Repelling Insects

Category Repellants
There are ways to make your home and garden less attractive to bugs. This page is about repelling insects.


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August 27, 2005

It concerns me to see posts about killing insects and animals when it is just as effective and less poisonous to repel or prevent infestation.

Roaches love the glues in the box tops and bottoms. Keep boxed open items like pasta, bisquick, etc. in jars. They also love the glues in shelf paper. Use something else on shelves. Catch them and take them to a warm compost pile outside. You can re-train the whole colony to move outside where they can live completely invisibly to you.

Flies won't keep buzzing into a house that has tansy planted by doors and windows. Bunches of dried tansy work almost as well, but not quite. Keep screens in good working order. Use a butterfly net to catch them and take them outside when they do get in. Keep your trash cans clean so maggots don't appear and turn into more flies.


Bedbugs hate thyme. Sprinkle the bed with it, spread it around the edges of the bedroom; open the windows, close the door and wait until morning. Vacuum and they are gone.

Fleas can be kept away with pennyroyal oil. It's a strong mint and dangerous to pregnant women. A drop behind the pet's neck and under the neck as well as at the base of the tail will keep fleas away. Also add nutritional yeast to their food, a spoon a day, sprinkled on, and a pill of garlc (cut a small pill shape from a slice of garlic clove) will keep ticks and fleas from staying and biting.

Editor's Note: Garlic should only be given to dogs, it can be harmful to cats.

Mosquitos won't bite someone who takes a B-complex vitamin daily. If you are camping, you may need to take extra. It turns pee yellow, so don't panic! Garlic works too but not garlic pills. They are useless.

Keep weevils out of food by storing flours and such in jars.

Ants can be kept out easily by seeing where they are getting in and using petroleum jelly as a barrier they won't cross. Also, washing their paths with soapy water keeps them from instintcively using it again. You can also try cayenne pepper as a boundary but you might have to refresh it until they are re-trained.

Pennyroyal also keeps termites from eating your house, by treating the possibly infected area with the oil. Use cedar bark for mulch around the house if you don't want to attract more termites. They won't eat the cedar, but will infest other bark mulches.

Keep clutter down and store things in plastic bags, like linens and luggage (if it doesn't seal well).

There are lots of chemical free alternatives to pesticides and traps. We often think "Thou shalt not kill" is a good value, but we rarely remember that doesn't end with "except for bugs and enemies..."

By Allison

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If you are bothered with pests, there is some natural remedies to repel. You can plant peppermint, spearmint, lavender, or pennyroyal around the base of your house, as well as, other places. This will repel mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, mice or other rodents and keeps down spiders. It will take time for the plants to spread, but once they do, the pests can be controlled, and offers other benefits as well.

I have done this for years and it works, and makes wonderful relaxing tea. Gives a great fragrance outside when it rains.

By Patsy from Salem, MO

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May 4, 2005

Sprinkle a little borax around the corners of your cabinets in your kitchen and bath to repel insects.

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July 16, 2014

Buggins Natural repels gnats and other annoying flies. I purchased from Menards for around $5. It can also be purchased online for around $6-7. It works wonders!

Buggins Natural Insect Repellent

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July 15, 2004

I use lemon scented ammonia mixed with lemon dishsoap and water to keep bugs out of the lawn. The lemon repels the insects! Mix 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup soap and put in hose end sprayer.

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May 10, 2005

Tips and recipes for repelling insects. Post your ideas.


May 10, 20050 found this helpful

Dab lavender oil on your pulse points; it smells great on you and it repels insects.


By Diana

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By sue (Guest Post)
June 22, 20050 found this helpful

I have been doing some research on natural repellants and have heard that yes citronella works for mosquitos, but other biting bugs are only turned off once they have already bitten you. Here is an essential oil recipe that I have been using with quite a bit of success so far.
1) a base of glycerin from drug store (or organic oil vegitable base)
2) distilled witchhazel to thin it out (available at drug stores)
3) these esential oils :citronella, cedarwood oil, tea tree oil, sandlewood oil, pennyroyal, catnip oil.
Notes: pennyroyal should not be used on pregnant women. And catnip oil, will make your cat only slightly curious....but it is supposedly 10 times more effective than deet. The whole idea is to smell like a tree.


Mostly I am a magnate for deer flies and horse flies, and wasps. I am going to the woods this weekend for 4 days. i will report back with the ultimate grade on this natural formula.

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June 22, 20050 found this helpful

Thanks for posting your recipe, please do let us know how it works.

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By Signed, Barn Lady Going Crazy With Flies. (Guest Post)
June 27, 20050 found this helpful

Hey Sue! Can't wait for your ultimate grade on the recipe. Please let us know the moment you return.

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By sue (Guest Post)
June 29, 20050 found this helpful

I'm back from the cottage. There was plenty of mosquitos and of course I got bitten on the neck right when I got out of my car! But I had not yet put my home made repellant on. Every one else got a few bites over the weekend except me! Even when a huge horse fly came buzzing around, I was not the one he was attracted to for a change.

I have to say it worked quite well, and I will definately use it again. I may add a few drops of lavendar oil.. (I find the pennyroyal and catnip oil a bit pungent smell wise).

On the plus side, my skin stayed moist, and I smelled pretty good (better than deet anyway). The bad side is, the less glycerin you use, the more you need to re-apply it....I almost ran out of repellant before the weekend was over.

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By Natalie (Guest Post)
July 3, 20070 found this helpful

Hi Sue!

How much of each ingredient will I need. This is for my 19-month old son, who is PLAGUED by mosquitos, so i'm dropping the pennyroyal, but how much of each other thing should I use?


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By iris marie. (Guest Post)
July 7, 20070 found this helpful

well, lansones, which has a binomial name of lansium domesticum is a good mosquito repellent.. Just burn its peels and it would release an aromatic smell that could repell mosquitoes.. trust me! it is really effective.. it is proven by the department of science and technology!

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By kryan (Guest Post)
July 20, 20070 found this helpful

When I had my first child 3 years ago, someone game me a recipe for a homemade mosquito repellant that worked wonders. It had sage, rosemary, thyme (yes, like the song) and one other herb. Any ideas? I am expecting and due any day now and looking for this recipe or something I would feel comfortable to use on the new one and the 3 year old. HELP!

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