Ridding Your Home of Bugs Using Essential Oils
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I know that a lot of people now are thinking, really? Why use essential oils when I can just phone up an exterminator. As you probably already know, bug sprays can be pretty unhealthy for not just bugs, but humans as well, and that is the price we seem to pay. I noticed since I was really young that I would have a lot of bad reactions when my family would do our bug spray days to rid the house of the obnoxious pests.
After a while, we stopped using bug spray, and moved to a more natural form of extermination, and since I’ve found that not only do I feel better, it works better!
When my husband and I moved up to Utah from Arizona, at first we didn’t really have any bugs. The apartment hand been empty for approximately a month, and the little monsters had pretty much left the apartment alone. Pretty soon after we moved in though, I found the roach numbers to be climbing, and it was really grossing me out. Luckily Utah roaches are a ton smaller than Arizona roaches so for a while I could handle killing them and throwing them away, but then it got worse.
I would open up my upper cabinets, and at least 10 bugs would be crawling around in the upper corners, then upon being exposed to the light they would scatter and hide up above, between the ceiling and the cabinets (of course where you can’t get to them.) One night I came out to the kitchen to grab a drink and as I turned the light on I noticed bugs covering the walls, counters, and cabinets, and I FLIPPED.
We called an exterminator. It was horrible. He came sprayed, put down dust, did a few other things that I didn’t understand, and left saying if it got worse then we should call and set up an appointment so they could come nuke the place after my family left town for winter break.
I REALLY didn’t want that to happen, so I hoped and prayed my problem would be fixed with his visit, but it was not to be. The bugs disappeared for a few days, but soon enough they were back in full force. My family came to visit a few days later, and my mother and I got busy.
The contents of this post are exactly the steps we took to get rid of my bug problem, and they can be applied with pretty much any bug you can’t seem to shake.
It has been a miracle to see the bug population disintegrate in the confines of my own home, where they shouldn’t even be in the first place.
This can be a real pain, but it is pretty necessary. If you have an infestation in your kitchen or bathroom this will be the most involved. Start by clearing everything out of your cabinets. Besides cleaning out already dead bugs and setting the stage for an extermination spree, you may actually clear out a lot of clutter in the process as well. Clear out the cabinets and drawers, and clear off the counters. Wipe everything down until it looks pristine, and like you’ve never even lived there. Sometimes we find stains, or messy puddles that are attracting the bugs to your home. Best to be rid of those as quickly as you can.
Grabbing Your Tools
There are a few essential tools you need to get this extermination under way and in your control. The first is a spray bottle.
Next you’ll need either cotton balls or those makeup remover cotton circle things.
Lastly, you don’t NEED this, but it can be really helpful: an Oil Diffuser.
Pick Your Poison
Now to pick your deadly weapon. The oil. Most common household bugs respond to to peppermint, but some bugs respond worse to other oils. If you’d like a list, check out our free printable in our free resources library.
Laying Down the Ground Layer
Grab that lovely spray bottle you’ve acquired and drip a few drops of your chosen essential oil into the bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle up with water and get to spraying. Spray in the trouble areas and be generous with it, you don’t need to worry about having a bad reaction to these the same way you should worry about regular old bug sprays. I will warn that your house will smell STRONGLY of whatever oil you are using, so open up the windows and let the spray air out as you go.
A Longer Term Plan
Sometimes we want a little extra safety net in there. This is where your cotton balls come in. Smother your cotton ball lightly in your chosen oil and place them around the backs of your cupboards throughout your kitchen, bathroom, or closets. These cotton balls will hold the scent of the oil for a longer time than the spray will last, warding off bugs from your habitat for just a tad longer, convincing them to avoid your home altogether.
Cleansing The Air
Unfortunately we can’t reach all of the little nooks and crannies that bugs can get into so it is generally a good practice to diffuse your oils every now and then, to remind the bugs that they aren’t welcome in your home. This is also great in general for making your home feel fresh and clean. I am a huge fan of citrus blends.
Rinse and Repeat
Give it a few weeks to a month. If bugs seem rampant sooner, then repeat sooner, but generally you’ll notice a heck of a lot of dead bugs. When I did this I came out the next morning to about 10 dead bugs scattering my kitchen floor.
You do not need to clean out all of your drawers and cabinets, but a quick spray and replenish of your cotton balls will do nicely.
Mountain Rose and Doterra are common places to get your oils. My mother absolutely loved the quality of Doterra oils, but sometimes the Mountain Rose oils are a lot cheaper and do the same job. If you’ve got an infestation of bugs, let them know who is boss. You can save some money on an exterminator too!