What are affordable non-toxic pest control solutions?

What are affordable non-toxic pest control solutions?

Nobody likes uninvited guests, especially of the six or eight-legged variety. Most people reach for chemical solutions, but those can be harmful to both your pocketbook and your health. So, let's explore some affordable pest control methods that are gentle on the environment and effective against pests.

Is affordable pest control that is also non-toxic too much to ask for? Not at all. Today, we will delve into the top 10 affordable pest solutions that will make your home a no-go zone for pests, without harming the environment or your bank account.

The hidden costs of chemical solutions

Chemical pesticides might seem like an economical solution at the outset. However, their environmental impact and potential health risks to your family and pets might make you think otherwise. The chemicals can linger in your environment, contaminating soil, water and even the air.

So while you might be initially saving money, the potential long-term health costs and environmental cleanup could be significant. These hidden costs make chemical solutions less appealing when considering affordable pest solutions that are also responsible.

The advantages of eco-friendly options

Cco-friendly pest control options are better for the planet and can also be better for your wallet. Many of the non-toxic solutions we'll discuss today are reusable or made from materials that you already have in your home.

It's not just about what you're keeping out of your home, it's also about what you're bringing into it. When you opt for non-toxic solutions, you're choosing the best pest control that's both effective and responsible.

Top 10 affordable, non-toxic solutions

1. Mechanical traps

Mechanical traps, like our fruit fly trap and clothing moth traps, are a cornerstone of non-toxic pest control. These traps don't use any harmful substances but effectively capture pests.


Our fruit fly trap is reusable, whereas our clothing moth traps come in a 6-pack, which means you save money over time.

From flies to moths, mechanical traps can catch a variety of pests. They are affordable, effective and an excellent first line of defense in your eco-friendly arsenal.

2. Essential oil sprays

Sprays made from essential oils like lavender, peppermint and citrus can be powerful pest repellents. Simply mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle, and you have an affordable pest control solution that smells great too. If you would like an exact recipe, here is one from Wellnessmama.com for an essential oil based natural bug repellent that I have tried. 

Essential oil sprays serve as a natural deterrent against pests while also adding a pleasant aroma to your home. Essential oils are an affordable, accessible way to keep your living space pest-free.

If you do not have these essential oils on hand, or if you're interested in purchasing an essential oil spray instead that is safe for your entire family—consider our 24 oz bottle of Six Feet Under. It's a ready-to-use, non-toxic spray formulated with clove and cinnamon essential oils, offering both affordability and efficacy.

3. Food-based lures

Ever heard of catching more flies with honey? Well, it turns out that sugary substances can act as effective traps. Place a bowl of sweet liquid in a problematic area and watch as the pests get stuck.

Food-based lures are extremely affordable and highly effective. They are ideal for people who are looking for quick, easy solutions using items they already have in their kitchen. For instance, let's say you have a fruit fly infestation. A simple trap made from apple cider vinegar, a drop of dish soap and a jar could work wonders. Pour the vinegar into the jar, add the soap to break the surface tension and cover the jar with plastic wrap, poking a few holes for access. The scent lures the fruit flies in, and the soap prevents their escape.

But if you'd rather use a pre-made solution, consider our Sweet Surrender liquid and Fruit Fly Trap. Sweet Surrender is specially formulated to attract fruit flies more efficiently than homemade solutions, ensuring quicker results. Our Fruit Fly Trap, on the other hand, is a reusable container designed for optimal trapping, reducing waste and making it an eco-friendly option.

4. Silica-based dusts

For those of you familiar with our Dust to Dust product, you'll understand why silica-based dusts are high on our list of affordable pest solutions. These fine particles can penetrate the exoskeleton of insects, effectively dehydrating them without using harmful chemicals.

Silica dusts are cost-effective because a small amount goes a long way. They can be easily applied in cracks and crevices where bugs tend to hide, in addition to being used to strengthen plants. Silica offers a lasting solution that won't break the bank.

5. Natural herb pesticides

Plants like chrysanthemum, neem, basil, lavender and citronella grass are rich in natural insecticidal properties.


You have the option to either plant these wonderful herbs in your garden as a natural bug barrier or use their extracts to make a homemade spray. If you’re intrigued by the idea of creating your own chrysanthemum spray, you can find an easy recipe from the Farmers' Almanac. Utilizing these herbal options provides not only effectiveness but also a completely natural approach, guaranteeing that you're implementing the best pest control solutions available.

Besides being potent insect repellents, many of these herbs offer additional benefits that make them an excellent investment for the mindful homeowner. For instance, basil and lavender are not just good for warding off insects; they can also be used for culinary and aromatherapy purposes, providing a multi-functional solution for your household. These plants are fairly easy to grow, even for those without a green thumb, and seeds or young plants are usually quite affordable. Thus, investing in these herbs offers you a win-win situation: affordable pest solutions coupled with other practical uses around the home. 

6. Citrus extracts

Citrus peels are excellent for repelling various pests like ants and spiders. Simply shred the peels and place them in problem areas, or make a spray by steeping them in hot water. Citrus is an affordable pest control solution that's as pleasant as it is effective.

