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natural pesticide spray bottle garden

You can get rid of pests without harsh chemicals. Here are 4 ways to control pests while keeping your household and garden toxin-free.

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Chances are, you’ve shared your cupboards, carpets, and counters with a six-legged invasion at least once in your life. Insects are a headache even for the most conscientious homeowner. There are a lot of effective chemical pesticides on the market.

But sometimes non-toxic alternatives are a much better choice, especially if you share your home with children or pets. Before you head to the pesticide aisle for a can of chemicals, check out these safe solutions you probably have in your home.

1. Catnip

Nepatalactone, the active ingredient in catnip, is a natural cockroach repellent and it’s completely safe for humans and animals. Purchase small mesh sachet bags from your local craft store and fill them with catnip; scatter them in areas where roaches are known to congregate.

Brew a catnip “tea,” fill a spray bottle, and spritz over counters and cabinets. Cockroaches actually prefer higher spots in your kitchen, so be sure to put catnip sachets on top of cabinets and on higher pantry shelves. Planting catnip in your garden is also a natural mosquito repellant.

2. Dish soap

Keep a spray bottle filled with soapy water on hand for a gentle but effective pest killer. Soapy water kills ants and cockroaches on contact; you can also spray soapy water around baseboards and other areas where ants are known to enter your home.

Have trouble fighting off fruit flies? Make a natural trap by filling a small cup or ramekin halfway with water. Add a few drops each of cider vinegar and dish soap. The vinegar attracts the flies and the soap coats their wings, causing them to drown in the water. Dish soap and water traps are also useful for killing fleas.

3. Garlic

Garlic doesn’t just ward off vampires, it’s also an effective deterrent to many indoor and outdoor pests. Keep ants off the deck by wedging some garlic slices between the planks. Add garlic powder and brewer’s yeast to your pet’s food as a natural way to prevent flea infestations.

Sliced garlic cloves, placed on the counter overnight, deters both ants and cockroaches. For an easy, cheap, and completely natural mosquito repellent, mix one part garlic juice with five parts water in a spray bottle and spritz on exposed skin before going outdoors. Garlic juice mixed with onion juice and red pepper, diluted with four parts water, can be sprayed on indoor or outdoor plants to deter common pests.

4. Lemons

Lemon juice is among the few natural substances ants will not cross; others include cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and coffee grounds. If you know where ants are entering your home, place a string soaked in fresh lemon juice on it.

To kill fleas naturally and instantly, score the skin of a lemon before slicing it into six or eight pieces. Pour a cup of boiling water over the lemon pieces and let it steep overnight. Sponge this solution on your dog to safely kill fleas, but note that this is not healthy to use on cats.

Why bring dangerous chemicals into your home to kill common pests? These four natural solutions are safe and effective and probably in your pantry right now.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.