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Keep The Critters At Bay, The Natural Way!

Date: 25-Nov-09

Lemon oil can help deter spiders © Amy Nancarrow

Lemon oil can help deter spiders

In addition to using citronella, flyscreens and swatters, you can easily take steps towards non-toxic pest control at home.

Many household pests dislike citrus, eucalyptus, lavender, cinnamon and mint so by burning these essential oils, wiping your cupboards and kitchen surfaces with them, or adding them to pot pourri, you can keep your house fragrant as well as pest free.

Grow basil in pots and place around the house or on windowsills to repel flies and mosquitoes, or rub lavender oil on your skin. Burning eucalyptus leaves on the BBQ is another great way to keep flies and mosquitoes away from your cook-up.

Spiders naturally prey on many common household pests so it can be useful to have non-venomous varieties in or around the house. However if you wish to keep them off window or door frames, wipe surfaces with lemon or eucalyptus oil.

Bay leaves can be kept in your cupboards and rice or flour tins to deter weevils and silverfish.

To control cockroaches, leave a mixture of 50/50 icing sugar and baking soda or *borax near their trail. And to deter ants, sprinkle their trails with baking soda, chilli or cayenne pepper, paprika, lavender, *borax or even by planting mint outside your house. Mint also works to deter mice.

So get out your oils and herbs and enjoy the aromatics of these natural solutions for a pest free summer of entertaining!

More Info

For more easy home remedies and top tips, check out Greeniology (Tanya Ha); Natural Control of Garden Pests (Jackie French) or Organic Home: the Australian Guide to Clean, Green Living (Rosamond Richardson).

You can also purchase natural pest control products from online eco-stores like,, or

*NOTE that Borax is a natural mineral salt but is poisonous when swallowed, so not recommended for use near children or pets.

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