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Natural Ways to Get Rid
of Common Household Bugs

January 1, 2024

Nothing inspires a cleaning frenzy quite like an indoor insect sighting. When the hot days of summer begin, the creepy crawlies seek shelter in our temperature-controlled homes. In winter, pests move inside for the same reasons you do – it’s warm, dry, and provides food and water. No matter the season, knowing how to get rid of bugs in the house can help keep your home clean, sanitary, and pest-free.

Even the tiniest pests, like gnats, can cause household disturbances, so we look for all kinds of ways to keep them out. Baits, sprays, and other chemical pest repellents may seem like the best defense, but they can be a health hazard. Before you break out the bug spray or call an exterminator, try natural insect repellants for your home instead.

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How to Keep Bugs Out of the House Without Using Chemicals

Learning how to keep insects away from your home naturally is good for the environment and your family’s safety. According to the EPA, commercial pesticides can contain organophosphates and carbamates, which can negatively affect the nervous system. Other common ingredients in chemical pesticides can irritate the eyes and skin and may be carcinogenic. These chemicals are bad for bugs but also bad for people.

Learning how to get rid of bugs organically lets you avoid the toxins in traditional pest control products. Natural bug control can be as effective as chemical solutions and poses nearly no health risks or environmental hazards. Plus, many natural DIY insect repellents can be made inexpensively using common household ingredients. Here are a few field-tested solutions for how to get rid of bugs in your house.

10 DIY Natural Pest Control Remedies

Routine housekeeping and cleaning up messes right away are two of the best ways to keep bugs out. Insects are attracted to food and water, so crumbs under the high chair or a spill by the sink are irresistible. Keep things dry and remove temptations by vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting often. But no matter how clean your home is, bugs will still find their way inside. Relax. We’ve got you covered with safe and natural remedies.

  1. Eliminating clutter around your home is an ideal way to prevent pests from making themselves at home. When there’s no food and water and nowhere to hide, most bugs will move on to better opportunities.
  2. Use white vinegar and water in a spray bottle to kill bugs on the spot and leave a residue that repels the others. Spray the solution on countertops and floor corners to disrupt the invasion.
  3. Ants can only find their way in if a competent leader leaves a pheromone scent to follow. Dish soap destroys the pheromones and the trails, so apply some soapy water under door frames and other entry points.
  4. You can also get rid of ants with sour and bitter smells. Use a bit of lemon juice at entry points, or mix it with water and use it as a cleaning agent in these areas. Similarly, black or cayenne pepper will also have the same effect.
  5. If you notice anthills in the outdoor areas around your house, consider treating them with boiling water. Pouring the water into the anthills will kill most of the colony (if repeated as needed).
  6. Use leftover coffee grounds outside your home near entry points for plumbing and electricity. Many pests are deterred by the pungent aroma of the coffee grounds, and the method is safe for flower and food gardens.
  7. Annoying fruit flies are no match for apple cider vinegar. Fill a small bowl halfway with apple cider vinegar, cover it with plastic wrap, and make several holes in the top. The vinegar will attract the fruit flies into the bowl, but they cannot get out.
  8. Many of us use essential oils because we love the pleasant aroma, but bugs can’t stand the smell. Mix eucalyptus, clove, or one of your favorite oils with water in a spray bottle. Lightly spray upholstery, rugs, and other fabrics to repel pests. *Note that peppermint can be extremely toxic for pets, especially cats.*
  9. At the other end of the spectrum, the powerful aroma of fresh-cut onions that makes us tear up repels bugs, too. It’s an ideal pest deterrent for use on indoor plants and as a perimeter around your home’s exterior. Slice up half an onion and put it in a spray bottle with water, and you’re ready to go.
  10. It’s unlikely you’ll have diatomaceous earth around the house, but it is one of the safest and most effective bug killers. This non-toxic and inexpensive natural pest control solution is entirely safe and kills many types of insects.

DIY home remedies for bugs and a clean house will deter even the most aggressive pests. Sealing openings in and around screens, windows, and doors will provide an extra line of defense against house flies and other pests. You can also apply weatherstripping around your doors, which will keep out drafts and pesky bugs.

Having indoor insects is inevitable, so don’t let it bug you! Learn how to get rid of bugs in a house naturally and keep them from invading your space with these helpful tips. Whether you let The Maids keep your home clean or use our housekeeping guides, count on us to make life more manageable. Discover what we can do for your home when you get a personalized cleaning quote today.

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