Natural Home Insect Repellents

image: organic ground cinnamon from Twig and Leaf Botanicals

This Spring, like last Spring, we have ants entering our apartment. Since we don't own the building, there isn't much we can do to the foundation or the yard to keep them out, but as I've discovered, there are many tricks you can do inside to keep the ants away.

I have small children, and have had pets in the past, so I am very nervous to use pesticides to deal with insects. I have tried many natural methods to combat an ant problem - these three methods have been most effective for me:

Sprinkle ground cinnamon around. I had heard this for years, and finally gave it a try. I tested it around ants on the floor, and they did everything they could to avoid it. It doesn't appear to hurt them - they just can't stand cinnamon. I suggest sprinkling it where ants are entering a room, or where food is kept.

Spray surfaces with vinegar. Scout ants lead the colony to a food source through scented trails.Vinegar will destroy that trail, preventing ants from relocating a food source in your home. This also does not kill the ants, but diminishes their efforts.

Create a bait with borax and powdered sugar. The sugar will attract the ants, and the borax will kill them via dehydration. Mix about 1 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of borax; place in shallow dishes (such as jar lids), and keep them in a safe place near the ants, such as in a cupboard, under the sink or under an appliance. The point is that the ants will hopefully take this mixture back to the colony, and killing all who eat it.

It's been almost two weeks now since I tried the cinnamon method, and I haven't seen an ant since. Last year was worse, and the borax sugar trap took care of the problem. Do you have a natural method for ridding your home of ants or other insects?

ashley paul indie pretty projectOut to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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  • I use Dr. Bronners, but I imagine you can use any castille soap… I put it in a spray bottle and mix with water… It keeps mosquitos away. It’s also good for ants, but the cinnamon and borax/sugar seems less messy and quite easy. I’ll have to give that a whirl.
    LOVE your site. <3

  • At Home in Geraldton Western Australia we use Johnsons Baby Powder. Just run it around where their trails are and we also run it around the outside of the building around the foundations on the ground. Keeps them away for weeks. Looks a bit strange but hey, it smells like there are babies everywhere !!! And the rain doesn’t wash it away ! Buy it when on special in the largest container available.