Pest control is an important part of keeping a home safe, clean and comfortable. However, it’s also important to choose natural pest control methods that are safe for our health and the environment since people and pets can be sensitive to the harsh chemicals used in commercial sprays. The following eight suggestions for non-toxic pest control use natural means to effectively repel and eliminate problematic pests.

Power of Mint

Mint is an all-powerful pest repellent that can work in both the home and garden to eradicate unwanted insects. This method can easily be implemented by tossing a few mint tea bags anywhere that pests tend to visit. Mint works well against ants, weevils and can be used as a shampoo to deter lice. Place mint in cupboards, pantries and other kitchen areas to prevent kitchen pests.

Spray Vinegar

Vinegar is also a versatile pest control method that is natural and safe enough to be used around anyone. A spray bottle filled with equal parts of vinegar and water can be used to spray carpets to get rid of fleas. Additionally, vinegar can be used as part of the shampoo to eliminate fleas on pets.

Diatomaceous Earth

This pest control method is a powder consisting of finely ground rock that is formed from fossilized diatoms, a type of algae. Diatomaceous earth is safe and proven to be effective in homes and gardens for eliminating ants, cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas and slugs. It is also easy to use and can be sprinkled in areas of the home that can be hard to reach such as corners and behind furniture.

Borax and Sugar

Borax is a mineral salt that can be mixed with sugar to deter ants and other insects such as cockroaches. This mixture can be dissolved in water to make a solution that can be used to soak cotton balls. Then, the cotton balls can be placed near areas of the home that insects use for access such as windows and beneath doors.

Apply Heat

Many common pests can be destroyed with heat. Bedbugs, dust mites and head lice can be controlled by washing and drying bedding, clothing and other washable fabrics in the hottest water available. Boiling water can also be poured into ant beds to eliminate the pests at their source.

Citrus Control

Citrus scents are a wonderful way to deodorize the home, yet citrus fruits also contain chemical properties that are repelling to pests. Orange peels can be boiled in water to create a solution that can then be used on a dog’s fur to eliminate fleas. This same solution can be sprayed on carpets and upholstery. Spraying lemon juice at the point-of-entry to a home for ants is an effective repellent as the ants will not cross over the lemon.

Soapy Water

Simple soap and water can be used safely in a variety of areas of the home to repel pests. This solution makes an ideal cockroach and ant spray. When placed in a shallow dish, soapy water left on the floor can also trap and kill fleas.

Bait and Trap

There are many effective natural ways to trap pests. A bottle of fruit juice or wine can entice fruit flies and gnats into a container. A basic type of flypaper can be made by covering wax paper in a mixture of corn syrup and sugar. Generally, a combination of repellents and traps will be effective for eliminating most pets.