6 Natural Pest Control Methods That Really Work

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Bugs. While I can understand (and even sort of tolerate) them outdoors, I draw the line at having pests in my home. I have spent years testing and trying out natural pest control ideas and I’m sharing my best methods with you in this post!

natural ways to get rid of bugs collage

If you are a fellow fan of natural solutions, you’ll love this post filled with 15 natural, homemade cleaners that really work! Plus, make sure to check out this post with 15 self-care ideas, all using essential oils.

Do you hate using harsh chemicals in your home to get rid of pests? Well, you’re not alone. Many people, including myself, are looking for more natural solutions to pest control.

Not only are these methods safer for your family and pets, but they also work just as well, if not better than traditional chemical-based repellents. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best ways to repel ants, spiders, flies and other pesky critters with homemade repellents and solutions!

6 Natural Pest Control Ideas

Here are some of the best natural pest control ideas that will work for you. These ideas have been tested and tried by myself, my family and countless readers over the years. They really work!

1) Get Rid of Ants Naturally

homemade ant repelling spray with ant

Once the weather starts to finally warm up in the springtime, I always feel a huge sign of relief. That is…until I see an ant scamper across my kitchen. Yikes!

Where I live, these annoying little bugs pop up every year during the spring season. Thankfully that gave me the opportunity to develop a 3-ingredient ant spray that will keep the critters away…no unnecessary (and dangerous!) chemicals necessary.

This natural pest control for ants comes in the form of a simple spray. All you need is a spray bottle, vodka (or witch hazel), and peppermint essential oil. Mix it up and spray the ants away! It’s easy and effective.

Grab the recipe for the ant spray here.

2) Make a Homemade Fruit Fly Trap

DIY fruit fly trap in mason jar

Fruit flies are one of the most common household pests. They seem to appear out of nowhere and are be downright annoying. It’s amazing how something so tiny can bother me SO much.

One natural way to get rid of fruit flies is to make a homemade trap. This idea works because it lures the teeny flies in with what they are most attracted to: the smell of fermenting fruit (gross).

This method uses just a few ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen: apple cider vinegar and dish soap! Add both to a container (I prefer to use a glass mason jar so I can see the inside and make sure it’s working), then cover tightly with plastic wrap.

Poke a few small holes in the top, and voila! The fruit flies will be drawn to the vinegar smell and fly into the trap via those tiny holes, but won’t be able to escape because of the dish soap and plastic wrap. Bye-bye, fruit flies.

You can find the full instructions for this natural fruit fly trap here.

3) Repel Mosquitos with DIY Citronella Candles

lighting citronella candles

If there is one thing I cannot stand, it’s mosquitoes. They are relentless and so annoying, and I seem to be an absolute magnet for them! The itchy welt they leave behind is enough to drive me crazy. Not to mention, they can carry some pretty nasty diseases like zika and west nile virus.

There are a few natural ways to repel mosquitos, but my favorite method is by using DIY citronella candles. Citronella is related to lemongrass, and both plants are commonly used around decks and patios since it helps to create a more pleasant outside environment. Citronella has a subtle citrus fragrance that smells amazing to me but the mosquitos absolutely detest it. Win-win!

If candle-making sounds complicated, don’t worry. You will be shocked at just how easy it is! I like to use citronella candles on the patio because they add a pretty dash of ambiance while keeping my family safe from blood-sucking pests.

Here’s how to make a batch of homemade citronella candles for your patio.

4) Whip Up a Batch of Ultra Effective DIY Bug Spray

bottle of homemade pest spray

This natural bug spray recipe is my absolute favorite way to keep the mosquitos, flies, and other pests away during the warmer months while I’m spending time outdoors. I have been using it for years, and it really works!

I’ll be honest: I can’t take credit for this natural pest control. I learned this DIY from a friend of mine when I was visiting her in Florida. If this spray worked against all those Florida critters…you know it’ll work practically anywhere.

It only takes a few ingredients to whip up a batch of this bug-repelling spray: water, witch hazel or vodka, and an essential oil or two. Then simply shake and spray. It works on tents, bags, skin, clothing, etc.

Grab my natural pest control spray here!

5) Keep Flies at Bay with this Weird (but Effective) Natural Pest Control

how to get rid of flies outside

Ah, there’s nothing quite like sitting down to dine outside in the summer breeze. That is….until flies start to bombard your lovely outdoor feast. There’s nothing worse than having to constantly swat away pests while you are also trying to enjoy your meal.

Thankfully, I had another very smart friend over for dinner one night dining outdoors just the above scenario. She gave me a tip for keeping flies at bay that at first, I’ll admit, I thought was kind of weird. But no harm in trying, right? I know SWEAR by this method. It works!

All you need to do is take a glass (yes, a regular, normal clear drinking glass) and fill it with a few pennies, then top it off with water. Make a couple of these and set them around the table and you’ll instantly notice less flies.

Not sure if that fly prevention trick is for you or nervous about kiddos spilling water all over? Try this alternative way instead:

This second method is similar to the first, but instead of using glasses of water with pennies, use a clear plastic bag filled with water and a few pennies. Then, hang the bag up over the table. I’ve found that hanging 3 of these bags is about right.

Why does it work? I’m not totally sure but I have heard that the copper pennies look like larger bug eyes to the flies – it scares them off. I’m not sure if that’s the exact scientific reason why but I do know that it WORKS.

Learn more about fly repelling here.

6) Mix Up a Natural Pest Control Spray for Your Plants

homemade garden insect repelling spray in bottle

Pests not only bother us humans, but they can also wreak havoc on our beloved plants! I have had more than my fair share of run-ins with aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites. These pests are tiny but they can cause big problems for your plants – damage that is often irreversible.

The good news is that there are natural solutions for pest control that are safe for your plants! You can make a homemade spray using everyday ingredients like water, garlic, mint, cayenne pepper, and dish soap.

Note: keep in mind that this is a spray for plants, not people. You don’t want to spray garlic and cayenne pepper all over yourself.

I have found that this natural pest control spray is effective against most common garden pests. Simply mix up a batch and keep it in a spray bottle. When you see a plant with damage from pests, it’s time to spray. Shake up the bottle well and spray all parts of the plant. Make sure to get the underside of the leaves too…those bugs like to hide.

Grab the recipe for plant bug spray here.

FAQs About Natural Pest Control

Here are a few questions I’ve received about keeping pests out of the home. If you have more questions, please drop them in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

How do you keep bugs out of your kitchen?

How to keep pests out of the kitchen

There are a few things you can do to keep bugs out of your kitchen, and most of them involve keeping your kitchen clean and putting food away quickly! Here are a few tips:

  • Keep food in airtight containers or in the fridge.
  • Wipe up spills and crumbs immediately.
  • Take the trash out regularly.
  • Store garbage in a sealed container.
  • Don’t leave food out on the counters

Is vinegar good for pest control?

glass bottle with funnel

I am a HUGE fan of vinegar and use it often in my cleaning, as you can see in this post all about white vinegar and its uses.

There are also a few ways that vinegar can be used for natural pest control. People have said it can be sprayed on counters or doors to help repel pests, and it can also be added to soaps and cleaners as a natural disinfectant.

BUT…I have found that plain vinegar by itself does not work nearly as well as combinations that include essential oils (like in all the DIYs above). For that reason, I tend to keep vinegar for cleaning, not pest control.


There you have it – six natural solutions for pest control that I use in my own home. These methods are all-natural, safe, and effective against a variety of pests. Give them a try!

If you have any tips or tricks for getting rid of pests in your own home, I’d love to hear them! Please share in the comments below.

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