MamaBake's guide to natural pest controlby Karen Swan

For all things domestic, I consult my household, domestic bible, “Domestic Bliss – Molly Dye’s Recipes for Good Living”.  When that doesn’t yield the answer, I consult you, the MamaBake community!

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list for controlling or even preventing those irritating pests that can plague us year round.

Before you succumb to a chemical assault, give these natural remedies a try!


From the MamaBake community: 

1.  Place equal amounts of icing sugar and baking soda in a dish where ants will find it easily.  (this will lead you to their nests and you can then pour boiling water in if total annihilation is your goal!)

2.  Wipe peppermint oil or clove oil over window sills and doorways, this will deter them from coming in at all!  Added bonus?  It smells amazing!

3.  Baby powder sprinkled in the doorway on on ant trails/around the nest

Molly Dye says:

Natural deterrents include the herbs pennyroyal, rue and tansy which can be placed in shelves or in cupboards.  Try whole cloves placed on ant trails, in cupboards and on shelves and under the sink.  Ground cloves around an ants nest will also work.


Molly Dye says:

Place pieces of vanilla pod around the affected areas to help deter cockroaches.

DIY Cockroach Trap:  Grease a plastic container or old glass jars with some butter or oil. Add about 1cm of wine or beer to the bottom and leave where cockroaches have been seen.  Attracted by the beer the insects will crawl in, but won’t be able to get out due to the greased container.


MamaBake says:

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1.  Cut a lemon in half and stud the flesh with whole, fresh cloves.  Place in windows and doorways or on tables (inside or out).  Flies can’t stand the smell and will be deterred.  Update:  I’ve had one near my front door, one on my kitchen table (which is right near the back screen door which is NEVER closed, and one in my office.  I’m happy to report, NO FLIES!

2.  Soak a cloth in lavender oil and place in a jar.  Cover and leave for 24 hours.  Set in the centre of the table or around the outdoor dining area, open the lids and the fragrance will keep flies at bay!

Molly Dye says:

Sprinkle lavender oil on a cloth and wipe around doorways and windows.

Herbs:  Fennel:  keep a pot on the windowsill, deck or verandah.

Cloves:  Tie in a small piece of muslin and hang from a light fitting.

Peppermint:  oil in water around outdoor dining areas.


Molly Dye says: 

Herbs:  CLOVES.  Place a few around the wardrobe or underneath the paper lining in drawers.

CINNAMON:  a few drops of cinnamon oil on cotton balls then placed around the wardrobe/house.

EUCALYPTUS:  use the oil as above and to wipe down the inside walls and drawers of the cupboards.

Place some EPSOM salts in the corners of the wardrobe, under the carpet and in the cupboards.

mamabake's guide to natural pest control1

I have a ‘moth/silverfish blend’ essential oil that I drip onto paper flowers and keep in a bowl in my wardrobe.  I also use this method on the wooden shelves of my bookcases.


Molly Dye says:

Try keeping an open packet of EPSOM salts in the pantry or sprinkled on the shelves.

MamaBake Says:

Try using bay leaves (fresh) in and around storage areas and containers with grains, flours and cereals.


(MamaBake’s nemesis!)

HERBS & OILS: Cloves and eucalyptus oils used to wipe down surfaces and also on scattered, soaked cotton balls will help.

Natural CEDAR oil or cedar blocks lend a lovely fragrance and deter the silverfish.  I use a combination of all of the remedies!  I learned my lesson when I had to throw out 3 almost new Witchery wool cardigans!

If silverfish have been at your woolens, place them in a freezer bag and freeze overnight.  This should kill any eggs.  Wash in wool wash and dry as normal.

After an infestation, remove everything from your wardrobe and give it a good wipe down and vacuum. I wipe the surfaces with essential oils and vinegar in a spray bottle.


MamaBake says:

1.  Burning Sage will repel mosquitoes and other pests. It smells heavenly, and avoids exposure to toxic chemicals.

2.  Cut limes in half and stud with cloves – place around indoor or outdoor areas.

3.  Dab vanilla oil or extract on your face and neck.  Or, dilute in a spray bottle.

4.  In a spray bottle blend:  15 drops lavender oil, 3 T vanilla extract, 5 drops lemon oil, 5 drops eucalyptus oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice.  Fill the rest of the bottle with a mix of water and witch hazel.

5.  Dab peppermint oil directly onto skin or dilute in a spray bottle.

6.  MOZZIE REPELLING PLANTS:  Citronella geranium, marigolds, lemongrass, horsemint, catnip, lemon thyme, ageratum.

7.  If you do get bitten, dab the bite with Apple Cider Vinegar for instant relief.

Share with us YOUR best natural pest control tips!


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