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Make Homemade Bug Spray and Natural Repellents

Updated on March 25, 2015

Make Natural Bug Repellent Now!

Our house and backyard have recently become inundated with ants! Nothing commercial seems to work. So I have gone on a quest for natural homemade bug spray ingredients that I can find at home and try to eradicate our bug infestation. Check out this article for more info on natural, homemade ways to take care of bugs.

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Common household products:

Sprinkle baby powder -the scented kind--anywhere you see ants. The smell seems to be a great deterrent. Ants are directed by their scent. This throws them off. You can also sprinkle baby powder on yourself or your kids and the scent seems to repel insects.

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What Homemade Bug Repellent Have you Heard?

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Vinegar can be used for so many things!

Vinegar is a great product to use in so many things: cleaning and getting rid of bugs.

Vinegar as a Homemade Bug Repellent

Homemade Bug Spray

Try vinegar! Every household usually has vinegar. If not, get some. Vinegar is an amazing product and can be used in a variety of ways.Fill a squirt bottle with plain old cheap white vinegar, and squirt it anyplace you've seen ants (kitchen counters, windowsills, etc) and let it dry. It's non-toxic, won't harm anything, and the smell will go away in just a couple of minutes. It worked for me! Vinegar changes the ants sense of smell and throws them off their mission. Ants won't cross a line of vinegar.

Homemade Bug Spray
Homemade Bug Spray

Tips to get rid of pests naturally

Roaches, Mice, Opossums and Raccoons

Baking Soda is a gem for getting rid of all sorts of bugs.

For ants, simply sprinkle baking soda on the trail of the ants. This will work both inside and outside of the house. Cinnamon is a natural repellent of bugs. Sprinkle cinnamon on any doorway and they will not cross the line.

Coffee: Coffee has a very strong aroma and mosquitoes, ants, slugs and maggots are known to not like

acidity in coffee.

Pine oil: Use one drop of pine oil in a quart of water to repel ants. Try any one of these and see which works for you.

Scatter cucumber peelings along windowsills and near doors that open to the outside. When the peels start drying up, discard them and put down new peels. The ants will not cross cucumber peelings.

Soap and water can kill wasps. Wasp breathe through their skin, so a mixture of liquid soap and water will essentially kill any wasp or a nest of wasps without harmful chemicals.

Apple Cider vinegar is a good safe solution to killing bugs.

Mix a few drops of peppermint oil in a bottle with witch hazel.

Use a 50-50 combination of borax to sugar to get rid of bugs the natural way.

For roaches, equal parts of baking soda and powdered sugar spread around the area where roaches are seen is a good roach killer

Mice, opossums and raccoons are allergic to peppermint. Get some peppermint oil, put on cotton balls and place in area of infestation. Or, mix with water and pour into a spray bottle; spray infested areas with this peppermint oil and water.

Edens Garden Peppermint 10 ml Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil GC/MS Tested
Edens Garden Peppermint 10 ml Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil GC/MS Tested

I think this is the cheapest on Amazon--any peppermint oil should do the trick.


Plant Mint Plants

Another idea to keep away many insects is to consider planting mint plants along your house. Not only it's useful for other things and gives a nice smell, but it t will keep the ants out forever.

Share with us all your tips on getting rid of bugs

Your homemade bug repellent tips - `

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    • Grangermdk profile image

      Grangermdk 4 years ago

      we use: 8 oz Apple Cider Vinegar, 30-40 peppermint oil, 10-15 drops or lemon oil, mix, spray on the outside of our home, great natural spider repellent

    • profile image

      nonya222 4 years ago

      Love not using chemicals. Great ideas.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 4 years ago from Fresno CA

      Awesome. Not only will mint plants (common name around here is Pennyroyal) repels ants but it also repels fleas. So we planted many around the back door where the cat and dog come in to keep the fleas at bay. At one point, when the new cat had a terrible infestation of fleas, we dried some of the penny royal leaves and stuffed them into a tube casing I made from cotton cloth and tied it around the cats neck. Worked wonders.

    • HappyTom LM profile image

      Tom Christen 4 years ago from Switzerland/Ecuador

      What a great idea! Thank you very much for sharing the info! Great lens.

    • profile image

      csteiner27 4 years ago

      I use a product called Sweetly Citron I found on Amazon and it works great and is all natural also. It uses similar ingredients I just don't have to mess with the mixing, etc

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Has anyone treied the natural bug spray by Mission Essentials called "Fight Back 2" ? It is great ! It smells great, works great and doesn't leave your skin feeling oily...

      look them up @

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      I'm interested in trying those mosquito repellent tips for camping.

    • Tom Maybrier profile image

      Tom Maybrier 4 years ago

      Tea tree essential oil works pretty well for repelling mosquitoes. Don't use it full strength on your skin - try putting some in your hair instead.

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Interesting and useful lens! I make a homemade tonic to keep bugs off of my rosebushes.

    • vegetablegardenh profile image

      vegetablegardenh 4 years ago

      Nice collection of safe non-toxic homemade bug repellents, gives me lots of ideas. Great lens, I like it!

