Some suggested old home remedies. No endorsement is intended nor liability assumed since most of these home remedies are not proven or approved as pest control recommendations.
  1. Banish ants from your pet's food dish by wiping the floor under and around it with a cloth dipped in kerosene. Then stand the food dish in a larger dish containing water.

  2. Keep ants from crawling up a picnic table by standing each leg in a small pan of water.

  3. To kill ants, use a paste of equal parts of borax and confectioner sugar.

  4. Mix mint apple jelly and boric acid for ant control (two tablespoons boric acid powder per 10 ounces of mint apple jelly).

  5. Leave a few tea bags of mint tea near areas where the ants seem most active. Dry, crushed mint leaves or cloves also work as ant deterrents. 

  6. Keep a small spray bottle handy, and spray the ants with a bit of soapy water. 

  7. Mix peanut butter (six parts), brown sugar (one part), one-half teaspoon salt with boric acid (one part) for ant control.

  8. For ant control, spray vinegar around door and window frame, under appliances, and along other known ant trails.

  9. If ants are coming in through doors or windows, put a cinnamon stick across the path. They will not cross it.

  10. Mix three cups water, one cup sugar and four teaspoons boric acid powder for ant control. (Pour a over a cotton wad in a small dish or bottle cap.)

  11. Sliced or crushed cucumbers to keep cockroaches away from food.

  12. Mix equal parts of boric acid powder, powdered sugar, and cornmeal as a poison bait for cockroaches.

  13. Mix equal parts of plaster of Paris and powdered sugar as a poison bait for cockroaches.

  14. It is a little known fact that roaches like high places. If you put borax on TOP of your kitchen cabinets (not inside), if space allows between ceiling and cabinets, the roaches will take the borax to their nests, killing all of them.

  15. Keep a spray bottle of soapy water on hand. Spraying roaches directly with soapy water will kill them. 

  16. Walk through a room wearing white socks to detect fleas. Dark fleas jumping on the white background are easily seen.

  17. Use banana peels to repel fleas.

  18. Feed yeast to dogs to repel fleas.

  19. Fleas HATE Stash Earl Grey. Tear open a few bags, scatter the tea about on your carpet and vacuum up in a few days.

  20. For flea control, add a little vinegar to your pet's drinking water to fight fleas and mange.

  21. For flea control add ½ teaspoon to the wash water or a few drops to the pets shampoo.

  22. Suspend a light bulb over a pan of oil or soapy water to attract and drown fleas during the night.

  23. For a fly repellent - 2 cups vinegar, 1 cup Avon Skin So Soft, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon Eucalyptus oil, 1 tablespoon citronella oil - Put in a spray bottle and spray dog's coat.

  24. Mix water with cornstarch into a paste and apply. This is effective in drawing out the poisons of most insect bites and is also an effective remedy for diaper rash.

  25. Rub jewel weed on mosquito bites and poison ivy to control itch.

  26. For mosquito bites apply lime juice diluted with water on bites with cotton ball.

  27. Mozzies won't bite if you mix 4 parts glycerine, 4 parts alcohol, 1 part eucalyptus oil. Or make a solution of equal parts of isopropyl alcohol and methyl phthalate.

  28. If you're using the barbeque, throw a bit of sage or rosemary on the coals to repel mosquitos. 

  29. Put an opened bottle of Oil of Pennyroyal Essence in the room you want mosquito free.

  30. Use Avon's Skin-So-Soft as an insect repellent for people and pets (good mosquito repellent). It helps relieve itching caused by insect bites and dry skin. Also, mix five parts water, one part Skin-So-Soft and mist on show animals. Brush in to make their coats gleam and keep insects off so your animal won't fidget.

  31. Use hedge apples for control of crickets and spiders.

  32. For grass and weeds growing between stones or bricks on walks or terraces, sprinkle 20 Mule Team borax powder and sweep into cracks (one application every other year).

