7 Natural Ways To Keep Cockroaches & Other Bugs Out Of Your House
Summer means rosé all day, pool floats, and uninvited house guests that won't leave, and I don't mean your couch-surfing friends. These freeloaders are much worse — bugs. However, there are natural ways to keep cockroaches and other bugs out of your house this summer if you don't want to cover your pad in harmful chemicals. It's often said that only cockroaches will survive the apocalypse, and this might be true because these creepy crawlers — much like the dreaded bed bug — can survive almost anything.
But, all is not lost my friendlies. Whether it's cockroaches, spiders, ants, earwigs, or any other type of insect, there are actually a lot of all-natch remedies to keep them away using things you probably already have in your kitchen. While it might be tempting to set off a bug bomb and be done with it, exposing yourself to pesticides is not without risk. Pesticide exposure can result in headaches, dizziness, nervousness, gastrointestinal distress, skin irritations, mood swings, fatigue, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms that could derail your summer plans.
What's more, Mother Nature Network cited 16 studies that found that pesticide exposure during childhood can increase the risk for certain cancers. If that's not your jam, turning to these all-natural remedies can rid your home of roaches, and other unwanted pests, without making you sick.
There's nothing worse than waking up to a kitchen full of ants. These tiny yet determined pests tend to come inside when it's hot outside, and they can be a nightmare to get rid of. To wipe out ants, turn to your spice cabinet, which probably contains a lone bottle of the only spice you need. "Sprinkling cinnamon around the house is a great way to keep bugs out," Susan Patterson explained on Natural Living Ideas. "Experts say that if you sprinkle the cinnamon in a line around their point of entry, they won’t cross it."
2. Essential Oils
You likely know that lavender can lull you to sleep and peppermint oil can help you feel refreshed, but you might not know that these essential oils can also work as an all-natch insecticide. Spraying lavender or peppermint in closets, drawers, cupboards, and around baseboards can help repel bugs, according to the American College of Healthcare Sciences.
If you want to keep spiders from coming into your apartment and having thousands of little baby spiders, meet your new best friend vinegar. White vinegar contains acetic acid, which is harmful to spiders. Dilute some white vinegar with water and spray it along baseboards and any cracks where spiders can enter your home.
4. Boric Acid & Powdered Sugar
Cockroaches are one of the most detested creepy crawlers out there. And, they're also one of the hardest pests to get rid of. But, there is a way to ensnare cockroaches and a host of other unwanted bugs by making your own roach traps with boric acid and powdered sugar. "The sugar lures the roaches, while the boric acid kills them. Although the boric acid isn't toxic to people or pets, it can be irritating so keep it away from counters and places where little fingers and noses can reach," Chanie Kirschner wrote for Mother Nature Network. "Sprinkle it under and behind the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, under the sink, and into cracks along the edges of cabinets and pantries."
5. Ugli Fruit
If you haven't heard of ugli fruit, also known as the osage orange or hedge apple, this bumpy-looking-citrus fruit is not only good for you, it repels bugs like a boss. You can place this fruit, unpeeled, in corners, under your bed, and in your closet to keep myriad unwanted bugs at bay.
Apparently, cats, cockroaches, and ants are all put off by cucumbers. If you want to keep your cat inside and the ants and roaches outside, "Cut cucumber in small slices and place them on the likely entry point of ants in your kitchen. Ants have natural instinct to avoid the fragrance of cucumber," the blog Den Garden advised. "Bitter cucumber slices works better."
7. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is a magical white powder that works by dehydrating insects when they walk through it or breathe it in, and it's my go to for eradicating every type of summer pest. Make sure to get food-grade DE, and sprinkle a very small amount around baseboards, entryways, and windowsills. You can also use it to treat your pets for fleas, and it's one of the only things that successfully gets ride of bed bugs, which have apocalyptic-survival skills akin to that of roaches.
If you only opt for one all-natch pest treatment, this is the mother of all insect eradicators. Remember to use a small amount because insects will avoid large piles of DE; you need a lot less than you think. Also, you'll want to avoid inhaling it since it is a powder that can irritate your airway, so be sure to wear a mask.
By opting for environmentally (and human) friendly solutions to keep your house or apartment free of summer bugs of the winged, eight-legged, and creepy crawly variety, you can help save the planet and your immune system. And, you can find pretty much everything you need in your kitchen cupboards, or at a nearby grocery store. The best part is that all of these items can be used for other things so purchasing them is never a waste. #TheMoreYouKnow