Low- to No-Cost Pest Deterrents That Really Work for Bees, Bats, and More

Reader Contribution by Elena Smith
article image

Photo by blickpixel on Pixabay

A day planned for outdoor activities like gardening or a backyard BBQ can quickly be ruined by unwanted pests. Bees, wasps and mosquito stings are painful and potentially dangerous for humans. Aphids, deer, rabbits, squirrels, gophers and bats infiltrating our outdoor space threaten to destroy all the hard work that’s been done in the garden.

Keep your garden and backyard safe from destructive pests and harmful chemicals with these organic methods of pest control. These DIY garden pest deterrent and trap ideas are easy to create and will rid your yard and garden of unwanted stinging, digging, chewing and flying pests.

DIY Bee and Wasp Trap

Make an effective bee and wasp trap from a recycled 2-liter soda bottle. Set this trap up in an outdoor area where you’ll be spending time to trap flying, stinging insects.

Cut off the top third of the soda bottle and invert it into the bottom portion of the bottle (lid removed). Tape the edges together so there are no gaps between the plastic.

Pour half a cup of soda in the bottom of the bottle and place it 20 feet away from where you are working or playing. Bees and wasps will be attracted to the sweet soda and go down into the bottle for a drink and will be unable to find their way back out.

When having a backyard BBQ, set up several of these traps around the perimeter to keep guests sting-free.

Stinging Pest Deterrent

Repel gnats, sweat bees, wasps and other stinging pests with a fabric softener sheet. Pin a new fabric softener sheet to your hat, shirt or jacket to repel all types of stinging and/or annoying flying pests.

The fabric softener sheet can be used in the dryer after being used to repel garden pests. Fabric softener sheets made with natural ingredients work well as a pest deterrent.

Natural Mosquito Deterrent

A fabric softener sheet does not repel mosquitoes, but this simple trick will: Place an oscillating fan near your chair, picnic area or garden and turn it on high. Mosquitoes are very weak fliers and the breeze created by the oscillating fan will keep them away from you.

The rotation of the oscillating fan will prevent mosquito attacks from all angles around you.

DIY Pepper Spray

Deer, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, turtles and other small woodland critters enjoy nibbling on tender garden plants and developing produce.

Aphids attack the new growth on garden plants and flowers and suck the sap out of the plants until it dies. Several other tiny pests enjoy feasting on tender, new stems and leaves too. All of them can be stopped without harming the plant with this DIY pepper spray. Safe for the environment and pets also.

Place 2 cups of hot peppers (fresh or dried) and 2 cups of water in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour pepper water mixture into pot, bring to a boil on the stove, then simmer on low heat 5 minute.

Allow pepper mixture to cool, then strain through a piece of cheese cloth to remove seeds. Pour into a spray bottle and add a few drops of liquid dish detergent, shake well. Spray hot pepper mixture on the lower leaves and stems of garden plants once a week to deter the large pests from eating your garden plants.

Saturate the underside of leaves and new stems to kill existing aphids and repel any other types of sap-sucking insects from attacking the plant. This organic, DIY hot pepper spray is safe for use on all vegetable and flowering plants.

Bat Deterrent

If you have bats nesting under house or barn eaves or any other location where you do not want them, use this simple DIY bat deterrent to get rid of them.

Crush two cloves of fresh garlic and place in the toe of a knee-hi hose. Tie the open end of the knee-hi and tack it up near the entrance of the bat’s nesting place. Bats despise the scent of garlic and will relocate to a less smelly environment.

Gopher Deterrent

Gophers can create underground tunnels that will ruin a yard or garden overnight. Get rid of gophers and protect your landscape with moth balls.

Locate openings of the gopher holes (there will be at least two) and drop a few moth balls in the holes. Walk along the gopher runs and poke holes in the soil every four feet and drop moth balls down into the tunnels. Gophers hate the scent of moth balls and will abandoned their den and move off your property.

Elena Smithis a gardener, blogger, designer and DIY enthusiast in New Mexico who channels a love of simple and green living into her work. When she is not blogging, you can find her attending to the flowers and plants in the garden. Connect with Elena atElenaSmith.netand onTwitter.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.