“How to Make a Homemade Pest Repellent From Natural Ingredients”

“How to Make a Homemade Pest Repellent From Natural Ingredients”

How to Make a Homemade Pest Repellent From Natural Ingredients

As homeowners, we all want to keep pests like ants, cockroaches, and flies out of our houses. But many commercial pesticides contain harsh chemicals. A great alternative is to make your own natural, non-toxic pest repellents using common household ingredients. These homemade repellents will keep pests away without exposing your family to dangerous toxins. In this article, I will show you how to make safe and effective pest repellents using natural ingredients you likely already have at home.

Gather Your Ingredients

Here are some common items that can be used to make natural pest repellents:

  • Essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, citronella, and lemongrass oil repel many insects with their strong scents.
  • Vinegar has a strong sour taste that drives away ants, flies, and roaches. White vinegar works best.
  • Water dilutes and spreads the repellents efficiently.
  • Castile soap like Dr. Bronner’s helps distribute and stick the oils to surfaces.
  • Baking soda can kill roaches.
  • Garlic, onions, chilies contain strong-scented compounds that repel many pests.
  • Salt dehydrates soft-bodied insects like slugs.
  • Alcohol like isopropyl alcohol kills some insects by dissolving their waxy coating.

Make sure to have containers like spray bottles on hand to apply the homemade repellents throughout your home.

Insect Repellent Spray

This simple spray will repel ants, roaches, silverfish, and other unwanted insects:


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon castile soap
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 15 drops essential oils like eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, or lemongrass


  1. Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake vigorously to combine.
  2. Spray around baseboards, windows, doorways, and anywhere else insects enter. Reapply after it rains or every few days.

The vinegar, soap, and essential oils create a scent barrier that drives away many common household insects. I like using a blend of different essential oils like citronella and peppermint to deter a wider variety of pests.

Ant Repellent

Ants hate the smells of peppermint, citrus, and vinegar. Here’s a simple homemade ant repellent:


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon castile soap
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil


  1. Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.
  2. Spray around ant trails, doorways, windowsills, and anywhere else ants enter.
  3. Wipe away ant trails with vinegar. This disrupts the scent path ants follow.
  4. Place cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around problem areas.

The vinegar destroys the scent trails ants use to navigate while the peppermint oil masks the scents they follow. This repellent forces ants to avoid treated areas but is safe for kids and pets once dry. Reapply every few days.

Roach-Killing Spray

This recipe kills cockroaches on contact and helps repel future roaches:


  • 1/2 cup borax powder
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon castile soap


  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups warm water and stir into a smooth paste.
  3. Add soap and remaining 1/2 cup water and transfer to spray bottle.
  4. Spray into cracks and crevices where roaches hide. Focus on entry points like windows.
  5. The borax powder kills roaches, while the other ingredients flush them out.
  6. Reapply after rains or once per week.

The borax clings to roaches’ exoskeletons and kills them within a day of contact. The baking soda and soap help spread the powder so it is more likely to stick to roaches. Make sure to keep this spray away from food surfaces and children.

Slug & Snail Killer

Get rid of pesky slugs and snails that damage plants with this natural remedy:


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. Mix flour and sugar in a bowl. Slowly add water and stir into thick batter.
  2. Spread mixture around infested garden beds. Focus on moist, hidden spots that slugs travel through.
  3. The flour and sugar kill slugs and snails by dehydrating them once they ingest it.
  4. Reapply after heavy rain. Monitor for new trails and retreat problem areas.

The sweet bait lures in slugs while the flour dehydrates their bodies upon contact. Spread a ring of this homemade killer around valuable plants to stop slugs far away before they reach seedlings. Never use salt, as this can leach into soil.

Natural Insect Repellents For Your Skin

Many homemade repellents can also be applied to your skin to fend of mosquitoes, ticks, and flies:

  • Essential oil repellents: Mix 5-10 drops of citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus, or lemon eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil and apply to exposed skin. This protects against mosquitoes and ticks for 1-2 hours.
  • Vodka and vanilla: Mix 2-3 tablespoons of cheap vodka with 10-15 drops of vanilla extract. Apply to skin. This masks human scents that attract mosquitoes.
  • Soap bark: Create a 5% solution of ground soap bark powder and water. Apply to skin. The saponins in soap bark repel insects.
  • Lemon eucalyptus: Rub crushed leaves directly onto skin to repel ticks. The compound PMD in the leaves wards off ticks.

Always test new repellents on small patches of skin first to check for reactions. Avoid getting these mixtures near eyes and lips.


Making your own natural pest repellents is simple, affordable, and effective. Common household items like vinegar, essential oils, and soap drive away or eliminate many insects and pests. Start with easy homemade repellent sprays and work your way up to more advanced recipes as needed to tackle your home’s problem areas. With a few basic ingredients, you can make your whole home and garden pest-free without using harsh chemicals.