Warmer weather and sunnier skies have finally arrived, but this seasonal transition isn’t always a joyous one. Soon a plague of pesky creatures -- flies, mosquitoes, mice, ticks … -- will be interrupting our daily activities and making life a little more challenging. You can run to the store and buy bottles and cans of powerful pest control sprays, but most of those have some pretty intense chemicals that you don’t want to ingest or inhale. So, instead of using commercial chemicals, try these more natural approaches to pest control.
Photo credit: keeping it real
Essential oils can be, well, essential in ridding your space of annoying pests in the healthiest way possible. A sprinkle of peppermint oil along popular ant routes in your home can keep the little soldiers at bay. You can even use it along window sills and door thresholds to deter their entrance into your home. (One of our customers has actually reported that our lemon-scented all-purpose spray helps to keep ants at bay when she uses it on her counters and surfaces!)
If the warmer temperatures have brought out a plague of cockroaches, try using some citronella oil on a cotton ball and placing it in the dark crannies where roaches like to hide. You can also use peppermint oil or lemongrass oil for a similar result. If you don’t want cotton balls cluttering up your cabinets and cupboards, make a spray to deter the roaches. All you need is a half a cup of water, 5 drops of cypress oil, and 10 drops of peppermint oil. Mix and spray wherever you catch them crawling.
Everyone hates flies, but flies can be controlled with a simple DIY fix. Put some dried cloves in a bowl and add a few drops of lavender oil, clove oil, and citronella oil (peppermint oil can be substituted for citronella oil), and place the bowl wherever the flies congregate. Refresh oils as needed.
Mosquitoes hate citronella, but there’s no need to buy fancy candles or torches to keep them at bay. Simply place five drops of lemongrass oil, citronella oil, peppermint oil, and lavender oil on a ribbon and hang wherever mosquitoes are causing a problem. You can even tie or pin the ribbon to your clothing while outdoors as a mobile deterrent.
Planning a day outside but you don’t want to worry about ticks and chiggers? Try lavender oil, lemongrass oil, sage oil, or thyme oil. You can easily make your own bug spray combining these oils and water.
If your problem isn’t of the airborne variety, you may need to take a different approach. Mice are dirty little creatures, and you can reduce their presence by placing a few drops of either peppermint, spearmint, or eucalyptus oil on a cotton ball and, like the cockroach method, place wherever you’ve seen them or their droppings. This should help keep them at bay.
Using these green methods to kick those unwanted guests out of your home will give you peace of mind without the worry that your family is ingesting potentially toxic substances. Because no one wants to be sick during the best months of the year!