by David Stewart, Ph.D., R.A.
Among the many chemicals in our industrial environment that get into our systems and make us sick are the pesticides we use in our homes. We use them because they are toxic to the creatures that bug us, but they are also toxic to us. Sometimes the toxicity is immediately apparent: we get a headache, get sick or feel nauseous from the fumes or other contact.
Sometimes the toxicity is subtle and can accumulate resulting in chronic complaints and disorders (including allergies, cancer and miscarriages) that can be serious and even deadly over time. Sometimes we even put poisons on our pets to deal with ticks and fleas, not realizing that these substances are not healthy for us nor our animals.
How to Use Oils for Pest Control
As YLEO distributors, we don’t need poisons to kill pests. We can repel them (and even sometimes kill them) with substances that are not only harmless to us but are actually healthful to us. Below is a list of oils that will solve most of your pest problems around the house. And how do you use them? One way is to get a pistol-grip squirt bottle. Mix a few drops of the oil with some water, shake it up, and start firing. If you have bugs on your plants, like aphids on your roses, you can squirt the leaves and drive the bugs away with no harm to your plant. You can do the same with the other pests. As for ants, you can smear a line of peppermint or spearmint across your kitchen counter or floor and the ants won’t cross it. If you already have a line of ants invading your house, just draw a line of oil across them and they will turn back. It is fun to watch. And as for flies, you can knock them dead right out of the air with one shot from your pistol grip.
Seeing how squirting a peppermint-water spray would kill flies in mid-air, I wondered what pure oil would do. So I did an experiment on a brown recluse spider. I captured a live one in a jar and carefully placed one drop of peppermint on one side. The pure peppermint repelled the spider who crowded to the other side to avoid the oil. When I tipped the jar to force the spider to fall into the oil, it merely squirmed and got away, still repelled by the oil, but not apparently harmed. Then I put a drop of water with the oil and tipped the jar so that the spider slid into the water and oil together and, instantly, it shriveled up died.
Conclusion: The oil alone is an insect repellent. Combined with water, it is an insecticide.
Safe Insect Repellants
As far as repellants go, when you go into the woods and fields, put a little lavender around your ankles, wrists, and waist-band and you won’t have to worry about chiggers or ticks (or Lyme Disease or Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever). Lemongrass, sage or thyme would work, too, but might irritate your skin so put it on your pant cuffs and shirt sleeves.
As for your pets, you can put oils such as Purification around their necks and backs, but watch to keep oils from around their eyes.
So there you have it. Non-toxic pest control.
Specific Oils for Specific Insects
ANTS – Peppermint, Spearmint
APHIDS – Cedarwood, Hyssop, Peppermint, Spearmint
BEETLES – Peppermint, Thyme
CATERPILLARS – Spearmint, Peppermint
CHIGGERS – Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme
CUTWORM – Thyme, Sage
FLEAS – Peppermint, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Lavender
FLIES – Lavender, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage,
GNATS – Patchouli, Spearmint
LICE – Cedarwood, peppermint, Spearmint
MOSQUITOES – Lavender, Lemongrass
PLANT LICE – Peppermint, Spearmint
MOTHS – Cedarwood, Hyssop, Lavender, Peppermint, Spearmint
SLUGS – Cedarwood, Hyssop, Pine
SNAILS – Cedarwood, Pine, Patchouli
SPIDERS – Peppermint, Spearmint
TICKS – Lavender, Lemongrass, Sage, Thyme
WEEVILS – Cedarwood, Patchouli, Sandalwood