What’s more, the next time you enjoy an orange or lemon, you’ll know that the peel can be put to good use. It's an affordable, aromatic, and efficient method for keeping pests at bay. As a side note, if you prefer a ready-made solution, our Sweet Surrender product also incorporates citrus as one of its ingredients for an extra layer of effective, non-toxic pest control.

7. Soap and water mixtures

A simple mixture of dish soap and water can serve as an effective solution against a variety of soft-bodied insects like aphids and spider mites. Spray it directly onto plants or surfaces where these pests are found.

Recipe: Mix one tablespoon of liquid dish soap with one quart of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well before use. Spray directly onto the infested areas, making sure to get the undersides of leaves where pests often hide. Test on a small area first to make sure the mixture does not harm your plants.

If you're dealing specifically with spider mites or aphids and are seeking an even more targeted solution, consider using Dr. Killigan’s Dust to Dust Non-Toxic Insect Powder. Formulated with plant-safe ingredients like peppermint and rosemary essential oils as well as silica, this powder disrupts spider mites' nervous systems and repels them naturally. Apply it as a wettable powder to your plant's soil, leaves and stems for both pest control and plant health.

These are two fantastic uses for that almost-empty bottle of dish soap under your sink. They are cheap, readily available solutions that show immediate results, making them some of the best affordable pest solutions you can find.

8. Vinegar solutions

Vinegar is a versatile household item that proves its value beyond the kitchen. When it comes to repelling pests like ants, its strong odor disrupts the scent trails they use to navigate, making it an efficient deterrent. In addition, vinegar’s antiseptic qualities make it an excellent choice for cleaning surfaces where pests might congregate, giving you a two-in-one solution for a cleaner, pest-free home.


Just remember to exercise caution when applying vinegar solutions to your plants, as its high acidity could be detrimental to them. 

Here are several recipes for its versatile uses:

Ant Repellent

  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray this solution directly onto ant trails and into any visible cracks where ants may be entering your home. 

Surface Cleaner

  • Create a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil like lavender or lemon for a more pleasant scent if desired.
  • Spray on surfaces and wipe clean with a cloth. This is excellent for countertops, sinks, and other surfaces where you've noticed pests.

Weed Killer

  • Use undiluted white vinegar for this purpose.
  • Pour it into a spray bottle and generously spray it onto the weeds you want to eliminate. Make sure to aim carefully so as not to affect the plants you want to keep.

Remember, when using vinegar as a weed killer or an ant repellent, it's best to apply on a sunny day for more effective results. Also, always spot-test any solution on a small area first to ensure it doesn't harm your surfaces or plants.

For those who prefer a ready-to-use option that's elegantly formulated, consider our Sweet Surrender Fruit Fly Trap Refill Liquid, which includes vinegar among its ingredients. It's designed to attract and eradicate fruit flies more efficiently than your average homemade vinegar solution, providing a swift, sophisticated solution for those pesky invaders.

9. Cedarwood blocks

Cedarwood blocks like Dr. Killigan's Cedar Planks can be placed in drawers, closets and other storage areas to repel web-spinning moths, case-making moths and other clothing moths.


They offer a natural, non-toxic solution that provides four-season protection for wool, fur, leather and other keratin-rich fabrics. In addition to their repellent properties, they also help control moisture, reducing humidity in enclosed spaces—a feature that is especially useful for preventing mold and mildew. Our Cedar Planks are made from pure eastern red cedar, sourced from renewable forests in the United States, making them an eco-conscious choice.

Besides their efficacy in repelling moths and controlling moisture, cedarwood blocks also add a pleasant aroma to your storage spaces. This serves the dual purposes of repelling pests and freshening up your areas, making them an all-around excellent addition to any mindful homeowner's pest control toolkit.

10. Borax and sugar traps

Last but not least, a simple mixture of borax and sugar can be an extremely effective ant killer. The sugar attracts the ants, while the borax eliminates them. However, keep this mixture away from pets and children as borax can be harmful if ingested.

Borax and sugar traps are economical and also easily customizable. You can adjust the ratio of sugar to borax depending on the specific ant species you're dealing with, as some might be more attracted to a sweeter or less sweet solution. It's a versatile method that can be applied in various ways—be it a surface sprinkle, a cotton ball soak, or even a filled bottle cap—to meet the unique demands of your pest situation.

If you're interested in an off-the-shelf solution that's equally effective, consider Dr. Killigan's Six Feet Under spray. This product, available in a convenient 24 oz bottle, employs a non-toxic formula that includes clove and cinnamon essential oils. It's designed to eliminate ants on contact while being safe for your family and pets. Six Feet Under offers a ready-to-use alternative for those who prefer a pre-made, yet still natural, ant control method. 

Conclusion: Making the eco-conscious choice

There you have it, my friends—your guide to the top 10 non-toxic, affordable pest solutions for keeping pests at bay. Making an eco-conscious choice does not mean sacrificing quality or effectiveness.

Thank you for choosing to be mindful in your approach to keeping your home pest-free. With Dr. Killigan's range of products and tips, you're opting not just for affordable pest control but also for safety, environmental responsibility and peace of mind.

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