  33. Apply tobacco and snuff juice for wasp stings and bites.

  34. Use beer or yeast dissolved in water in pit fall traps (cups sunk into the ground) to attract and drown snails and slugs.

  35. Prevent mosquitoes from breeding in rain barrels by applying 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water's surface.

  36. Tick and Fly Spray - two cups white vinegar, one cup Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil, one cup water, one tablespoon eucalyptus oil (available at drugstores and health food stores).

  37. Pour hot boiling water and a strong cleaning detergent down the drain to eliminate nuisance gnats and flies.

  • Basil - plant close to the house and it will repel mosquitos.
  • Lavender - plant around the house to repel flies and mosquitos.
  • Castor Bean Plant - plant in pots within the house; replant outdoors to repel mozzies.
  • Scented Geraniums - plant in pots and the garden to repel mosquitos
  • Citrosa Plants - plant in pots and the garden to repel mosquitos
  • Lemon Thyme - plant in pots to repel mosquitos
  • Citronella Grass - plant in pots to repel mosquitos
  • Common Marigold - plant in pots and the garden to repel mosquitos
  • Thai Lemon Grass - (Cymbopogon citratus) is an effective mosquito repellent.
  • Rosemary - powdered Rosemary leaves are used as a flea and tick repellent
  • Chamomile - repels mosquitos
  • Citriodora - repels mosquitos


  • Red Raspberry Leaves (Rubus idacus) - the leaves strengthen the muscles of the uterus
  • Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) - leaves used whole or in powdered form for bleeding cuts
  • Hen-and-chicks (houseleek) - Sempervivum tetorum - soothes minor stings and burns
  • St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) - used for burns and scrapes
  • Yarrow (achillea millefolium) - stops bleeding


The range of low toxic pest control preparations available to gardeners is expanding. Here are some of the main products/ingredients available. 

CONDIES CRYSTALS - (Potassium permanganate) A few drops in a bucket will turn the water pink. Controls powdery mildew and is used by some gardeners to kill ants in potted plants. Toxic to worms!

COPPER SPRAYS - Copper oxychloride, cupric hydroxide and Bordeaux mixture are used to control a range of fungus diseases including mildews, anthracnose and leaf spots.

DERRIS DUST - Derris is made from the ground root of the rotenone plant (Derris elliptica). It is used to control chewing insects. While it is allowable under organic growing regimes it is toxic to worms. Some gardeners use it for lawn grub control.

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH - Composed of the ground tiny salt-water organisms called diatoms, diatomaceous earth has microscopically sharp edges that desiccate insects on contact or kill them when ingested. Please note that this is insecticide grade diatomaceous earth, not the material use in swimming pool filters.

DIPEL or BT - This is a naturally occurring bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis) that affects some types of caterpillars. It has been cultured and is available in a powdered form from nurseries. It is sprayed on to plants.

NEEM - Neem oil is extracted from the neem tree (Azadiracta indica). It kills insects by contact, ingestion and also acts as an anti-feedant. It is currently only registered for controlling of fleas.

PHEROMONE TRAPS - A pheromone is a non-toxic species-specific scent produced by the female insect to attract the male. Pheromones are often used as the attractive in baits and traps.

PYRETHRUM - Natural pyrethrum is extracted from the flowers of Chrysanthemum cinerariafolium. It will kill predators if used indiscriminately, so be sure to spray late in the day when bees have returned to their hives. It is used for a wide range of insect pests, particularly beetles. Synthetic pyrethroids or products in which natural pyrethrum is mixed with piperonyl butoxide are not allowable under organic gardening regimes.

SEAWEED SPRAYS - Foliar sprays made from seaweed have been found to be very effective in reducing fungus diseases that affect leaves and flowers.

SOAP SPRAYS - Soap sprays break down the waxy layer of the insect exoskeleton causing the insect to dehydrate. Be sure to use pure soap and not detergent.

SULPHUR - Dusting sulphur and wettable sulphur preparations are effective against mites and powdery mildew.



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