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Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make Nontoxic Natural Pest Control

Mary Hunt on

Recently, I heard from a reader asking if I knew of any natural pest control to rid an apartment of fleas -- a method that would not be toxic to small children.

Treating their pets and animals would be the first step, but surprisingly, these folks have no animals. The truth is that flea infestations often can occur simply when neighborhood cats or dogs like to lounge near your home, or if you have purchased an infested piece of furniture from a yard sale.

I headed right for my collection of pest control recipes and retrieved the perfect solution for fleas. I thought you might enjoy knowing that one, plus remedies for all kinds of home and garden pests.


Repel an ant invasion with this natural pest control: Wash countertops, cabinets and floors with equal parts water and vinegar.

Or, if you have ants or other bugs around the house, pour a 50-50 mixture of Blue Dawn dish soap and water into an empty spray bottle, and keep it handy. When you see the insects, spray them with the mixture. Provided you really saturate those little critters, the soap actually breaks down their exoskeletons, and they die almost immediately. Cheap and easy cleanup, too.



Mix 1 gallon water, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons liquid dishwashing detergent. Spray on plants where aphid damage is evident.


Mix 1/4 cup shortening with 1/8 cup sugar. In a separate container, mix 1/2 pound powdered boric acid (also available at pharmacies) and 1/2 cup flour. Add to shortening mixture. Stir well with enough water to make a soft dough. Form into small balls the size of marbles, and hide in those out-of-the-way places roaches love to hide. This recipe works far better than commercial products. Just make sure you keep this out of the reach of children and pets.


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