Eliminating Bugs & Mice

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Get Rid of Unwanted Pests

Spring is here and we await the pesky little bugars that invade our homes and gardens. With so many of us attempting to go green, the bug sprays of the past pose a problem for us as well as our environment.  With a little research and Grandma’s remedies, it is possible to do away with these pests with a less toxic approach.

ANTS–Did you know that they hate cucumber peels?  It doesn’t kill them, but it will repel them, as will orange or lemon peels.  Take peels from either an orange or lemon and add to boiling water. Remove from the stove and let soak overnight.  Next day place the infused water into a spray bottle and spray the areas where you have seen the ants.  Also, ants do not like turmeric herbs, another good repellant.


COCKROACHES–I think that these little critters are the nastiest of all.  Living in Arizona for awhile, I have had some experience with them.  We had ones that were as big as your thumb AND flew.  Between the heat and the cockroaches, I was out of there!  I no longer have to deal with them, but for those of you that do, bay leaves and cayenne pepper is suppose to deter them.  I love my Ivory soap, but I understand that they don’t.  Mix a couple tablespoons of liquid Ivory soap in approximately 1 quart of water then place into a spray bottle–the mixture is supposed to kill the roaches.  I have my doubts, so give it a try and let me know if it really works.

GRASSHOPPERS–These are pesky little creatures that love our gardens.  I am content to leave them alone if they leave me alone.  But my tomato plants don’t feel the same way.  In a spray bottle add a mixture of blended onions and Tabasco sauce in approximately 1 quart of water (strain the mixture before adding it to the water).  Let set for a day and then spray this concoction around your garden. I have tried this and it does repel these little guys.

MOSQUITOES–Now we are talking about a host of problems.  I am allergic to them and will swell up baseball sized bumps when bitten.  They can also carry diseases, so we want to eliminate them from around our homes and be armed when we are outside.  Standing water around your house and in your garden is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.  There are a number of plants that repel them, such as, tomatoes, basil, citronella grass, and eucalyptus.  It was suggested that catnip wrapped in gauze repels them–try carrying it with you on a walk.  I haven’t tried this one yet, but will this summer.  Another suggestion from a neighbor is to mix 4 parts glycerin to 1 part eucalyptus oil and rub on your skin to repel them.


SPIDERS–OK, now we are talking about one of my big fears.  I remember my Mother saying that “a spider can’t hurt you, but it can make you hurt yourself getting away from it”.  It doesn’t matter how small although the bigger the scarier, I still hate them.  I have tried everything to rid my basement of them (without spraying toxic chemicals), until I found sticky pads.  I placed a sticky pad in each corner of the basement and I was shocked at the number of spiders visiting my basement weekly.  I try to get my husband to toss the old ones (filled with spider carcass); it is too traumatic for me.  Another alternative is to spray the areas where they enter with peppermint oil.  I love the smell, but apparently they don’t!

 Flies Carry Disease

FLIES–They are annoying and nasty, but not until my son came home with the story about how a fly eats his food did I actually become obsessed with keeping them out of my house. I am not great with a fly swatter so I am going to try lavender oil which is supposed to repel them. You can add lavender oil to a spray bottle to spray around the doors and windows or place small amounts of the oil around the house in bowls, candles, etc.

WEEVILS–They love beans, rice, flour, and grains.  I don’t have a problem with them, but for those that do, simply place a dry pepper in the beans and grains and no more weevils.

MICE–Some people think mice are cute, but the sight of one brings on panic and then I am ready to pack my bags and move.  Not realistic, so they will have to be the ones to go.  I don’t like killing them, but one year we were infested and had to do something.  I think if you take that road, traps are more humane than poisons.  I know there are a lot of people that won’t agree with me, so let’s try to keep them from not wanting to visit.  I understand that peppermint oil (100% pure essential oil) will keep them away–they don’t like the smell.  Place cotton balls soaked in the oil around the baseboards and where they frequent. Another suggestion is to fill a spray bottle with peppermint oil or camphor oil and spray it along the baseboards. I haven’t seen any this year—knock on wood!

I have family members that use the electronic pest control units in their homes successfully.  But I am just not ready to place them in my home until someone can reassure me that they are not harmful to my family in any way. So I file this one under “still not convinced”! In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for getting rid of pests, please share your ideas and experiences.


  1. Thank you Bud for sharing your experience–I did have my doubts about them! As for the little fuzzy uninvited guests, I am actually having luck with the peppermint oil. I have not seen any mice nor have I found anything they like to leave behind. We will see what this winter brings! Good luck and thank you for your comments!! Geri

  2. Don’t bother with plug in deterrents I put out about $40 bucks for RidEx it didn’t work worth (BEEP) & I’ve still got roaches & now I’ve got mice so don’t waist your time or money you well only be sorry !

  3. Gail, thanks for the great question! Two suggestions come to mind. First of all, our neighbors have a cat that they swear keeps their home clear of the annoying little buggars. Since we are dog people, we went the peppermint route with success. Have you tried that yet? I would try spraying the peppermint oil around the mower, and around anywhere else you think they might be getting in. It is worth a try before the traps come out!! Good luck and keep us posted on any success!


  4. I see above the remedy for mice inside, but what about outside? I get them in my shed and garage. I went outside to my shed to pull out my rider lawn mower and there had been one that got underneath the seat inside and ate a hole somewhere, because there was sponge under where the seat sits and on top of the battery. I don’t want to come out in the spring time and find that the whole seat has been destroyed. Any recommendations? Thank you.

  5. Kara, thanks for the information. We don’t have much of a problem in Colorado, but when we lived in Arizona, we had cockroaches as big as your thumb and flew!! I wish I had this information back then. Thanks for your comment! Geri

  6. Just wanted to say great blog and add my two cents 🙂 regarding cockroaches. I did an article on killing them naturally using liquid soap and water and it really does work. The trick is to make sure the soap is bubbly and completely saturates the cockroaches under belly. This actually suffocates them because of how their body works 🙂 Sometimes it takes just a few seconds but I’d toss out an extra spritz just to make sure.

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