I have spent my entire life being the knight in shining armor for my mother and sister. I was the tomboy and there were no sons, so I was the one given the job of killing the spiders and taking care of any of the other creepy crawlies. Most of the time (with the exception of those REALLY SCARY spiders, those don’t count towards your karma rating, I promise!) I would take the said offending creature/bug outside and “let it go free”. I know. I am REALLY hippy. I know that you are thinking it to yourself right this moment, and it’s true. Nowadays, thanks to having a MAN with a beard who acts all manly (Shhh…don’t tell him I told you this!) but still sends ME in to do the natural pest control, I am pretty darn proficient in keeping the pests away using essential oils and herbs.
I really hate all of the chemicals that are used in pest control today. People run around spraying poison near the faces of their children and beloved pets and still they wonder where the cancer came from. I was beyond excited when I first started learning about the many natural ways that bugs and other pests can be repelled, and these options smell GREAT too!
Essential oils can be used in many different ways to repel or kills bugs and other pests. It is the ultimate natural pest control.
For most pests, you can mix about 10-20 drops per 1 cup of water and spray the offending areas or bugs with the mixture. For flying bugs and the like, you can make Soy Wax Candles and add 30-60 drops of essential oil to 8 oz. of candle wax. I have also read about people hanging up pretty ribbons along window seals and putting a couple drops of essential oil on them, to keep certain bugs from wanting to fly in the windows.
All Natural Pest Control Using Essential Oils
Be sure to click the links and head to more detailed posts about natural pest control for those specific critters.
- Ants– Peppermint, Spearmint (add a line of it to window and door seals), Pennyroyal, Garlic, Citronella, Orange
- Aphids– Cedarwood, Hyssop, Peppermint, Spearmint, Orange
- Beetles– Peppermint, Thyme, Garlic
- Caterpillars– Peppermint, Spearmint, Pennyroyal
- Chiggers– Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme
- Cutworm– Thyme, Sage
- Fleas– Lavender, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Texas Cedarwood, Citronella, Pennyroyal, Tansy, Orange
- Flies– Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Citronella, Tansy
- Gnats– Patchouli, Spearmint, Citronella, Tagetes
- Mosquitoes– Lavender, Lemongrass, Pennyroyal, Sassafras, Citronella, Tansy
- Head Lice – Lavender, Tea Tree Oil, Geranium, Spearmint, Peppermint, Pine (This is the oldest used remedy in the book), Thyme, Orange, Rosemary
- Plant Lice– Peppermint, Spearmint, Cedarwood, Pennyroyal, Orange
- Mice– 2 teaspoons peppermint to 1 cup water, sprayed throughout the house
- Moths– Cedarwood, Hyssop, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint, Citronella
- Roaches– Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Thyme (proven to be most effective against cockroaches)
- Slugs– Cedarwood, Hyssop, Pine, Garlic, Sassafras
- Snails– Cedarwood, Pine, Patchouli, Sassafras, Garlic
- Spiders– Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemon, Lime, Orange, Citrus, Lavender, Citronella
- Ticks– Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme, Citronella, Pennyroyal
- Weevils– Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood
All-Natural Bug Off Spray
- 4 drops citronella essential oil
- 4 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 4 drops rosemary essential oil
- 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 4 drops mint essential oil
- 1/4 cup pure witch hazel
Mix ingredients together and spray all over your body (avoiding the eyes and mouth of course!).
Living here in Texas, the very first varmints that I thought to kill, were fire ants. Being from California and transplanted into the south, I had no idea that ants could be so mean! My very first run in with them left both of my feet (albeit numb from surgeries) completely covered in nasty fire ant bites. (No one told me that I shouldn’t be walking around barefoot in the dark, in TX!!!) I wanted nothing more than to get my revenge on those nasty little bugs! Every time that I see an ant hill form in our yard, I run inside with just a little too much glee, and whip up a big batch of my very own fire ant revenge. I admit, it’s a little bit sadistic…but they bit the crap out of my feet and made me allergic to them, so I feel justified in being a little bit crazy.
Fire Ant Revenge!
(This works for all ant piles, not just fire ants.)
- 1 gallon hot water (I just wait for the faucet to give me the hottest water that it can spit out.)
- 1/4 cup liquid peppermint castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s)
- 1 tsp. orange oil
- 1 tsp. peppermint oil
Mix together and pour all over and around the offending ant pile. The peppermint will assure that they will not want to rebuild their home and the orange oil and the soap help to kill the ants by dissolving their husks.
A Note on Orange Oil
Orange oil is one of the best bug killing essential oils out there. It is so good that it doesn’t discriminate on good or bad bugs in your garden.
Be sure to be careful where you are spraying orange oil because it will kill all bugs. Its a wonderful flea killer on dogs, but DO NOT use it on your cat because cats are very sensitive to essential oils (especially citrus, in fact this can be sprayed on your garage and around your car to deter neighborhood cats from coming close to your house.) and can build their toxicity levels over time.
What essential oils do I use and love for natural pest control? Several brands actually.
1. My hands down favorite brand is Rocky Mountain Oils (also known as Native American Nutritionals). These are seriously the BEST brand I have ever used. They are strong. And I mean strong. I have seen some amazing things happen when using this brand.
2. GEO carries a great line of essentials oils and I have always had success with their oils. They are adding new blends frequently and are definitely worth a look!
3. I am really enjoying Plant Therapy essential oils as well. They are easy on the budget as well as being a high quality oil.
What natural methods do you use at home to keep the creepy crawlies at bay?