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Using Food, Herbs and More to Combat Household Pests (Cockroaches, Ants and Fleas)

Updated on April 5, 2011

Household pests invading your home? Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary, so when it is overrun by creepy crawlers and invasive insects it is easy to lose your peace of mind.

In some homes it is easy to identify what is causing these household pests to come inside, other times there may be no easily identifiable cause. No matter what is bringing them in there are some simple, cost effective and natural bug control methods to make your home pest free using simple items you may already have in your cupboards or fridge.

The majority of these methods take the worry out of household pest elimination as they are predominantly natural bug control methods that use food, minerals or compounds, herbs and drink - no harmful lab made chemicals or expensive exterminators necessary.

Cockroach crawling across a counter top
Cockroach crawling across a counter top | Source
Ants marching in line
Ants marching in line | Source
Monkeys picking fleas off each other
Monkeys picking fleas off each other | Source

Common Household Pests

Cockroaches have to be one of the worlds most hated and invasive household pests. They work their way into your home, multiply by the hundreds and contaminate your home and food. These pesky bugs can carry unsanitary germs and bacteria that are harmful to the health of your family which makes the need to evict them from your home a top priority.

Ants may be one of the most common household pests. The concern with these scrounging vermin is not so much for your health, though they are sometimes cause for concern, as much as it is for your sanity. These tiny insects can work their way into your dwelling, food storages and more, causing many home owners an abundance of frustration.

Fleas are one of the most pesky common household insects. These tiny terrors leave an itchy trail in their wake that affects humans and animals alike. Fleas can seem to take over your home as they infest your pets, clothing and carpeting. In some cases these biting blood suckers can cause serious skin reactions to pets and humans even with no existing or preexisting allergy.

What is Your Most Hated Household Pest?

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Controlling Household Pests Naturally

Eliminating Household Pests with Red Wine

A shallow bowl or cup of red wine placed in cupboards or under counters and appliances can help you to eliminate cockroaches. Be careful not to place in areas accessible to children or animals.

Works Best on the following household pests: Cockroaches a.k.a roaches

Deterring Household Pests with Vinegar

A cheap spray bottle (available at most grocery stores) mixed with equal parts of white vinegar and water make an effective and natural flea repellent. This is safe, when used properly, to use directly on your animals coats, animal bedding, carpets and furniture.

If spraying directly onto your pets; there is no need to saturate their coat just get it slightly damp and use your fingertips to work it down to your pets skin. Avoid getting this spray into your pets orifices - especially their eyes and nose.

If you toss in some liquid dish soap (2-3 Tbsp per 2 cups of above mixture -needs to be sudsy), made with natural ingredients , this makes a great ant and cock roach eliminating spray as well. Just dowse them, making sure to saturate even their under belly with the sudsy spray and it won't take but a moment to kill these nasty insects.

Works Best on the following household pests: Fleas, Cockroaches and ants (depending on method)

Deterring Household Pests with Herbs and Spices

Lay down a thin line of the following natural herbs and spices (can be used individually or together), across windowsills and doorways, to deter pesky household insects from entering your home; garlic powder, black pepper, Chili powder, mint or cayenne. Really just about any strongly pungent powder can be used as a deterrent for many different types of bugs.

Another great way to put herbs and spices to work for all natural bug control is to sprinkle the herbs and spices, locally, in areas that you know bugs are nesting, frequenting or using to enter the home. The best herbs and spices for this method are: basil, bay leaves (especially great for roaches), thyme, clove, garlic, black pepper (potent) and cayenne.

Works Best on the following household pests: Fleas and ants.

Eliminating Household Pests with Borax

Thoroughly mix together equal parts of sugar and borax and place along the edges of walls, cabinets or other areas frequented by ants and cockroaches. This method can take several weeks to eliminate an infestation. When the infestation is gone simply clean up the powder using one of the following methods: vacuum or wet cloth to prevent the powder from going airborne. (see warning below)

Works Best on the following household pests: Cockroaches and ants

Another way to use borax to eliminate a household pest infestation such as fleas is to sprinkle it directly onto flea infested carpets. When you use this method you want to ensure that the house is people and pet free for as long as the borax is on the carpets. Be sure to work the borax into and over the entire carpeted area. You can do this with the use of your foot or a broom by running it over the carpet in a circular motion to ensure you are getting it down to areas beneath the top surface of the carpet where eggs and fleas can hide. Leave on for 24 to 72 hours and then thoroughly vacuum up all traces of the borax. (see warning below)

Works Best on the following household pests: Fleas

*Warning: Borax can be used safely but is toxic to humans and animal and can have very serious consequences when not used properly. So pay attention to the warnings on the Borax labels and use this method only when it can be done in areas that are safely away from you, children, food and pets. Always use protective masks, gloves and shoe covers if applicable when applying. Most concerns arise with regular exposure or direct contact or ingestion - SO READ THE WARNINGS AND INSTRUCTIONS.


Bonus Tip: For extreme infestations when homemade natural methods don't seem to be eliminating the problem don't rule out the exterminator. Call around or visit the websites for some local pest control companies. Many now have available natural, environmentally friendly or chemical free extermination options. 

Do you know the risks of your household pests?

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      kizi Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing aronud on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      Well-written hub on getting rid of bugs without the toxic chemicals. I am very excited to bookmark this when I'm having bug problems. I don't like using anything toxic in my home. Loved taking the quiz and the poll :-)

    • GetInTheKnow profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you Laurels Passions! We have several pets ourselves and I haven't had to use a chemical flea treatment on my dogs or cats since I started learning about natural remedies. Having kids in the house make it important, for us, to keep things as natural as possible!

    • laurels passions profile image

      laurels passions 

      7 years ago from Belmont, NH

      It's nice to be able to avoid nasty chemicals to get rid of pests. These are great ideas for everyone, especially all of us with pets in the house!


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