In-a-Pinch Pest Control

A raccoon hanging out on a bird feeder eating the seed.

There isn’t much worse than battling pests in your home as it can feel like the ultimate invasion. Especially during the summer, there are a host of insects and rodents that can make their way into your personal space whether that be inside your home, around your patio and deck, or even in your garden. Below, we explore some in-a-pinch pest control ideas using household items to either put a Band-aid on a problem or rid your home of it altogether.

Get Rid of Raccoons With an Odor

While they may be cute from afar, raccoons can cause a mess if they enter your space. One way to keep these out of your yard as well as your garbage can or compost bin is to keep in mind that they do not like loud noises. A simple way to keep raccoons away is to leave empty plastic bottles, which will make an eerie sound when blown by the wind, outside near your trash cans. Raccoons also despise the smell of ammonia, so try soaking several tennis balls in a bowl of it. Then, place the balls near the place you suspect raccoons are residing or entering and they are bound to steer clear.

Scare Woodpeckers Away With Shine

A woodpecker sitting on a wood ledge against a snowy backdrop.

While woodpeckers may not be the first animal to come to mind when you think of pests, they can certainly do some serious damage to your home, making them an unwanted guest. While it's unlawful in most states to harm these birds, we know that you don’t want to acquire a hole in your house. To safely shoo them away, it’ll take a little bit of work. Fasten sheet metal over the areas that they are prone to pecking to encourage them to quit visiting. Another effective method is to hang mirrors and Mylar tape nearby as this will scare them off.

Combat Bugs With Essential Oils

One common household product that can be used to combat pests is essential oils, which are useful in keeping bugs out of your home and garden. For each of these remedies, mix two and half teaspoons of the noted oil with a cup of grain alcohol, such as vodka. Put the solution in a spray bottle and liberally spritz the afflicted areas with the mixture to keep specified bugs away.

Each essential oil takes care of a different bug. For mosquitoes, use lemon eucalyptus or citronella. For flies, rely on geranium. Lavender does the trick for chiggers, ticks, and fleas, making it a particularly useful oil. For annoying gnats use patchouli, and peppermint for spiders and ants. Clearly, these oils are small but mighty when it comes to keeping bugs at bay.

Worry Less About Wasps

Wasps on a wasp nest.

Summer has a way of making wasps come out, and suffice to say that they are unwanted visitors. The key to getting rid of these bugs is to get rid of their nest altogether. To do so, you’ll have to spend some time observing these pests, as they like to craftily hide their nests. Once you find where they're hidden, use an insecticide spray specific to bees and wasps that you can buy at any local hardware store. It’s best to spray the nest at nighttime when the bugs are less active and likely to be inside the nest.

Clear out Cockroaches With Vinegar

You’ll surely want to get rid of cockroaches as quickly as possible if they enter your home. Luckily, you can make an effective solution out of common household products. Combine half white vinegar and half water and place it in a spray bottle. Spray this around problem areas such as under sinks, around water heaters, and inside appliances. These are spots that cockroaches like to visit, so this spray can make all the difference in ridding your home of them.

Deter Deer From Your Garden With an Egg Wash

A deer in a garden with grass and yellow flowers.

Deer are a lovely animal that are delightful to watch, but they can easily ruin your garden. Don’t let your hard work go to waste—make a simple egg and water solution to discourage them from chomping on your plants. In a blender, combine 20% fresh eggs and 80% water and place the mixture into a spray bottle. Apply this spray to your plants and deer are sure to stay away!

While none of these pests are fun to deal with, you can take solace in the fact that many of these solutions are easy to pull together with items that you most likely already have. Additionally, many of these measures can be taken proactively, meaning you may never have to see the pests to begin with.