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DIY Natural Pest Control



It is easier than you think to keep pests at bay using natural products. The only time I’ve failed using homemade bait is with ants. Electronic devices and other means helped, but didn’t eliminate them.

They had taken over my home when I found Terro Ant Killer at Ace Hardware. This non-toxic substance is highly effective and so easy to use. Ants were gone in no time and it was months before I needed to repeat for the few that were creeping back in to nibble on our cat’s food.

Ants and Roaches

  • Mix equal parts Diatomaceous EarthBorax or boric acid* with flour, cornmeal, or sugar (ants like cornmeal and sugar) and sprinkle around cracks and crevices. Certain ants prefer bacon grease if the sugar and cornmeal don’t work. They will take it back to the next and infect the entire colony. This works for both ants and roaches. A non-toxic commercial alternative is a product called Terro Ant Killer.
  • Essential oils – peppermint, clove, orange, lemon or tea tree oil can applied to cotton balls and placed on counter corners, inside cabinets, or anywhere ants roam.Essential oil spray – Use 1/4 cup of vodka, 1/4 cup water, and about 30 drops of one or more essential oils. You can substitute apple cider or white vinegar for the vodka – it won’t smell as good, but does the job. Shake, then spray on any surface where ants are a problem.Citrus Spray – save your lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit peels. Place in a pan of equal parts water and vinegar. Heat until steaming, turn off stove, and steep overnight. Drain and add to a spray bottle in the morning. Spray countertops and cracks where ants enter.
  • Diatomaceous Earth* – I use a lot of this in my home and garden as it works for (any) type of pest, including fleas, carpenter ants and roaches. Mix with sugar or other food (some like sweets while others prefer fats like grease or dog/cat food) or sprinkle in areas where they hide. I keep an old Comet shaker filled with diatomaceous earth to sprinkle directly on pests when I see them. If you do the carpeting in a room, cover your mouth and wear protective glasses. Close off the room until the dust settles, leave the product in the carpet for several hours, then vacuum.

*Boric acid and Borax can be toxic to people and pets, so be mindful where it is placed. Diatomaceous Earth is safe if ingested (food grade only – the type for pools is toxic), but don’t breathe the dust and keep it away from your eyes and skin since it can be irritating and drying.

Fruit flies and no-see-ums

  • Pour 2 – 3 ounces of cider vinegar into a clean glass jar
  • Roll a piece of paper into a funnel-like shape
  • Insert the small end of the funnel-shaped paper into the vinegar-filled jar
  • You can also punch holes in a (recycled) plastic container and fill with vinegar or cover the container with plastic wrap and punch small holes with a toothpick
  • Place the homemade trap in an area where fruit flies are present


Cedar chips, shredded newspapers, and lavender flowers are known to naturally deter moths.


  • Buy a “Have-a-Heart” mouse trap to catch mice alive and unharmed; set free away from homes.
  • Adopt a cat from the Humane Society
  • Clean your floors with Borax to deter them.

While there are commercial products that deter mice, they often don’t work for more than a few months. NEVER use mothballs as they are highly toxic.


  • Diatomaceous earth on carpets (see Ants and Roaches) if infestation

To learn how I prevent fleas and ticks in my indoor/outdoor cats, read this post.

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