Author Topic: Home-made pest control  (Read 2557 times)


  • Pencil Stache
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Home-made pest control
« on: December 14, 2013, 02:29:22 AM »
Hello, fellow frugal-meisters!

It is summer here, and with it comes flies, mosquitoes, and (gasp!) cockroaches.

I would like suggestions for eco-friendly (or relatively eco-friendly) pest control.
In the past I have used beer traps for slugs and snails in the garden (works fabulously!) and sugar-in-a-modified bottle traps for wasps and flies. I am decidedly opposed to using snail pellets in the backyard just in case the neighbour's pets get to them (and yes, the 'safe' iron pellets also cause problems for dogs).

Has anyone got further suggestions for pest control? I am going to try borax/sugar for cockroaches, as I don't have children and only have a dog on the weekend (and if I mop the floor on a Friday then the house should be dog safe). I am fairly sure the cockroaches are coming in from outside/under the house, as there are cockroaches observed outside and I reside in an older rental with floorboards so there are plenty of places for the horrid critters to hide in/enter my house.

Luckily I don't have a rodent problem. Although I have lived through a mouse plague beforehand somewhere else, and that was mighty unpleasant. I ended up putting netting on the front of my car grill to stop them entering and nesting under the bonnet...

So, fire away with suggestions, please!


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Home-made pest control
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2013, 03:26:53 AM »
I've had great luck with hot sauce to break ant trails and keep them from coming into a house. Don't know if it would work on cockroaches, but if you can find the point of entry, trying it out is pretty cheap. The hotter, the better.

That said, the borax is probably your best option. Dimataceoous earth doesn't much faze cockroaches.


  • Stubble
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Re: Home-made pest control
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 11:36:41 AM »
Boric acid is the only thing that really helped when I moved into a place with tons of roaches.

Another natural trap that was very effective with roaches was to put a little bit of beer and bread in a jar, and put a line of Vaseline on the inside of the jar so the roaches can't climb back out. They love beer and bread and will happily crawl into the jar to their own demise.

Of course, if you or a neighbor has dogs, make sure to do the jar trick with jars that the dogs can't mess with.

For ants, it can help to put a Vaseline border around any open water sources you can't get rid of (e.g., for us, this was our cat's water dish). They can't get through it and will have to seek alternative sources of H2O. This can also help if there are other spots you can't get to frequently (e.g., behind the fridge or stove, where some crumbs inevitably accumulate). Everything else natural that I tried (cinnamon, cayenne, vinegar, citrus, bay leaves, boric acid, etc.) was all completely ineffective on ants for me. I've heard these work for others though, so it was probably just that the particular species of ants I was trying to get rid of was cool with all of the above.


  • Bristles
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Re: Home-made pest control
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 05:44:37 PM »
I like diatomaceous earth. It works on most crawling insects, though I haven't seen any cockroaches so I don't know how well it works on them. They are hard to kill with anything, but maybe they would die after being exposed to DE for some time

Diatomaceous earth is safe, natural, and inexpensive. It's used for pool filters, as an abrasive, and internally as a heartworm treatment for dogs and sometimes humans. You or your dogs could eat it (though I wouldn't want to), and it's approved for organic gardening. I have a bottle of Safer brand DE, and it claims to have a bait formula to attract insects. I don't think it works if it's wet, so just use it inside. It will last forever once you have applied it somewhere, and if you want to clean it up, just vacuum it.

I got this one.
It's light weight, so the 7oz size comes in what appears to be a quart size bottle, and the nozzle on the cap does an OK job of dispensing it.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Home-made pest control
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 05:55:35 PM »
I've never had any luck with DE.

Boric acid works pretty well on crawly things, roaches included.  It takes a long time, so don't give up on it.

When I built my house, I put a big pile of boric acid behind every single molding in the house.  I can't say what the results really are.  There was also some not-so-homemade and probably not-so-safe termite treatment under and around the slab.  I'm not crazy about that stuff, but... I live in the woods.  Termites are the majority.  I am the minority.