logoThe People's Perspective on Medicine

Natural Pest Prevention

Natural Pest Prevention

Q. Is there anything natural that I can use to keep away ants, roaches, flies and bees? I don’t like using pesticides if I can avoid them.

A. Readers of this column have offered a variety of remedies to keep away insect pests: “I was at a child’s birthday party and wasps and bees were flying all over while the food was out. Someone said to get self-sealing zippered plastic bags, fill them with water and put them on the table. The wasps disappeared. If I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes I never would have believed it.” Another said you need to put a shiny penny in the plastic bags, fill them with water and hang them so that the sunlight reflects off the bags.

Some people maintain that cinnamon can deter ants. One reader wrote, “I have always used toothpaste to repel ants. Just put a dab where they seem to be entering.”

Another advises, “Sprinkle baby powder to prevent ants. Ants will not cross the powder and it seems safe for animals. Dried cucumber peel deters roaches. I put it in kitchen drawers and behind appliances.” Other readers suggest that dryer sheets, such as you would use in the clothes dryer, may repel roaches.

Rate this article
star-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-empty
4.4- 5 ratings
About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
Get the latest health news right in your inbox

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

Screenshots of The People's Pharmacy website on mobile devices of various sizes
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.