    • chi kung profile image

      chi kung 4 years ago

      I use essential oils, but vinegar line for ants was a great suggestion!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      mint may work for bugs but not sure if i would use it for raccoons. im a fur trapper and have used it many times to attract raccoons and caught plenty. they seemed to like the smell. don't think it would repel them but that's just my experience.

    • Northerntrials profile image

      Northerntrials 4 years ago

      Great lens. Just be careful when planting any of the mints. They are invasive plants and will take over the place if given the chance. Plant them in a large container and sink the container in the garden leaving a lip above the soil. This gives you a better chance your mint will stay contained and easier to water as well.

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 4 years ago from McLaughlin

      @Northerntrials: Thanks for the info--I will follow your advice!

    • Sara2901 profile image

      Sara2901 4 years ago

      Yes!! this will help a lot. Thanks a lot

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 5 years ago from McLaughlin

      @tonybonura: I am not sure about mint--but it stands to reason it might!

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      This is a very useful and informative lens. I knew about baby powder and baking soda, but did not know about peppermint. Will regular mint work as well? We have that growing next to the house in the back.


    • profile image

      CreativeGal 5 years ago

      This lens is ever so USEFUL! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! for the great ideas!

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 5 years ago from France

      I am going to have to try out some of these natural bug repellent tips. Nice lens.

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 5 years ago from Ohio

      Excellent homemade help for dealing with bugs. SquidAngel Blessings.

    • fathomblueEG profile image

      fathomblueEG 5 years ago

      Thankyou for the excellent tips. I will try them today.:-)

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Visiting again for a "refresher course" on making mosquito repellent. :) Thank you!

    • Anime-e profile image

      Anime-e 5 years ago

      ouch! Bug's are always around biting me! I need some of this type of stuff! Thank you for such an interesting lense you have here!

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Some great tips here! For getting rid of ants I try to find the nest area and then pour boiling water on it. Naturally that works best outside....

    • anaisfraiche profile image

      anaisfraiche 5 years ago

      The tips are very helpful. I live in the tropics and dengue is prevalent throughout the year. My child has to wear long pants all the time because she 'attracts' mosquitoes.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      We have been inundated with Japanese Beetles. They are eating my weeping cherry trees, petunia's and even my popcorn plant. I am using dish soap and water as I was told when they eat the leaves with the soapy water it will kill them. I am denied the pleasure of watching them die but at least I know they are not reproducing. Love this lens, we have 2 dogs and need to use products that are safe for them.

    • hartworks lm profile image

      hartworks lm 5 years ago

      I also use baking soda and white vinegar to keep my drains smelling fresh.

    • MelanieMurphyMyer profile image

      MelanieMurphyMyer 5 years ago

      Pinned to my Helpful Stuff board. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for the great tips. Great lens!

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 5 years ago

      Vicks Vaporub seems to turn ants away. I never would have thought of peppermint or baby powder, though. Ants have become an annoyance here, too. I'll try some of your remedies, thanks.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 5 years ago from New York City

      This is great. Keeping bugs out of the house without poisoning the environment is a fantastic contribution. I hope you get tons of views.

    • profile image

      anooptu 5 years ago

      Importance of natural repellents are increasing today...Due to global warming

      In Kerala, Framing is free from chemical repellents......

      thumbs up for this great lens !

    • menskincaretips profile image

      menskincaretips 5 years ago

      Mint plants! That's a new one for my book, I recently brought home a mint plant so I'll plant this in the yard to keep some ants out! Great tips, thanks!

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      Wow these are some great ideas. If you ever come across anymore, be sure and let us know! Thanks A Bunch!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Back to visit this really useful lens- love it. Squid Angel Blessed for non-toxic helpfulness.

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 5 years ago from McLaughlin

      @sherioz: Thanks so much for letting me know the baby powder worked!

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      I spoke too soon - two days ago, armies of little red ants suddenly reinvaded my kitchen. I tried the vinegar again - still didn't work. I used baby powder and it worked wonders. Not one ant has ventured back. I hope this lasts. Never would have thought of baby powder.

    • profile image

      sherioz 5 years ago

      I tried vinegar against the ants in my kitchen and it didn't work. Then, all of a sudden, after a month away from home, the ants were gone when I came back and have not reappeared. Magic! I do really like the idea of planting mint among the house plants.

    • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

      xriotdotbiz lm 5 years ago

      Love basic and homemade remedies like these. Thanks.

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 5 years ago

      Very resourceful lens!

    • OliviaDaughter LM profile image

      OliviaDaughter LM 5 years ago

      I have black ants every summer, they really upset me. I am glad to know something as simple as baby powder will help. Thanks for sharing. Great info.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Fire ants have recently moved to B.C. so I am wondering if they are the ones we have here. They sure are biting little creatures and I have never had run in with ants this aggressive before. It is a battle against me and the bugs.

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 5 years ago from USA

      Gotta try these. I have more spiders than I can shake a stick at. Thanks!

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      Thanks for these GREAT ideas.. I love pure essential oil of citronella :) Blessed!

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 5 years ago

      Great lens!!! We really don't need harmful chemicals in our lives!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Diluted mouthwash from a spray bottle.

