The most effective (and natural) ways to repel bugs

Bites from various bugs and insects can cause severe itching, skin irritation, or diseases. But if you want to avoid using store-bought insect repellents or pesticides that contain harmful chemicals, you can try some of the natural remedies listed below. (h/t to

  1. Black pepper or cayenne pepper – Get rid of ants by sprinkling black pepper in ant-infested areas in your house. You can also dilute black pepper in some water to make a bug spray. If you don’t have black pepper, use cayenne pepper instead.
  2. Burning coffee grounds – Burn used coffee grounds over a fire, like incense, to get rid of mosquitoes.
  3. Caffeine spray for mites – Caffeine is a naturally occurring pesticide. You can make a weak coffee spray for plants to protect them from pests like mites.
  4. Citronella candles or oil – If you’re going camping, use citronella candles or oils as a natural bug repellent. Citronella is an effective and natural alternative to mosquito coils.
  5. Clove essential oil bug spray – To make this bug spray, combine a couple of drops of clove essential oil and a quart of water. Mix well, then pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Spray it in areas frequented by flies. Cloves contain eugenol, an essential oil that kills insects on contact. Alternatively, you can use whole, dried cloves as an insect repellent since pests like ants, flies, and moths find its strong odor repulsive.
  6. Crushed basil leaves – Crush fresh basil leaves and place them on a table to keep flies away while you’re eating. This is a handy solution that you can also try when you’re on outdoor trips. (Related: How to prevent bug bites in the wild.)
  7. Garlic – Mosquitoes hate the smell of garlic, another natural bug repellent. Eat more garlic to keep mosquitoes away.
  8. Homemade fly strips – Instead of buying fly strips, make your own. All you need is water, sugar or honey, and some strips of paper. Boil sugar water, or water with some honey, then dip the paper strips in the mixture. Hang the homemade fly strips to catch flies. Replace and dispose of the strips regularly.
  9. Lavender pouches – Dried lavender pouches can keep moths away from your clothes.
  10. Mint or catnip leaves – Use crushed mint leaves or mint essential oil to make a spray that will keep mosquitoes away. Mint leaves also work on other bugs like moths. Alternatively, you can use catnip, which has some of the same properties as mint.
  11. Rose geranium – Ticks can carry diseases like tick bite fever, but you can get rid of them using rose geranium essential oil. Apply some directly to your skin to get rid of ticks. You can also dilute the essential oil to make a bug spray. Rose geranium bug spray can also be used on dogs with ticks.
  12. Rosemary or sage– Burn either rosemary or sage over a fire to eliminate mosquitoes naturally.
  13. A solution of sugar, water, and yeast – Combine some sugar, water, and yeast to create a natural bug-zapper that can attract the bugs in. Change the solution regularly.
  14. Vinegar – Vinegar is an effective spider repellent. Dilute vinegar in some water, then spray it to keep spiders away. Diluted apple cider vinegar can get rid of fleas and ticks on both humans and animals.
  15. Yellow lights – Yellow light naturally repels bugs, like moths and mosquitoes, at night. You can also hang a mosquito net over your bed to keep these pests away.

Keep pesky bugs away with these safe and natural alternatives to store-bought bug sprays and insect repellents.

You can learn more about chemical-free bug sprays and insect repellents at

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