Use natural solutions to fight against unwanted pests

Ah, summer! Long days filled with sunny skies, outdoor living -- always welcome after a long winter. Unfortunately, warmer weather often brings unwelcome guests in the form of household insects and pesky critters in your yard.

Put these natural solutions to work for you, and say goodbye to common household bugs and outdoor pests.

10 easy ways to repel pests

1. Flies: Basil

To deter flies, place pots of fresh basil at doorways and windowsills and on the kitchen counter. Or, put dried basil in a small fabric pouch, rubbing it occasionally to keep the scent strong. 

2. Spiders: Citrus

In a spray bottle, mix water and unsweetened lemon or lime juice. Spray the solution on countertops and spray doorways and windowsills. You can also repel spiders in your garden by sprinkling beds with lemon, orange, or lime peels. 

3. Ants: Vinegar

Did you know you can destroy the scent trail that ants use to navigate? Use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to wipe down countertops and any surface you've spotted ants. For best results, repeat several times a day.

4. Mice: Start with a cat

Mice will not invade a house where a cat lives. You can also try peppermint oil, which mice find overwhelming and offensive. Soak cotton balls with peppermint oil, and place in strategic spots around your home.

5. Wasps: Fake nest

Wasps are territorial and will not build a nest within 20 metres of another one. Build or buy your own fake nest and hang where you want to deter wasps (especially in outdoor eating areas).

6. Mosquitos: Catnip

Cats love it, but not so for mosquitoes. Some reports say catnip repels mosquitoes more effectively than DEET. Grow it in your garden or apply catnip oil to your skin for up to two hours of protection.

7. Fleas: Salt

You can kill flea eggs by alternately salting and vacuuming your floors. Remember, fleas reproduce in just three days, so stay on top of this routine. Try salting every day for nine days and vacuum every third day. Don’t forget to empty the vacuum – live fleas might crawl out if you don’t!

8. Fruit Flies: Cider vinegar

Trap pesky fruit flies with this simple recipe: Fill a small bowl three-quarters full with cider vinegar, add six to eight drops of dishwashing liquid, then fill to the top with warm water. Fruit flies will dive right in – and drown.

9. Rabbits – Homemade repellent

Fill a plastic pitcher with water, add 5 crushed garlic cloves, one teaspoon of crushed red peppers, and one tablespoon of dish soap. Shake well; then, let it sit in the sun for a day or two to make sure the water is saturated with the flavors and smells. Shake well, then spray or pour on plants.

10. Deer – Soap or spray

Many gardeners swear by Irish Spring soap. Hang it on a stake or sprinkle shavings or small chunks on the ground. Another idea? Put 20% fresh eggs and 80% water in a blender and mix. Apply with a spray bottle to your plants and leaves.

More on this topic

Pest control tips, Government of Canada

Getting rid of ants, CAA Quebec

Repel garden pests naturally, Châtelaine CAA Quebec Government of Canada


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The information and advice are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice.