can be sprayed on your veggie garden to keep it pest-free.

• Ants: Ants hate coffee grounds. Once you’ve brewed your morning cup o’ joe, layer the used grounds in your garden. Tea drinker? No problem – they also dislike mint tea, so put tea bags in places where ants have gathered. Borax and sugar is another tried-and-true natural ant repellent. Or try this: Blend mint leaves and garlic cloves in a food processor, then add a bit of cayenne pepper and a drop of dishwashing liquid. Bring the whole mixture to a boil, let it sit overnight, strain it into a spray bottle and apply it everywhere ants are a problem. Another trick is to place cloves of garlic between slats of wood in your deck. Bonus: You’ll keep vampires at bay, as well.

• Dust mites: Add some eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint or rosemary essential oil to a spray bottle of water and lightly mist your bedding and other furniture where dust mites are a problem.

• Flies: Find a bottle with a funnel-shaped top that allows flies to get in, but not out. Fill the bottom with vinegar and chopped apple pieces. Crushed mint and bay leaves can also discourage flies.

• Fleas: Pour boiling water over lemon slices, including the skin. Soak overnight and sponge on the affected dog. Don’t use this mixture on cats. Brewer’s yeast or apple cider vinegar added to pets’ food can also help.

• Cockroaches: Try catnip, bay leaves, cucumber slices or garlic.

• Moths: Make sachets from dried lavender, cloves, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, eucalyptus or dried lemon or orange peels. Tuck into drawers or closets where moths are a problem. Moths also aren’t fans of cedar; if you can’t line your closets with cedar, cedar chips work well.

• Spiders: Tired of walking into webs spun by unwelcome eight-legged visitors? Spray diluted vinegar, liquid dish soap, tea tree oil, lavender oil or peppermint oil around your home. Garlic spray is also known to work wonders – but that might detract your human visitors, as well. 

• All-purpose pest control: Those who know best say that diatomaceous earth should be your first step in ridding yourself of bug problems. It’s nontoxic, cheap, safe to use around kids, and can be found at just about any retailer that carries household and cleaning products. Also, citronella and soy candles can help reduce the bug factor when you’re camping. Bugs in the garden? Plant marigolds in your yard – bugs don’t like their smell. •