Maintaining a home while keeping out unwanted pests is no easy feat. And the challenge is even tougher when you’re living near the water. Food crumbs, trash cans, and warm temperatures can attract a variety of rodents and creepy crawlies to your home.
So what are you to do? It often seems that spraying harsh chemicals and setting cruel traps are your only options, but that’s not the case.
You can actually repel pesky critters with essential oils derived from totally natural botanical sources.
Try out these natural solutions the next time you need to give the boot to unwelcome pests. You can pick them up at any health or natural food store, or even order them online.
The best way to use these oils for pest control is to dilute them in some water and spray them through a spray bottle. They’re simple, non-toxic, and safe for kids and pets too!
Keep Mice at Bay With Peppermint
They’re sneaky, and they’re fast. Mice can hide out in any number of nooks and crannies in your home, and they’re a real challenge to exterminate. What’s more, the main methods of eradication – sticky paper, traps, and poison – aren’t exactly humane.
Thankfully, peppermint oil can keep mice away with no trouble at all. Just spray a solution of peppermint oil and water around the baseboards of your home and around any areas where you believe they might be coming in. Before you know it, they’ll be abandoning your home to find more hospitable lodgings.
Banish Ants and Other Creepy Crawlies With Pennyroyal and Orange Oil
Ants: once you have them, they’re almost impossible to get rid of. The same is true for spiders, centipedes, and other insects. And unfortunately, making a habit of spraying insecticide in and around your home is both costly and hazardous.
That’s where pennyroyal and orange oil come in. Apply these oils in the same fashion as above – using a diluted solution through a spray bottle – for a cheap, safe, and effective bug killer. This natural solution doesn’t just kill bugs; it repels them too!
Combine Lavender, Lemongrass, and Citronella to Repel Mosquitoes and Ticks
Of all the bugs out there, the ones that feast on our bodies have to be the worst. And they aren’t just a nuisance. Mosquitoes and ticks can carry a variety of serious illnesses.
To rid yourself of multi-legged, bloodsucking hitchhikers, mix up a homemade bug repellant using lavender, lemongrass, and citronella (tea tree, peppermint, and pennyroyal are good additions too, although they can cause a slight burning sensation if not properly diluted). These oils can be mixed into a salve with beeswax and coconut oil too.
Deter Raccoons and Other Rodents From Rummaging Through Trash With Tea Tree and Peppermint
No matter how cute their little furry masks may seem, raccoons are a huge nuisance. Unattended trash is their prime target, and they can leave behind a huge mess.
To keep them from digging through your garbage and rummaging around your home, simply spray your cans and bags with a solution of tea tree and peppermint oil. The tea tree oil imparts a bitter, off-putting taste to your trash, while the peppermint causes burning and irritation (both oils have an odor that raccoons find very unpleasant too). Don’t worry about causing the raccoons harm. They’ll likely take a couple whiffs and move on before they have the chance to dig in.
1. Photo via Kate Ware
2. Photo via Flickr
3. Photo via Flickr