(NaturalNews) Environmental pollution levels, both air and water, are vastly affected by household chemical pesticides. By using natural alternatives such as herbs or essential oils to deter common household pests, you can make a difference to the environment.
Citronella oil is the most commonly used essential oil in natural insect repellents. It is distilled from citronella grass, indigenous to Southern Asia. The lemony fragrance is bearable to most people but pungent to insects, especially mosquitoes. Other insect-repelling essential oils include cedarwood, lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint, pennyroyal, lavender, and bergamot.
Below is a list of common household pests and essential oils or natural products that are effective in deterring them from sharing your home with you.
Flies: Place a handful of dried cloves in a bowl and sprinkle with a few drops of clove oil and lavender oil, citronella oil or peppermint oil. Refresh the cloves with additional oil regularly.
Mosquitoes: Vaporize a few drops of lemongrass oil or citronella oil in a burner. Citronella candles work well too. Place five drops of lemongrass oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil or citronella oil on a ribbon and hang it from window or doorways.
Cockroaches: Place a few drops of citronella oil (peppermint oil or lemongrass oil can also be added) on cotton wool balls and place them in cupboards or anywhere that cockroaches are active. Make a spray of water (half a cup) mixed with 5 drops of cypress oil and 10 drops of peppermint oil. Spray anywhere that cockroaches frequent.
Aphids: Mix 10 drops each of rosemary and lavender essential oil in 1 litre (4 cups) of salt water. Spray affected plants. Neem oil acts as a repellent and aphid reproduction regulator. Neem oil has a bitter taste, so aphids and any pests in general will not attack the leaves treated with it. Calcium powder is another natural aphid repellent. Sprinkle calcium around the base of plants.
Mice: Place a few drops of peppermint, eucalyptus or spearmint oil on some cotton wool balls and position in the ceiling or where you suspect mice are entering the house. This is said to deter mice but it may not work effectively if you have a serious infestation.
Ants: Vinegar is a natural ant repellent, so spray where ants show up. Cayenne pepper or black pepper can be sprinkled where ants come into the house. Drops of peppermint oil can be sprinkled along counters and walls to deter ants.
Silverfish: A few drops of cederwood oil on cotton wool balls can be placed in wardrobes, drawers and cupboards. Cederwood oil is safe for humans but noxious to silverfish.
Essential Oil Natural Insect Repellent Recipe This combination of essential oils makes an excellent natural insect repellent.
Dilute this base mix with 4 ounces / 100ml of almond oil and use on the body as a bug repellent. For a bug spray, mix with 100 ml / 4 ounces of vodka. (Certain essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy - consult with a qualified aromatherapist.)
Katherine Oosthuis is completing a Diploma in Nutritional Therapy. She researches and writes for a health and nutrition website Detox For Life . Her passion is to make research available to those who are looking to improve their well-being and revolutionise their health through better nutrition and alternative medicines.