    • charlb profile image

      charlb 5 years ago

      Very useful tips! I try to avoid harmful products as much as possible.

    • MamasCritics2 profile image

      MamasCritics2 6 years ago

      I am totally in to natural , non-chemical ways to do things. Love your lens, thanks for sharing!

    • JoleneBelmain profile image

      JoleneBelmain 6 years ago

      Well the whole pine oil thing explains when i mix Pinesol with water it kills the ants.... and I mean KILLS them. works great, and smells good too :)

      I catch the ones that sneak through the bottom of my door. Thank-you for these tips, I'll definitely be using them :)


    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      Great tips here. I have used boiling water down the nests to keep bull ants (horrible bites, especially for children) away. Used apple cider vinegar for the fruits flies around the trees and tomatoes. Tansy growing in the garden keeps fleas at bay and my animals never suffer from that pest. Rotting meat in a soda plastic bottle with a couple of holes punched into the side and a bit of water in the bottom will attract flies in their droves. Hang them around your garden and watch the parade. Encourage bees in with tubs of water around the garden as they come for drinks, Lots more. Hugs

    • profile image

      poutine 6 years ago

      I like the baby powder tip.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 6 years ago

      I appreciate having natural things to try first, before pulling out the chemical big guns!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      Excellent tips! We have been given a pass to visit and bless outside of our angel neighborhoods. You have been blessed by a visiting angel!

    • Joyce Mann profile image

      Joyce T. Mann 6 years ago from Bucks County, Pennsylvania USA

      Great tips on natural bug repellents. Thank you!

    • AgingIntoDisabi profile image

      AgingIntoDisabi 6 years ago

      Love natural ways to do things. Thanks!

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 6 years ago

      Very interesting. I had no idea there were homemade recipes for bug sprays. Cool lens.

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 6 years ago from McLaughlin

      @TolovajWordsmith: Thanks for the tip on borax!

    • Gayle Mclaughlin profile image

      Gayle 6 years ago from McLaughlin

      @Joan Haines: Thanks for the tip about the mint! I wasn't aware of that!

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 6 years ago

      Thanks for these good ideas! If you choose to plant mint, though, be aware that it spreads a lot and can be hard to contain.

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 6 years ago

      For ants in the house, I mix borax with powdered sugar and hope they take it back to their nest. Just sealing up their spot of entry makes a huge difference too.

    • khellogs profile image

      khellogs 6 years ago

      Bug is our problem here they eat our plants in our garden. I should try to make spray bug too. :) Thanks for sharing

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 6 years ago from Ljubljana

      Nice list of resources, thanks. As far as ants are concerned, every sort of cleaning can help because they rely very much on their sense of smell. Vinegar and soda are great preventive solutions. When queen antis already located in kitchen or somewhere else in the house, I bet on borax!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      We've also used garlic oil to throw ants off track. Your solution seems much neater, as well as inexpensive. I once had a roommate who loved ant spray. It made me sick and I've never used it since.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      My Mom has always wiped the counter down with vinegar when ants were coming in. Vinegar is one of our best values for household use. I hadn't heard of the bay powder or mint tip.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Some interesting ideas. I prefer these homemade solutions =D

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Thank you for these tips! We have lots of bugs in Florida, and can use all the help we can get.

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 6 years ago

      This is a great lens. You have so much interesting and useful information. I love natural remedies and always like to find new ways to ward of insects bites. Thanks!

    • CliveAnderson LM profile image

      CliveAnderson LM 6 years ago

      Love this lens it is so cool and full of interesting and useful information. Thank you for sharing...

      Warm Regards,


    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      We just had an ant invasion on our kitchen sink and counter last week. We killed them all, but are just awaiting another wave of them...I'll try your remedies of vinegar or baby powder. I live in the desert, so I don't grow plants like mint. Thanks for sharing your solutions for these little pests.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      @Ann Hinds: Gayle - how about adding some plain spray bottles for people to put their vinegar in?

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      The ants seem to love us, so I should try the mint remedy. Thanks!

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 6 years ago from New York

      We used to have problems with Carpenter Ants at our house in Vermont. Sprinkling ground cloves seemed to keep them out of the kitchen. These are great ideas too.

    • profile image

      jseven lm 6 years ago

      This is a great and safe bug spray. I use vinegar a lot and also clove with eucalyptus. High 5. :)

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 6 years ago from So Cal

      I have used all these remedies and find them very helpful. We keep a spray bottle with vinegar on hand at all times. I think we live on top of an an hill. At least they clean up any tiny crumb I might have missed.

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 6 years ago

      I am going to put baby powder near the kitchen window. I have a huge ant problem this year. I was thinking of naming them, but baby powder seems like a much better idea.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      My son gave me some diatomaceous earth to use. It's ground calcium mineral from fossilized water plants. I sprinkle it around doors and the foundation. Seems to work. I've also heard that black pepper can help keep bugs out.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      In Hawaii, we have geckos living inside that take care of indoor pests. :)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      Well, in Florida, I just have a huge screen room on my house and that keeps them all away. The little lizards help with it too.

      We do have a lot of ants in the yard, so maybe I can try the baby powder.