Natural Insect Repellents

Natural Insect Repellents

Insect repellents are substances applied on to the surfaces, skin or clothes to prevent insects from landing or climbing on them. Synthetic repellents are more effective and long lasting than natural repellents. These repellents help to prevent and control the outbreak of insect-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever, bubonic plague etc. Insects such as flea, fly, mosquito and tick are the common vectors for carrying these diseases. Some commonly used insect repellents are DEET, catnip oil, neem oil, essential oil of lemon eucalyptus, citronella oil, bog myrtle and permethrin.

In recent years, the use of natural insect repellents has become popular. Herbs and other plants are used as great natural remedies to keep away insects. Here are a few cheap and natural solutions to keep insects away from your home and garden.

  1. Ant Repellents
    • Vinegar: Wipe the place where you have spotted ants with a 50-50 mixture of vinegar and water. The smell of vinegar removes their scent trails and thus keeps them away.
    • Chalk/baby powder: Both chalk and baby powder contains talcum powder, which is a natural repellent. It is advised to draw a line of chalk or sprinkle some baby powder across the area where ants are entering your home.
    • Borax powder: Place a mixture of borax and sugar syrup where the ants will find it. Borax damages the digestive system of ants resulting in immediate death.
    • Coffee grounds: Sprinkle some coffee grounds in your garden around the house. This keeps ants away because of the smell.
    • Citrus Peels: Put citrus peels in hot water overnight. Then pour it around the plants where the ants are found.
    • Herbs or Spices: Using bay leaves, cayenne pepper, chilli pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, mint leaves, turmeric powder, cloves and garlic helps to repel ants from your home due to the smell.
    • Pine Oil: A mixture of pine oil and water can be used as a repellent against fire ants.
    • Sweet Fern: Scattering sweet fern repels the red ants.
    • Tansy: Planting a tansy plant outside helps to keep ants away from garbage cans.
  2. Cockroach Repellents
    • Borax powder: Mix borax and sugar in equal quantities and apply it where cockroaches are found. By consuming this mixture, the borax destroys the digestive system of the roaches resulting in death.
    • Garlic, Cayenne powder and White Onion: Add equal quantities of garlic clove, cayenne powder and white onion to a quarter of water in a pan and boil. Pour the cooled mixture into a sprayer and spray in the areas where the cockroaches are found.
    • Hedgeapple: Keeping a hedgeapple in the room repels the cockroaches.
    • Catnip: This is a natural repellent containing nepetalactone which is non-toxic. Small sachets can be left in places where roaches are found. Also a mixture of catnip and water known as catnip tea can be sprayed to keep cockroaches awa