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DIY Pest Control Methods That Are Safe & Effective

Posted on November 9, 2021
diy pest control

Do you have a small but annoying pest problem? This article will give you plenty of options on how to conduct DIY pest control for pest situations that seem manageable on your own. Keep reading to find recipes, prevention methods, and tips to effectively get rid of pests.

Common Pests In Calgary

Now that we're headed into winter, we can say goodbye to pesky mosquitos. However, many other types of pests come out during the fall and winter. Some common pests found in the Calgary area during this time of year include:

  • Bedbugs
  • Spiders
  • Moths
  • Mice
  • Dust Mites
  • Raccoons

Click here for a full and in-depth pest guide with information on these pests and more.

Common DIY Methods

Next, let's discuss some easy DIY pest control methods you can try out today. If you have children or pets, do not worry. These methods don't involve any toxic ingredients or traps.

Mother Nature's Pest Control

Some house plants are an effective way to keep pests away. For example, mosquitos will avoid basil. This is a great summertime pest control tactic. However, during the winter, there are alternative natural methods that will keep your pests away.

If tending to houseplants isn't your thing, using smell can be just as effective. Lavender or mint essential oils or room sprays can also deter pests. These will make your home smell great and keep those pests away.

Apple Cider Vinegar & Lemon Juice

You'll have ants, fruit flies, mosquitos, and other pests turning the other way with apple cider vinegar. This simple ingredient is a great, safe way to help prevent and get rid of pests. Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. If you've got ants in your kitchen, spray any areas of concern. This can include windows, countertops, or under the sink. The smell will deter the ants from continuing on their path.

If fruit flies are the issue, mix a half cup of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap. Leave it on the countertop and replace it when needed. The smell of the vinegar will attract the fruit flies, and the dish soap will trap them in the solution.

You can also swap out the apple cider vinegar for lemon juice to achieve similar results.

diy pest control
Powdered Sugar & Baking Soda

Here's another idea for getting rid of ants. Mix equal parts powdered sugar and baking soda and put it on a small plate. The sweet smell will attract the ants, but the baking soda is lethal once ingested. They will carry this back to their nest, thus killing them off.


Notice a few too many spiders lately? Basements are another area of concern for many homeowners. Basements can get damp because the air doesn't circulate as well as the upstairs. Pests can enter through windows or small cracks in the foundation. With nobody to disturb them, it's the perfect place for spiders to nest.

However, getting a dehumidifier can help. By getting rid of moisture, spiders and other pests won't have a source of water. Furthermore, a dehumidifier prevents mould, saving you from a major house repair later on.


Here's the last DIY pest control method on our list. Using caulk to seal points of entry help prevent pests and keep your home warm throughout the winter. Inspect your windows and doors to see if any spots are letting in a draft. By sealing off your home, new pests will be less likely to enter.

What Not To Do

Safety should be your top priority when trying out any DIY pest control. If you are using store-bought pesticides, always follow the instruction label. Using double the amount does not mean the product will be more effective.

Only store one type of chemical in a bottle. Never mix or reuse a container. Even if you wash it, harmful residue can remain.

Lastly, take note of where you can use the product. Some are made for outdoor purposes. Do not use these indoors. They could contain harmful chemicals that humans should not be exposed to for prolonged periods.

Prevention Tips

Always pair your DIY pest control methods with preventative steps. We want to get rid of the problem but also prevent it from happening again.

Keep Up With The Laundry

Another pest we often forget about is those that hide in fabric materials. Dust mites and bedbugs can be a hassle to get rid of, but you can take simple preventative measures. Be sure to wash your bed sheets, blankets, towels, and fabric curtains regularly.

Clothes moths can ruin your favourite sweater. For all clothing you don't wear, store them in an airtight container. Lastly, wash your pet's bedding a few times a month to prevent fleas as well.

Keep Your Compost Outside

This is one of the easiest tips on this list but can make a tremendous difference. We all know food scraps and smells attract many pests. If you have a small compost container inside, it's best to keep it out. Additionally, don't keep fruit or other foods out on the counter.

With that said, make sure your compost outside is also secure. Raccoons are notorious for digging through our trash—place bricks on top of lids that could easily come off. Consider raking the leaves in your yard while you're at it. Leaves and dry grass can help mask the smell of food in your compost bin.

Fix The Plumbing

Water is another thing that attracts pests. Leaky faucets or damp spots in your bathroom can be a breeding ground for them. Make sure you have that fixed or replaced.

If you have house plants, don't overwater them. Excess water that pools in a tray can be an attractive site for a pest.

When To Work With A Professional

Sometimes DIY methods aren't enough. Professional pest control specialists have the tools to safely and effectively get rid of any type of pest. If you're feeling frustrated that your pest problem keeps returning, contact an exterminator today. They will come to your home and inspect to understand the situation better. From there, they will come up with a personalized plan to effectively solve the problem.

Need an extra hand? At Martin's Pest Control, we can handle all of your residential and commercial pest control needs. Contact us today to request a quote.