Alternatives for Gardening and Pest Control

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Discourage insects with good housekeeping. Seal cracks, keep windows and doors airtight, and keep food and water in sealed containers.


  • Use cinnamon, cream of tartar, corn meal, clove powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper or red chili powder to hinder entry.    
  • Draw a line with chalk. They will not cross the line.
  • Wash kitchen counters with equal parts white vinegar and water.    
  • Plant pennyroyal, peppermint and tansy around your home.
  • Sprinkle used coffee grounds around outside of house.


  • Remove all sources of food and water and hiding places such as old newspapers and other clutter.
  • Place bay leaves around cracks in room.
  • Set out dishes of equal amounts baking soda and powdered sugar. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

Fleas and Ticks

  • Vacuum every day for a week and throw away the vacuum bag each day.
  • Place eucalyptus leaves in your pet's sleeping area.


  • Use mint as a fly repellant. Small sachets of crushed mint can be placed around the home to discourage flies.
  • Bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus wrapped in small cheesecloth squares can be hung by open windows or doors.
  • A few drops of eucalyptus oil on a scrap of absorbent cloth will deter flies. Leave in areas where flies are a problem.

Garden Pesticide Alternatives


  • Eliminate sources of standing water.
  • Plant mint in your yard.
  • Use citronella or pennyroyal.
  • Plant Thai Lemon Grass.

Aphids and Spider Mites

  • Spray a mixture of a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a quart of water on plants. (Spraying every three days over a nine-day period interrupts their egg cycle.)

Garden Chemical Alternatives


  • Use household compost, wood ash, peat moss, or fish meal.


  • Avoid over-watering.
  • Keep garden growing areas clean and dry.