12 Natural Remedies for Household Pests

12 Natural Remedies for Household Pests | Henry Happened We’ve all been there – the army of ants coming from who knows where, attacking the piece of peanut butter and jelly sandwich you didn’t pick up during lunch the day before. Or that gigantic spider lurking under that pile of laundry in the basement. Then there are those unmentionable little beasts that strike fear into the hearts of every apartment dweller – ROACHES. My particularly nemesis are tiny black ants that periodically invade my kitchen as soon as the weather warms up. I want them gone ASAP, but at the same time, I don’t like using the toxic bug killer I used to reach for. I have young kids at home, and I choose to go a more natural route because I hate the idea of chemicals being used in my home where we sleep, play and eat. There are some natural solutions for household pests that are just as effective as the toxic chemicals, and some are really good deterrents as well. You only need to reach as far as your kitchen cupboard.

12 Natural Remedies for Household Pests | Henry Happened 1. Garlic

Leave a few peeled cloves in cupboards, on shelves and in corners to help deter pests from taking up residence. Periodically replace the cloves when they dry out.

2. Cayenne

Sprinkle ground cayenne pepper around the the perimeter or anywhere ants are getting in.

3. Cinnamon

Ground cinnamon and its essential oil are both effective against pests. Sprinkle the ground cinnamon anywhere that pests are seen or apply pure undiluted cinnamon essential oil to the areas with a cotton swab.

4. Coffee grounds

Sprinkle the grounds along areas where ants are entering the house or on their nests outside.

5. Bay leaves

For moths and other cupboard pests, tape bay leaves to containers or lay them on shelves. Replace when the scent fades.

6. Cucumber

Slices on counters or other places will help to repel ants.

12 Natural Remedies for Househould Pests | Henry Happened 7. Citrus

Lemon and orange essential oils are great pest deterrents. Make a natural spider deterrent spray by combining 5 drops essential oil, 5 drops soap and 1 quart water. Pure undiluted lemon juice can be spritzed around cracks. Place lemon and/or orange peels in cupboards, on book shelves,and other places where spiders and other pests like to lurk. Lemon peels are also supposed to be effective for moths in closets along with cedar.

8. Vinegar

Wash floors and other areas with vinegar or leave small open containers in infested areas to deter the bugs. Add essential oils for added benefit.

9. Cornmeal

Works the same as coffee grounds. Sprinkle around the perimeter to deter ants from entering the home.


Essential Oils for Household Pests | Henry Happened Essential oils seems to be the most effective natural solutions for household pests. The best part is that they smell so nice while they do their job to repel pests.

10. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaves and essential oil are great in cupboards to deter pests.

11. Tea Tree Oil

Add tea tree oil to a spray bottle with water, shake well, and spray outside and inside the home. Bugs hate the smell of tea tree oil. It may also work to get rid of bed bugs.

12. Peppermint

Essential oil and dried mint leaves will help against most household pests, especially ants. Mix 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray along cracks and crevices or wherever ants are seen. It works even better if you add a few drops of dish soap to the bottle. It kills ants on contact. Mint can also help repel flies.


  • Keep things tidy and cleaned up – prevention goes a long way.
  • Natural bug repellants need to be applied more frequently, but as just as effective as other pest control methods
  • Borax works amazingly for ants and roaches, but it can be dangerous to use around small children. I choose not to use it, but it does work really well when mixed with sugar at attracting and killing pests.

Have you gone the natural route? Any tips for getting rid of pesky pests?


is the blogger behind Cafe Johnsonia and a Contributing Editor

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  1. Damaris says

    Will any of these work on those yucky small house roaches?!?!!? Please help, we are not infested, but I’ve come a crossed one or two in the last month or so.

  2. Val says

    To keep rodents out of my attic I keep a light on and a radio on talk radio. No more mice, squirrels or birds. They have chosen a quieter residence.

  3. says

    Yesssssss! This is awesome. We currently have an ant infestation and, while we stopped the big fat guys from coming in by sprinkling some corn starch outside, we’ve got a million tiny little ants climbing all over the counters. For some reason I even feel weird spraying the organic ant spray there, but I’m definitely going to try some peppermint oil!

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