Many people pride themselves on their ability to fix their own things within the house. Leaky pipes? No problem, get me my wrench. Leaky roof? No problem, get me my ladder and some sealant. Broken door? No problem, get me my toolbox. Roach, ant, or flea infestation? Ummm, get me my bug spray and flyswatter? My heavy work boot for stomping?
The fact is that while many of us have the knowledge and know-how to tackle many of the usual house maintenance and upkeep problems, we are often at a loss when it comes to dealing with unexpected pest infestations which are not only a major nuisance, but can be a major health hazard as well, particularly if left untreated or if you or your family members have allergies or weakened immune systems. Have no fear, because after reading this article, you too will have the necessary knowledge to tackle your pest infestation problem by yourself, or at least leave you equipped to deal with any potential infestations in the future. And trust us, it’s much simpler compared to plumbing, carpentry, or roofing!
Homemade Insect Repellents
There are several types of homemade insect repellents, and we will be categorizing them according to their primary active ingredient.
Essential Oils Homemade Insect Repellent – For some unknown reason, most insects are naturally repelled by the scent of essential oils. For this repellent, we will be using the most effective ones: peppermint essential oil as well as wild orange (or lemon) essential oil. You want to mix 45 drops of the former with 15 drops of the latter together with 1 cup of either witch hazel, apple cider vinegar, or even vodka (especially if you’re Russian). Put it in a spray bottle and spray liberally around affected areas or suspected entry points. Store in the fridge when not in use.
Cucumber – In yet another of nature’s strange mysteries, insects such as roaches and ants don’t like cucumbers. It won’t kill them, but like garlic to vampires, place them at entry points to keep them from crossing the threshold of your home.
Coffee Grounds – While the modern city dweller cannot live without his or her daily dose of coffee, pests can’t stand it; its acidic smell is simply too strong for them. You can use used coffee grounds in the same way as the above, at entry points to keep pests out. A side effect is that your house will not permanently smell of coffee, which you may or may not enjoy.
Homemade Insect Killers
Time for the fun part, you don’t want to just keep these pests out, don’t you? You want to exact your vengeance as well for all the trouble they have caused you. We feel you; here are some easy solutions to turn these bugs upside down.
Soapy Bug Spray – Death by drowning and suffocation. Mix equal parts dishwashing liquid and water in a spray bottle and keep it handy. Rules of engagement? Spray to kill.
Borax – The generic brand name for boric acid, it is a fine powder that when ingested by insects kills them slowly by destroying their stomachs and metabolisms. Incidental contact is also abrasive to their exoskeletons. Mostly harmless to humans, but keep out of reach of pets and small children. There are two ways to use Borax, as a simple powder trail or as a trap. In the former, simply spread the Borax out in a thin layer in affected areas and points of entry (a great tip if you have roaches is to sprinkle it on top of your cabinets as roaches love high places). In the latter, just simply add some sugar to your Borax sprinkle mix. This is one of the most best and most effective ways on how to get rid of roaches that we know of. The ideal ratio is 1 part of sugar to 3 parts of Borax. As it is a poison, it also comes with a force multiplier effect and is the most effective against roaches, which spread the poison amongst themselves by eating their own dead.
Diatomaceous Earth – When dinosaurs roamed the earth, single celled organisms called diatoms leaved in the ocean, much like plankton. They had a silicon shell and these fossilized shells became diatomaceous earth. The small silica particles are non-toxic and harmless to humans, even small children and pets, but they are deadly to insects as they cut the waxy layer of the insect’s exoskeleton which then causes it to dry out and die (a process that may take up to 48 hours). The method of application is similar to Borax, but unlike Borax, it is also a good option for outdoor pest control; sprinkle them over your garden to kill ants and fleas.