Home Pest Control: Remedies for Ants, Cockroaches, Flies,
Home pest control can be
anything from getting rid of ants, flies or cockroaches to treating
your pets for fleas. I am not going to talk about natural
pesticides for your gardens as this has been discussed at
length in another article.
But with regards to home pest control remedies this article deals with those
pests that invade your homes and barns; namely ants, flies, roaches and
When homesteading you will eventually encounter a pest problem of one
sort or another. This is especially so if you keep chickens or
livestock, as flies will often become a problem.
However, from a health and safety perspective for you, your family and
other animals on your homesteads, whatever bait or pest control method
you use, it should be organic and non-toxic.
Home Pest Control for
Ants are basically harmless, industrious insects.
Having a few ants in the house can actually be mutally beneficial.
They will eat the crumbs and food fallen into small cracks that you
would have missed cleaning.
They also help to keep the population down of other more troublesome
pests such as silverfish, young cockroaches and moths that like eating
holes in your woollens.
However, once in your
house in large numbers they will make a bee-line for the sweet things
in your kitchen
and trails of them moving back and forth to their nests will make your
life a misery.
Natural Home Remedies for
Getting Rid of Ants
There are several good home remedies for getting rid of ants.
- One is to crumble either dried or fresh tansy leaves in the
areas where the ants are gathering.
- If you don't have tansy, take wormwood
leaves and use those in the same way.
- Crushed catnip
works in the same way.
- Ants don't like goldenseal
either. If you have tea bags, you can either make a strong tea and
spray the surfaces with it, or remove the tea from the bag, and scatter
it throughout your cupboards.
- Salt is
another simple remedy. Either sprinkle salt on window sills or on
doorsteps where the ants are coming in. You can also mix salt with
spray the solution around the house. This is a cheap and effective way
for keeping ants at bay.
_ Talcum powder
also works in the same way. Baby powder will do. Just sprinkle as usual.
- 1 cup of water with 1 teaspoon of Tobasco
sauce. Spray on surfaces.
_ Using a spray of equal
parts vinegar and water and sprayed on surfaces several
times a day disrupts the ants sense of smell and they are then unable
to track their way from their nest to the food source.
- Essential oils work well to control ants, especially orange oil.
- Another remedy for ants is to use a mixture of essential oils
suspended in a vodka solution.
1 spray bottle
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vodka
5 drops essential cinnamon oil
5 drops essential citronella oil
5 drops essential lavender oil
Mix all ingredients into the bottle, shake well, and spray where you
find the ants. Do not spray directly onto foodstuffs, and keep away
Control for Cockroaches
Ants are one thing,
cockroaches are quite another.
These insects have
stood the test of time, are great survivors and seem almost impossible
to kill. However, borax
is your friend.
The following recipe is quick and easy to knock up, and
very effective in getting rid of roaches.
1 cup boric acid
1/4 cup black pepper
1/cup bay leaves
Cut up bay leaves finely with either a pair of scissors or a knife. Mix
together with the boric acid and black pepper. Sprinkle the mixture in
amounts in the corners of your cupboards and on pantry shelves or
anywhere the roaches are living.
- If you grow black
hellebore, then pull up the plants and scatter the roots
around where you have seen the cockroaches. In the morning you will see
the roaches either dead, or dying as black hellebore root is toxic to
- Another recipe with boric acid is using 4 parts boric acid to 1 part flour
and then scatter this around the shelves and cupboards.
- Cockroaches also can be repelled using cucumber skins. Peel
cucumbers, making sure that the skins are rather thick, and place these
around the kitchen where the cockroaches are. Cut new skins every
night, for 3-4 nights and you will get rid of them.
- Finally, you can also use plaster
of Paris, oatmeal and sugar:
1 cup Plaster of Paris
2 cups oatmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
Mix all the ingredients together and scatter in cupboard corners and on
Control for Flies
Like roaches, flies are dirty insects, but worse
still, they bring
If you keep livestock, you could be invaded with the large
horse fly. However, the common house fly is what people encounter the
Again there are simple home remedies for getting rid of flies.
One such remedy is using pepper,
sugar and quassia chips.
a handful quassia chips
1 pint water, boiled
2 oz black pepper, powdered
1/4 lb brown sugar
Pour the boiled water over the quassia chips and allow to steep for 1
hour. Strain off the water, mix the other ingredients together, place
on plates, or similar where the flies are being a pest and they will
soon fly off and leave you in peace.
- Another home pest control remedy is to grow the herb wormwood outside
your back and front doors. Flies hate the smell of this herb, and won't
- And just as ants don't like tansy, flies don't like tansy either. So
this is another useful herb you want to plant in your gardens and
around your homesteads.
Fleas bite. Not just that, but some people have
horrible reactions to
flea bites so that the skin comes up in huge welts.
Regardless of the
reaction you might have, what will happen for certain is that your skin
will itch, and itch, and you will end up scratching yourself silly.
you feel like this after a couple of bites, just think how your poor
cat or dog must feel if you don't treat them for fleas.
- Pennyroyal is a wonderful herb for fleas. The essential oil of pennyroyal
can be sprinkled around, but it is an expensive way of using this herb.
If you grow it in your garden, then take the leaves, steep them in hot
water, and then use this water to spray carpets and floors.
Don't spray your cats and
dogs with pennyroyal as it is highly toxic, and if they
lick themselves and ingest the solution, they could end up poisoning
themselves. It is far better for you to treat your pets with
a commercial anti-flea product, although stay away from flea
collars as these can be toxic to some pets, especially to kittens and
- Salt also
works well with fleas. However, it has to be applied to the floor and
carpets regularly for it to work. Fleas reproduce every 3 days so salt
the floor every day for 9 days, and vacuum every 3rd day.
- Essential oils work well to control fleas. Eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil or
citronella oil will work.
- A boric acid solution
can also be used to spray on carpeting. Just make sure that your carpet
is dye-fast before using.
you can see that there are a lot of home pest control methods around
for a number of insects that may invade your home. You will need to
find one that works for you.
Although all of the remedies we
have given you work, some work better than others, and the way they
work will also be determined by the specific insect you are applying it
to. Pharoah ants for example are more difficult to erradicate than the
more common house ant.
Find a home pest control method, stick to
it until you get results. A week to 10 days is all you need for most of
these solutions to your pest problems.
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