Top 7 Natural Pest Control Methods

Pests can cause a lot of damage and contaminate your food supply. Fortunately, there are several natural ways to prevent and control pests in your garden and home.

White vinegar is effective in deterring certain pests because it can disrupt their olfactory senses. You can also mix neem oil with water and spritz it around windows or doors to create a barrier against pests.

1. Bitter Orange Peel

Clove oil is a natural pest control method that can be used to repel bugs like mosquitoes, ants, and flies. Its strong scent can help to mask any other odors that may attract pests and will make it harder for them to enter your home or outdoor space. To use clove oil, simply mix a few drops with water and spray around any areas where you have seen pests or suspect they might be hiding.

The oil distilled from the peel of the Citrus x aurantium tree, also known as bitter orange, has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It is often used in skins care products and perfumes. The fruit of this evergreen tree has long spines and fragrant flowers, but its membranes are sour and bitter.

Sweet orange peels are rich in polyphenols, especially limonene and flavonoids that have strong antioxidant activities. These compounds can prevent vegetable oils from oxidation and rancidity. They can also inhibit microbial growth. A study was conducted to test the effect of combining cellulose hydrolysis and sugar fermentation using a cellulolytic bacterium, Fibrobacter succinogenes S85 on waste orange peels and wheat straw. The resulting succinate and acetate were found to increase the shelf life of vegetable oils by several days.

2. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds can be a great natural pest control method for many common household critters. Pests like cockroaches, ants, and fruit flies are attracted to the smell and moisture in the grounds. This is why it is important to properly dispose of coffee grounds before they are a problem. They can be composted in small amounts or added to the soil around plants and can also be used as an alternative to chemical sprays.

Some plants benefit from coffee grounds, especially hydrangeas which require acidic soil and are vulnerable to pests and diseases. However, it is important to not overuse coffee as a deterrent because it can reduce the nutrients in the soil which can be harmful to the plant.

Another use of coffee grounds is to repel mosquitos, slugs and snails. Mosquitoes are repulsed by the scent and grit of the grounds. It is particularly effective when it is burned, which intensifies the scent and creates a smoke-like effect.

Additionally, it can help remove fleas from pets. Simply rub the grounds throughout their fur after shampooing and rinse them off. This will help prevent fleas from returning to the pet and can be a great alternative to harsh chemical treatments. Coffee grounds can also absorb odors and are a useful cleaning scrub for refrigerators, garbage cans, gym bags, and smelly shoes.

3. Almond Shells

The husks of almond trees, or hulls, naturally split open as the nuts mature. This is a natural process that’s important to the health of the almond tree. Unfortunately, it also beckons female navel orangeworm moths to lay their eggs on them. Those moths then cause a host of problems, including bringing spores of the mold-forming Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus into the nutmeat.

The problem with these fungi is that they produce cancer-causing aflatoxins, which make up about 10 percent of the total aflatoxin content in raw almonds. Some growers hang traps on the trees to monitor the presence of moths, and others apply insecticides when the moth population gets out of hand.

Almond shell powder, which is obtained by crushing the shells of apricots and almonds, has been shown to be an effective pest control method. Its abrasive texture cuts and punctures the cuticles of soft-bodied insects, such as caterpillars, flies, ants, and root maggots. This causes them to leak vital body fluids, leading to dehydration and death. The powder can be mixed with water and sprayed on plants or around entry points and nesting sites. It’s a great alternative to toxic chemical products, which can be dangerous to pets and children.

4. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruit peels contain ingredients that kill or repel pests. They can be used to make natural sprays, cleaners and baits for pets, homes and gardens. They kill fleas, ants, mites, gnats, mosquitoes and more. They can also be made into natural shampoos for animals and used as a horticultural oil to protect plants from disease. The citrus oils limonene and linalool are effective insecticides and have low to moderate mammalian toxicity. They are commonly found in natural pest control products and may be mixed with other ingredients like neem or spinosad to provide broad-spectrum control.

Another natural way to deter pests is to plant a variety of herbs and plants that attract beneficial insects, such as marigolds and garlic. These plants produce strong odors that ward off many insects, including spiders. You can also try placing sprigs of eucalyptus leaves or adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to water to create a homemade natural pest repellent spray.

It is important to note that any plant that is unhealthy or infested sends distress signals to nearby plants, which can be interpreted as invitations for pests to dine on them. In addition, any plant that has been attacked by fungus or bacteria should be removed from the growing area to avoid introducing the disease to other plants.

5. Cedar Wood

If moths have made a home in your closet and are ravaging your sweaters and other clothing, it’s time to call upon the great cedar for some help. Cedar wood is a natural non-toxic deterrent for moths that has been shown to kill them (when in high concentration). Simply rub fresh cedar wood chips around problem areas and you should soon see the moths leave your belongings alone.

The oils of the cedar tree, called thujaplicins, are what make this type of wood so special. This oil acts as a natural fungicide, protecting the wood from mold and rot. This helps to prevent damage from insect infestation as well, making cedar a popular choice for outdoor furniture, building materials, and even as fence posts.

Cedarwood oil is a natural pest control that can be used in many different ways. It has been shown to repel a wide variety of insects, including ticks, houseflies, pulse beetles and mosquitoes. It can be rubbed on the skin to keep insects at bay, and it can also be added to standing water to kill mosquito larvae.

Add cedarwood oil to your favorite candle to scent your living space with a natural bug-repelling fragrance that is pleasant for humans and pets. It can also be diffused in the garden to help repel pests, especially for plants that are sensitive to chemical sprays.

6. Lavender Essential Oil

While many of us know lavender as a relaxing flower, this fragrant plant is also a natural pest repellent. The oil can be mixed with water to create a spray that helps ward off mosquitoes and other flying insects. Lavender plants themselves are also effective at deterring garden pests like aphids, ants, and beetles. Lavender plants should be planted in well-draining soil and placed in full sun to receive the most benefits.

Other essential oils are also a great alternative to chemical pest control solutions. Eucalyptus oil, for example, is an excellent deterrent against bed bugs and other household pests. Its strong scent can disrupt a bug’s sense of smell, causing it to flee the area. Eucalyptus oil can be sprayed directly onto the skin or in a diffuser to help keep pests at bay.

Peppermint oil is another all-natural option that can be used to ward off common household pests like ants and spiders. Just dilute the oil with water and apply it around potential nesting areas to create a barrier.

7. Hot Water

Aside from being a natural pesticide, hot water is also a fantastic way to scald the eggs of unwanted insects like mosquitoes and ants. Simply mix up some hot water in a spray bottle and apply it around the areas where you've seen bugs gathering or near potential nesting spots.

Another great way to repel a wide range of different insects, aside from the help of experts such as Cape Coral pest control, is by planting certain herbs and flowers. Garlic and marigolds are both effective at deterring many common household pests thanks to their strong odors. These scented plants can also act as a natural fertilizer when mixed with soil, enriching it with important nutrients and helping the plant to grow stronger.

Table salt is another great natural bug control solution that works by disrupting the digestive systems of insects and killing off their larvae in standing pools of water. This pantry staple can also be sprinkled over problem areas where unwanted pests gather and can be particularly useful in preventing aphid infestations, ridding compost piles of maggots and controlling flies. It's also been found to be effective in controlling nematode populations in gardens and on livestock. Food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is another multifaceted agent that can help to keep slugs away from plants, control nematode infestations, rid potted plants of root rot and increase the porosity of soil.

Robert Woods
At POP, we strive to provide practical preventative advice. We strive to figure out ways to prevent problems that people might have trouble grasping. We've found that other sources have trouble articulating concepts in a way that regular people can understand.
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