You might be surprised (or even horrified) to learn that there are essentially ten quintillion insects roaming the earth at any one time. That’s more than 200 million bugs for every person on the planet, according to the Smithsonian. This might just be one of those times when ignorance is bliss, but now that you know, these powerful, natural bug repellents might just become your new best friend in the home. Many are found right in your pantry!
Try These Natural Bug Repellents
1. Cream of Tartar For Ant Problems
When the ants come marching in, reach for a common culinary pantry product, cream of tartar. Not only does this acidic salt help stabilize egg whites and whipped cream, but it is a powerful ant repellent. Just place a line of cream of tartar where ants typically enter your home, and they won’t cross the barrier.
2. Vinegar To Repel Crawling Bugs
For crawling bugs, including ants and spiders, vinegar is another household staple that helps deter several kinds of insects. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and wipe down surfaces. Not only will this keep bugs away, but vinegar is a powerful disinfectant. For fruit flies, put cider vinegar and water in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke with several small holes using a toothpick to trap the flies. Try these other fruit fly traps.
3. Cedar For Fleas, Spiders, Silverfish
Small cedar blocks, or sachets filled with cedar chips, work well to deter a number of bugs including fleas, spiders, silverfish, certain ants, moths, cockroaches, termites, and even some flies. Place the cedar in closets, cabinets, drawers, or areas where bugs enter to create a natural bug-free zone.
Silverfish also don’t like cloves! See below!
4. Diatomaceous Earth For Fleas, Stinkbugs, Roaches
This powder is actually the remains of fossilized diatoms (hard-shelled algae). Completely non-toxic to humans and pets, it kills any bug with an exoskeleton like fleas, earwigs, stinkbugs, and cockroaches. Microscopic shards contained in this substance pierce a bug’s outer shell, causing it to dehydrate. Be sure to always buy “food-grade” DE. Read more about DE and how to apply it here.
5. Cinnamon To Repel Mosquitoes, Moths, Ants
This aromatic spice may be a family favorite in the kitchen, but many insects steer clear. You can use cinnamon in several ways to deter mosquitos, ants, moths, spiders, and other insects. Use cinnamon sticks in closets, cupboards, or other areas bugs like to hang out. Sprinkle a little cinnamon powder on windowsills and in doorways, or add a few drops of essential cinnamon oil to water and spray cracks, corners, or anywhere bugs enter to keep them away. It’s genius because it makes the house smell amazing at the same time!
6. Cloves For Silverfish
While silverfish are harmless, they can be annoying pests. To keep them from invading, try this home remedy: place whole cloves in drawers, in closets, or anywhere you’ve seen them scurrying. These bugs hate the smell!
7. Eucalyptus Repels Mice
Cotton balls with a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils are a great mice deterrent. Place a few in areas where you know the mouse has been hiding or eating, including your car. They can also be placed in closets, drawers, attics, and near openings to the outside.
8. Citrus To Repel Spiders
Spiders dislike the smell of citrus and it’s a good way to keep them out of your home. Rub leftover citrus peels along windowsills and doorways. You can try soaking several orange peels in a cup of white vinegar overnight. Add the infused vinegar to a spray bottle mixed with water. It can be used as a cleaning agent or sprayed on high-bug traffic areas.
With contributions from freelance writer, Cynthia McMurray