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Got Bugs? Simple Home Remedies to Rid Your Home and Garden of Pests

Updated on January 14, 2013

A Short Guide to Protecting Your Home, Plants and Sanity

A how to guide offering two short and simple homemade remedies to rid your home and plants of bugs quickly and safely. These solutions are also environmentally friendly and can be used year-round, indoors or outdoors and will not harm your pets.

How to Prepare the Solutions

What You Will Need

Bugs. Not many of us like them and they do live up to their name of being pests especially when you want to keep them out of your home and away from your plants.

But what to do about them?

Calling exterminators to get rid of them can be expensive and pesticides are unhealthy for your family and pets to breathe. Luckily there are a couple of fast and easy solutions that you can do to get rid of bugs and they involve items that you probably already have in your kitchens.

What you will need:

- An empty spray bottle

- Water (One cup)

- Olive oil (1 Tablespoon)

- Vinegar (1 Tablespoon)

- Dishwashing Liquid (1 Tablespoon)

This first solution can be used for all situations and cleanup afterwards will also be easy.

Mix the water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Afterwards shake well and you have the perfect solution for getting rid of ants and other bugs. After use ants will be deterred from congregating in the sprayed area. After using this solution you should see results in a matter of a few hours.

The second solution is similar to the first where you mix the water, dishwashing liquid and olive oil in a spray bottle. Shake well and the solution is ready for use. This works particularly well for small flying insects since the olive oil prevents them from flying after you begin to spray them.

The second solution can also be used anywhere but I recommend that this solution be used only for bug infestations in plants since the olive oil can make things a bit slippery if used on a floor or counter top. Like the first solution you should be able to see results in a matter of hours and your plants should be bug free for at least a week.

Both solutions can also be used at anytime as long as you shake them before using.

Now that I've shared my remedies you can be well on your way to having a pest free spring and summer.

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Staying On Top Of Bugs In the Winter

Ways to Prevent, Reduce and Control Bed Bug Infestations

Just because the summer has come to an end doesn’t necessarily mean that the bugs will go away for the winter. One particular indoor pest is the pesky bedbug.

Bedbugs have always been an unwelcome pest but in recent years they have become downright bothersome. They have been responsible for closing down some of the most prestigious office buildings and hotels and now they are making their way into even more areas including the homes of average people.

Paying for professional treatment can be expensive and though it is still the best way to eradicate bedbugs, there are some things that you can do to keep them at bay with some common household items.

Garment Steamer

Like many of us. We all have that one thing just hanging around in our closets that take up space and go unused. For some of us it is a garment steamer. Sure it sounded nice to have at the time but how many of us have found our way back to the trusty old iron to get the wrinkles out of our clothes? Well now that old garment steamer can be put to good use. Bugs, especially bedbugs, have an aversion to heat and a garment steamer is typically lightweight and just small enough to aim at bed mattresses and the crevices of sofas and futons to kill bedbugs. They can also be used in some instances to deter spiders from making their unsightly webs in the corners of your home. Since the steamers typically only require water and an electric outlet to use, they can be quick solutions to treating mattresses, chairs and sofas. If used at least once every two weeks, the action can do wonders for keeping the critters at bay.

Homemade Lavender Spray

A homemade lavender spray can be used to repel bedbugs and to provide a fresh scent to upholstery and linens when needed. Bedbugs have an aversion to lavender and are less likely to congregate in places where the scent of lavender is the strongest. Bedbugs also tend to have a negative reaction to canola oil since the oil is poisonous to them and their eggs.

For a simple spray the following ingredients can be mixed in a spray bottle:

1 Cup of water

1 teaspoon of lavender essential oil

1 teaspoon of canola oil

After mixing these ingredients together and shaking the bottle well, the mixture can be sprayed on couches and beds once per day as a healthier alternative to using harmful bedbug sprays. Because the canola oil is mixed with water it will not stain fabric furniture and the lavender leaves a fresh scent in the room it is used in. This spray can also be used to disable and remove bedbugs that have made themselves visible as well. While this is certainly not an alternative to cure a bedbug infestation, this can be used as a preventative measure to treating furniture in your home or easing worries about acquiring bedbugs while on vacation (As a related note, there are lavender scented moisturizing oils that can be purchased and applied directly to your skin to prevent bug bites.)

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a fine white powder that can be applied to kill most types of bugs including ants, spiders, silverfish, ticks, mites and bedbugs. While the powder is typically sold in large bags to be primarily used in outside gardens, the powder can also be sold in bottles to apply to creases and corners inside the home. The powder can be somewhat messy to apply if not used in a bottle but it is more than effective in killing bugs if they are used in areas where they tend to frequent. Diatomaceous earth is not harmful to humans if it is inhaled (although it may trigger mild sneezing upon application) and it is not harmful to pets if it is accidentally consumed in small quantities.

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    • profile image

      rebelized 3 years ago

      what can i use from the kitchen for bugs on tomato and orn in garen

    • Silverstar2154 profile image

      Silverstar2154 4 years ago

      @MindOfPeyton: I suffer from really serious allergies at times so most chemicals are a no-go for me. I find that at least the things I've suggested here are just as effective in most situations as the chemicals are with fairly regular use and they are cost effective as well since you can just make more if you run out.

    • profile image

      MindOfPeyton 4 years ago

      I just had to give you a thumbs up for your non toxic ideas. I use some of them myself. Chemicals are a no no in my place. Good job!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago


    • Silverstar2154 profile image

      Silverstar2154 5 years ago

      @pawpaw911: I find that sometimes I do have to deal with Spiders and Spider Mites on my tomato plants but that typically happens in the late summer and early fall when the weather starts to get a little cooler. It does take a little work to try to keep the bugs away.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      We have a real problem with Spider Mites on our tomato plants, but that is about it.