How to Repel Bugs Naturally
Zero Waste Lifestyle
August 30, 2016 | Kathryn Kellogg
Last Updated on September 11, 2020
The end of summer means one thing… ants. Lots of thirsty, thirsty ants. They come from every crevice to try and steal a drop of water and carry away Nala’s food. And, before ants we had ticks. Thankfully Nala has never had fleas, but this would take care of that too.
Natural, zero waste, bug repellent that’s effective!? You betcha. And, it’s safe to eat. This is a total win. Like TOTAL win.
This recipe utilizes diatomaceous earth. Now, you’ll want to get food grade diatomaceous earth. It’s made up of the fossils of tiny aquatic organisms known as diatoms. Over long periods of time, diatoms accumulate in the sediment of rivers, streams, and the ocean.
Diatomaceous earth kills bed bugs, cockroaches, ticks, fleas, spiders, ants, crickets and the list goes on. And it’s completely non-toxic! Brush it through your dog’s fur, sprinkle it in your garden, run it along your baseboard or in your cupboards – you don’t have to worry about your animals or children’s safety.
It’s not a chemical reaction that kills the critters. Diatomaceous earth looks like glass under a microscope. It’s very sharp to small creatures and produces a lot of cuts across their exoskeleton which will lead to them drying out.
For the most part, diatomaceous earth repels creatures. If you draw a line with the DE the ants will walk around it, not through it. And, if they can’t get around it – they don’t go through it.
Now, if you live near SF, Rainbow Grocery does sell it in bulk. Check with your co-op they will probably sell it in bulk near the detergent. If you don’t have a co-op nearby, check with an animal feed supply store. They often sell pet food in bulk with other things like diatomaceous earth.
Natural Bug Repellent
- 1/4 Cup of Diatomaceous Earth
- 5-10 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil*
*Optional: The peppermint really helps the ants to stay away. They hate the smell of peppermint.
Mix in a small bowl. Sprinkle wherever you’re having a pest issue.
When ticks are a problem, mostly in June, I sprinkle two or three cups all over the backyard once a week. It eliminated our tick problem.
It’s completely safe for fish, the water, and other animals. You can feel good about leaving it in your yard. I don’t think you could say that about Raid.
Do you have any tips for naturally keeping your home pest free?
I found if you plant mint by doors nd other entry points there are no more ants. It really works
Great tip Chris!
Diatomaceous Earth is an amazing product. While it is technically safe for animals and people, it isn’t good to inhale. So try to keep your pets away from places where they might be able to breathe it in. http://www.enkivillage.com/diatomaceous-earth-food-grade-side-effects.html
I’ve heard that tea tree oil is great for getting rid of mice in the house. A relative of mine said she tried everything, including putting a mouse trap in the mouse’s bed, and the tea tree oil is what finally did the trick. Rodent, not insect, but still a pest, right?
Is this a good remedy for mosquitos? If not this, is there another remedy you recommend?
Good to know! Thanks for the post.
On a side note careful with the suggestion of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is toxic for pets.
Really love your blog, which I quite recently started following. Thanks for the recipe and for all the good you’re doing in the world.Daya Charan & Company is Manufacturing Waste Segregation Plant and other MSW Plants and Machinery. http://www.zerowasterecycler.com/
coffee grounds keeps cockroaches away as long as there is a solid line of it around of whatever you want to keep them out of so if you want to keep them out of your house, then make a healthy line of it around your house. I used a very cheap kind as they don’t care if it’s gormet or not. Now at the time I wasn’t trying to be eco friendly I just didn’t want to put down any more toxins than the pest control did. We had moved into a house with them there, they were just hiding when we toured. So after the professionals hit them I wanted to keep them out and I read somewhere they were deterred by the smell of coffee so we tried it and we never had them again. I don’t know if that was the pest control or the coffee grounds or both But is cheap and I now put it around every place I live in and I haven’t ever had a problem since.