Keeping pests out of your kitchen ensures that your food supplies last a long time. Meanwhile, keeping pests away from your crops helps them grow healthy and strong. (h/t to FoodStorageMoms.com)
Below are 12 non-toxic ingredients that you can use to make natural pest control remedies for your homestead.
Keep your kitchen pest-free
Using pantry staples doesn’t just save you money on store-bought pest control products; it also ensures that the methods you use are chemical-free and safe for young children or pets.
Apple cider vinegar
Use apple cider to get rid of any fruit flies in your kitchen. Pour some apple cider vinegar (ACV) into a bowl, then add a drop of liquid dish soap. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap. Make tiny holes in the plastic. The apple cider vinegar will draw the fruit flies inside the bowl, but they can’t escape the ACV trap.
Use basil to keep flies away from your home. If you have basil growing in a container, place a pot of the herb in a sunny location near an entranceway to deter flies.
Even spent coffee grounds can be repurposed as a natural pest repellant.
After you make a pot of coffee, don’t throw out the coffee grounds. Pests like ants hate the smell of coffee. If you see ants crawling in your kitchen, scatter some coffee grounds to keep them away. (Related: Securing your stockpile: How to keep your food supplies dry and pest-free.)
Pet owners should use cornmeal to get rid of ants instead of ant killers that may contain harmful chemicals. To get rid of ants using cornmeal, leave small piles of cornmeal where ants hang around. Ants will consume the cornmeal and try to take it back to their colony, but ants can’t digest it. While this method takes a couple of days to work, it’s worth the wait because it’s effective.
Did you know that you can use onions to keep spiders out of your home? Slice up an onion and then place it in a bowl of clean water. Leave the onion mixture in spots where spiders hang out to keep them away.
Once a scout ant has detected food inside your home, you’ll eventually find a trail of ants marching in to feast on your food. To get rid of all the ants, wash away the trail scout ants leave behind using white vinegar. Combine two cups of water, 1/4 cup of white vinegar and 10 drops of eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil. Spray the solution along the trail to get rid of any ants.
Pest control tips for your home garden
If you spot pests in your home garden, try other natural repellents like banana peels, cloves, eggs, or hot pepper spray.
If you love snacking on bananas, don’t throw the peels away. You can use banana peels to get rid of aphids in your home garden. Place banana peels near the stem of your plants to help keep the aphids away. Banana peels can also help enrich garden soil.
If ladybugs are taking over your home garden, use cloves to get rid of them. Since ladybugs hate strong scents, you can use cloves as a natural pest repellent. Place cloves in small drawstring bags and leave them near a heavily infested area. Once the ladybugs are gone, remove the clove bags.
If deer are targeting your home garden, use eggs to keep them away. Use a ratio of 20 percent eggs and 80 percent water, then process the mixture in a blender. Store the mixture in a spray bottle and spritz it on your plants and tree leaves. This unusual remedy will help keep grazing deer out of your garden.
Hot peppers are too much to handle for some people, but they’re the perfect secret ingredient for pests in your home garden. You can use chopped-up peppers or hot pepper flakes; cayenne works the best.
- 1 Gallon of water
- 10 Hot peppers, chopped finely (e.g., cayenne, jalapeno, or ghost pepper)
- 4 to 5 Tablespoons of hot pepper flakes (if you don’t have fresh peppers)
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Add the peppers and water into a pan, then bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Heating the liquid will help release the oils from the hot peppers.
- Set the mixture aside for at least 24 hours. Strain the peppers out, then add the teaspoon of olive oil to make the mixture stick to the plants when sprayed.
- Store the mixture in a small pump sprayer and apply it to the foliage of plants as needed. Apply the mix in the early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t beating down on your crops.
- Re-apply the hot pepper spray every three to five days to protect your plants. Always wear protective gloves when working with hot peppers and hot pepper spray. Spray the repellent carefully and don’t get any in your eyes.
Keeping the rest of your home pest-free
Use essential oils or herbs to keep pests out of other areas in your home, like bedrooms or your patio.
Use essential oils like lavender and peppermint to get rid of dust mites on mattresses.
You will need:
- A 500 ml spray bottle
- 1 Cup of boiled water, cooled
- 1 Cup of vinegar
- 8 Drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 8 Drops of lavender essential oil
- 8 Drops of peppermint essential oil
- Pour the water and vinegar into the spray bottle, then add the essential oils. Shake the bottle vigorously to combine.
- Apply the natural mattress spray directly onto your mattress and let it sit for several hours. Shake the bottle before each use.
Essential oils like lavender and peppermint oil can also help get rid of spiders. Sprinkle some lavender or peppermint oil in spider-infested areas. Spiders hate the smell of these essential oils and using them will help eliminate any venomous or non-venomous spiders in nooks and crannies.
You can use herbs to get rid of mosquitoes, which can be annoying if you’re enjoying a nice, quiet evening out on your patio. To keep your patio mosquito-free, throw a handful of fresh sage or basil directly onto an open fire.
The next time you find annoying pests around your home, skip the chemical-laden pest repellents and use safer, non-toxic alternatives like coffee grounds, basil, or hot peppers.
Visit Preparedness.news to read more articles about natural pest repellents you can use in your kitchen and home garden.