Herbal Pest Control

Get rid of pests in your home with these tips

| March/April 1999

  • S. Foster
  • M. Wall

  • M. Wall

  • J. Coca

  • D. Kane

  • M. Wall

Dab on Eucalyptus

This familiar scent makes insects want to go somewhere else. Dilute 1 teaspoon of eucalyptus essential oil in 2 cups of warm water to make an insect repellent; dab onto the skin of animals or people, or put the mix in a spray bottle for misting plants.

Spray plants with Cayenne

This warming medicinal herb dispels some of the worst garden nasties. Brew 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh crushed pepper in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes for a particularly effective bug spray.

Save your grains with Bay

Tuck a bay leaf or two in your kitchen containers of rice, flour, and other grains. Compounds in bay keep weevils from hatching.

Protect your clothes with Lavender

To repel moths, apply lavender essential oil to a cotton ball, tie a string around it, and hang it in the closet. An extra bonus: The scent will give your spirits a little lift every time you open the door.

Stop the chewing with Feverfew

Pyretheum, the active component in feverfew, paralyzes many chewing insects. To make your own plant wash or mist, steep 1 cup of leaves in 2 cups of boiled water for 15 to 20 minutes.

Wormwood wreaths keep bugs away

Hang wormwood sprigs in closets or on wreaths to repel moths and other insects. The active ingredient is thujone, a poisonous narcotic and convulsant, so don’t take wormwood internally.

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