How to Kill Bugs without Poison

You don't have to bring poison into your home to get rid of bugs. Try one of these nontoxic killers.

You will need

  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Essential oils
  • Boric acid
  • Baking soda
  • Powdered sugar
  • Strong smelling herbs or spices
  • Lavender oil
  • Basil or bay leaves

Step 1 Try diatomaceous earth Available at garden centers, diatomaceous earth is an odorless powder that is to many insects what Kryptonite is to Superman. Made of the fossilized shells of the prehistoric sea creature diatom, it causes critters to dehydrate and die.

Step 2 Use essential oils on skin You may like the smell of peppermint, chamomile, cedar wood, and eucalyptus, but mosquitoes don’t–studies show these scents repel up to 93% of them! Sprinkle essential oil onto your skin, or add about 10 drops per ounce to your favorite sunscreen.

Step 3 Use boric acid Sprinkle boric acid in cracks and crevices. It’s safe for humans but deadly to bugs; they walk through it and then digest it when grooming themselves. As long as the powder doesn’t get wet, it keeps working for months.

Step 4 Make sweet poison Are you seeing roaches? Mix baking soda with powdered sugar and put it out on small lids. The sugar acts as bait, while the baking soda poisons them.

Step 5 Block ants Got ants? Find the place where they’re entering your home and circle the area with a line of a something that has a strong natural scent, like cinnamon, mint, cayenne pepper, or coffee grounds. Ants won’t cross the line.

Step 6 Scent your walls Wipe down your walls with lavender oil. The scent causes bugs to scurry away.

Step 7 Spice things up Basil and bay leaves have been used for centuries as natural insect repellents. In fact, in many parts of the world basil is packaged inside bags of grain to protect them. Sprinkle your spices wherever bugs are a problem.

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