I have been using essential oils for home pest control for about a year. It is the greenest, cheapest, most effective way to keep those house and plant bugs away. If you find you have an infestation problem, follow the chart below for a list of the best oils to combat each pest type. Essential oils can be difficult to find. They usually run about $6-$12 for a small 1 ounce bottle, but just a couple drops in some water or oil will go a long way. When buying essential oils, be sure they are essential oils and not just a scented water or oil. The concentration is high, so be sure to keep your essential oils out of reach of children and pets. If you are looking to get a basic starter set of home essential oils, the top 4 oils to get are Peppermint, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Cedarwood . These four oils will cover all insect categories and they are the least expensive of the oils.
Home Pest Control
My favorite way to use essential oils is when mopping the floors. It keeps any pests away and out of the house, especially if you scrub really well along the baseboards. Fill your mop bucket with 1 1/2 gallons of water. Add two glugs of vinegar, a dash of eco dish soap, 8 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil, 8 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and 6 drops of Lemongrass Essential Oil. This combination on your floors will deter ants, beetles, and spiders. Oh, and it smells amazing; like a resort spa. Lavender is also a scorpion deterrent (although to get the most benefit, plant the herb around the perimeter of your home if you have a really bad scorpion problem.)
If you have a specific pest problem, fill a small spray bottle with water and add 10-15 drops of each appropriate recommended essential oil. Spray the infested area and/or the perimeter of the inside and outside of your house. Repeat as necessary.
Another great way to use essential oils is as a pest repellant on your body while working and playing outside. Try a few drops of Lavender around your ankles and belt when out hiking to ward off chiggers and ticks (do not apply directly to the skin though). The other oils would work as well but may cause skin irritation. Should you use oils of Lemongrass, Sage or Thyme, put it on your clothing, not directly onto your skin. To repel wasps and flies, fill a spray bottle with water and add about 10 drops of Peppermint oil. When you go outside, spray yourself and the area where you will be sitting.
Cinnamon and Cloves
Cinnamon and Cloves in powdered form can be a powerful repellant for aphid and insects that eat your plants. It can also destroy mold that can develop in the potted soil of overwatered house plants. Mix the powered cinnamon and clove into the soil surrounding affected plants. Fill a spray bottle with water, essential cinnamon oil, and clove oil to mist onto the leaves of a plant infested with aphids or other insects. It is best to test just a couple of leaves first before coating the entire plant (to make sure the plant responds well).
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