Dealing with pests? 3 repellents you can make with ingredients found in your home


One of the unfortunate facts of being a homeowner in the United States is that, at some point in your life, you will find yourself face to face with some undesirables on your property. Depending on a few factors, these can range from venomous snakes to stinky skunks, even to home-destroying termites. And a lot of people wonder what to do about these unwanted intruders. 

Should you attempt to exterminate them yourself? Call in a professional wildlife removal service? Or just hope they go away on their own? 

In this article, we’ll talk a bit about some DIY pest repellents to make with ingredients found right in your pantry or garden. We’ll also discuss efficiency and the type of pest they work best against, plus you can visit to learn even more. Ready?

1. A hint of garlic and mint

One thing you’ll want to remember about all these unwanted house pests is that most of them rely quite heavily on their sense of smell. This means that they are far more susceptible to strong odors than we, humans, would be. What you might find mildly unpleasant can cause serious discomfort to a bat, for example. 

We’re all familiar with the strong, sharp scent of garlic, which is why it’s often used in DIY pest repellents. For this, you can either pick up some garlic cloves at the store or even grow them in your own garden! Blend the cloves with some fresh mint leaves (another intense odor), and you’ve got yourself some reliable pest repellent!

Good for: This spray works best for ants, aphids, and other insects, particularly those creeping around your garden! It’s also a good idea to just grow garlic and mint independently, to harness their repelling powers!

2. Ammonia and dishwasher soap

Ammonia is a heavily debated ingredient in the wildlife repellent world. As you probably know, ammonia is often used in mothballs and to keep other small insects away. This works because the pungent scent of ammonia is overpowering to the little insects and will usually do a good job of keeping them away.

But what about larger predators? Some DIY experts recommend using ammonia mixtures to ward off larger intruders, as well, but the evidence is mixed. Usually, this happens because the people involved use too little ammonia to have any effect. 

In order to craft a truly potent mixture, mix 3 parts water with 1-part ammonia. Additionally, you can sprinkle in some liquid dishwasher soap, as well. This contains chemicals that are highly disgusting and offensive to most unwanted intruders and may prove a useful deterrent.

Good for: groundhogs – this ammonia mixture is particularly useful when poured down groundhog burrows. It may also work well for other burrowers, such as moles. Alternatively, ammonia may also keep rodents (rats, in particular) away from your property, as they, too, are known for their strong sense of smell. Learn more about groundhog repellents here

3. Hot pepper and marigolds

Another recipe you’ll be dying to try, in order to protect your property, is this mixture of hot pepper and aromatic leaves. Hot pepper is difficult to stomach for many full-grown humans. Imagine how irritating it must be to the small animals we’re trying to deter here. 

The strong scent of hot pepper immediately triggers a response in the pest’s mind. For this recipe, you can use hot pepper flakes or hot pepper sauce, depending on preference, although we do suggest opting for the sauce.

You’ll also want to mix in ground aromatic leaves from pungent plants, such as marigolds (you can substitute this depending on availability/preference). Additionally, you may also want to add a dash of a liquid dishwasher (again!), largely for the same reasons as above. 

Good for: This hot pepper mixture is great for many food scavengers on your property. Rabbits are known to avoid such smells, in particular, but this mixture may also ward off opossums, raccoons, and squirrels. 

Still not finding an answer? If your DIY efforts fail, your best bet might be calling in a wildlife removal professional. Rather than attempting (and often failing) to trap, poison, or ward off the animal, you’re saving time and money in the long run by calling professional wildlife control!