Home is where the heart is, but it can give you heartache when unwanted pests and bugs infest your abode. As summer approaches, garden bugs, ants, flies, fleas, and roaches become super active and start feeding on your plants, your pets as well as you.
Before they can cause much damage, you might want to run out and buy some commercial insecticide and bug repellent sprays. However, the harsh chemicals in the store-bought sprays smell awful, and they can turn your beautiful home into a gas chamber of chemical fumes.
As much as they are a hazard to your health, they aren’t very budget-friendly either. Why compromise so much when you can deal with this nuisance using non-toxic home ingredients?
To help you switch to safer and natural ways to deal with bugs, we bring you four easy homemade bug spray recipes to protect your home and garden.
- Method 1: Garlic
- Method 2: Borax
- Method 3: Mouthwash
- Method 4: Dish Soap
- Tips to make homemade bug spray
Method 1: Garlic
Pungent garlic can take care of pesky intruders without posing any threat to your health. Infusing water with crushed garlic will give you a mild solution to ward off and shoo away mosquitoes and flies without bothering beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies.
Plus, this spray can be used as a mist on your skin to protect you from painful bug bites.
Step 1. Boil crushed garlic in water
- Pour 2 cups of water into a saucepan.
- Peel and crush 3 or 4 garlic cloves and add it to the water.
- Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then let it simmer on medium-low heat for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Strain out the liquid into a glass bowl or other container.
Step 2. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle & use it for 7 days
- Let the infused liquid sit for a couple of minutes until it cools down completely.
- Pour the liquid into a small spray bottle and screw on the nozzle.
- Spray it on your plants and other infested areas of your house.
- You can also spray light mists on your exposed skin to repel bugs.
Spray this solution daily for at least 1 week on your plants and indoors to get rid of pests. The shelf life of this bug spray is 1 week when refrigerated at all times.
Method 2: Borax
Borax is a comparatively safer chemical pesticide that can be used to take care of pests, especially roaches, fleas, and silverfish. It works as a poison when ingested by the insects and kills them. It also kills the larvae and eggs to keep their numbers in check.
You can either dissolve borax in warm water and use it as a spray, or use the powder to kill pests near electrical fixtures. Borax can also be mixed with sugar and used as bait to draw pests out of their hiding places.
Step 1. Dissolve borax in hot water
- Add 1 teaspoon of borax to 2 cups of hot water.
- Stir well until the borax dissolves completely.
Step 2. Pour it into a spray bottle & use it once a week
- Pour the solution into a spray bottle and screw on the nozzle.
- Spray the solution on plants and other infested areas to kill the intruders. However, do not use the spray near electrical fixtures. Sprinkle some borax powder to kill bugs near electrical fittings.
Spray this homemade bug spray once a week until you get rid of the pest infestation. Store this spray away from direct sunlight up to 1 year.
Method 3: Mouthwash
Besides killings germs in your mouth and giving you fresh breath, your mouthwash can work as a bug spray. The strong essential oils in the mouthwash repel mosquitoes, flies and other bugs.
This spray recipe also uses a stale beer that further helps repel bugs and kills them if ingested. The Epsom salt in the recipe also boosts the growth of your plants. Therefore, you can kill two birds with one stone using this DIY homemade bug spray.
This spray is especially useful for fruit-bearing plants, as it is nontoxic and does not burn the foliage. It is also safe to use around kids and pets.
Things you’ll need:
- Mouthwash (repels bugs) – 4 tablespoons
- Stale beer (repels and kills bugs) – 6 ounces
- Epsom salt (boosts plant growth) – ½ cup
Step 1. Combine the three ingredients
- Pour 6 ounces of stale beer into a bowl or other container.
- Add 4 tablespoons of mouthwash to it.
- Add ½ cup of Epsom salt as well.
Step 2. Mix well, pour it into a spray bottle & spray it where needed
- Stir well until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
- Pour the solution into a clean spray bottle and screw on the nozzle.
- Spray the solution on your infested plants.
If spending time outdoors, also spray it on your grass, benches, and walkways to keep bugs from bothering you.
You may only need to use it once or twice during the season to keep pests under control. The shelf life of this spray is about 1 month stored in a cool and dark place.
Method 4: Dish Soap
Simply spraying diluted liquid dish soap on small bugs is strong enough to get rid of them. While the soap is gentle on your skin, it is extremely toxic to flies, aphids and spider mites. Plus, unlike oil-based pesticides, it will not suffocate your plants.
It’s best to apply any bug spray on plants only in the evening or early morning, as the ingredients can burn the leaves under strong sunlight. Also, you should spray the liquid both on top and underneath the leaves to treat the infestation thoroughly. Also, dawn dish soap can be used as an all-purpose cleaner with a number of uses around the house.
You can also use the spray safely indoors for killing bugs as well as other cleaning purposes.
Single-Step Method: Spray a diluted dish soap solution where you need to get rid of pests
- Add ½ teaspoon of Dawn liquid dish soap to 1 cup of water in a spray bottle.
- Screw on the nozzle and shake the bottle well to dissolve the soap in the water.
- Spray the solution on the top as well as underneath the leaves of your plants to kill the bugs.
- You can also spray it on the corners of your countertops to kill ants.
Since this homemade bug spray is so easy to make, you do not need to prepare and store it in advance.
Tips to make homemade bug spray
- To keep yourself ready for the bug season, you can grow bug-repelling herbs like mint, lavender, thyme, basil, and citronella. Rubbing these herbs on your skin will work as natural bug-repellant in a pinch.
- You can also use dawn dish soap to get of fleas on dogs.
- If you are unlucky and get a nasty bed bug bite, treat the rash with our home remedies for bed bug bites. We also have quick remedies to treat a mosquito bite.