As our society becomes more environmentally conscious, many homeowners are turning to natural solutions for common household tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, and even pest management.

While pest control products containing harsh chemicals are still available in most home improvement stores, more and more people are turning to organic or DIY solutions that are less likely to harm loved ones, pets, and the environment.

When it comes to organic pest control, knowing which methods are the most effective can be challenging, and you can unintentionally make the problem even worse by not properly utilizing your chosen method.

Whether you are a homeowner dealing with an active pest infestation or are simply being proactive and educating yourself on your options, here is a detailed guide to organic pest control and the various methods that have proven to be effective.

What Is Organic Pest Control?

Organic pest control is an environmentally conscious way to manage pests without harsh chemicals. Organic pest control uses both natural and biological methods to safely and effectively get rid of pests and is seen as an alternative option to traditional pest control using chemical pesticides.

Is Organic Pest Control Effective?

Organic pest control can be extremely effective when properly executed by an experienced pest control professional. Organic pest control is a great option for people dealing with pest infestations who don’t want to resort to using harsh chemicals to take care of the problem and are instead looking for a more environmentally friendly approach.

However, it is important to note that in some extreme cases, traditional pest control methods may be more effective, such as stubborn cockroaches or bed bug infestations.

Common Organic Pest Control Methods


Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, is a pest control approach that involves science-based, sustainable methods of pest management. IPM uses a combination of pest biology, environmental data, and technology to get rid of pests and is considered a safer, more natural approach to pest control. IPM is commonly used to get rid of mice when traps don’t work.

Natural Controls

Natural pest control refers to chemical-free methods of pest management. Methods utilizing substances like diatomaceous earth, neem oil, and essential oils all fall under the natural pest control umbrella, as these methods are derived from natural ingredients and typically will not pose a risk to humans, pets, or the environment.

Cultural Control

Cultural pest control involves changing the living habits and environments of pests by manipulating things like planting dates and irrigation systems in order to get rid of pests.

Similarly to natural pest control, cultural control eliminates the need for chemical pesticides by using more natural means.

Top Organic Pest Control Products

We’ve listed a few organic pest control products you can purchase from any home improvement store.

1. Neem Oil

Neem oil is a naturally occurring pesticide that targets pests by disrupting their reproductive cycle, preventing them from reproducing and further spreading. Spray this solution directly on areas where pests enter your home. Neem oil can even be applied to cockroaches in Maryland to force them to flee your home. [Learn more: Reasons You Have Cockroaches in Your Home]

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth works by penetrating the exoskeleton of pests and dehydrating them, causing them to die. Spread this powder, which has the consistency of flour, around plants in your garden or cracks where insects enter your home.

3. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

Bacillus thuringiensis is a type of bacteria that lives in soil and makes proteins that are toxic to certain insects when ingested. Spread this among mulch and garden soil to prevent pests.

4. Spinosad Spray

Spinosad spray is an organic insecticide that affects the nervous systems of pests by causing their muscles to flex uncontrollably. Pests that come into contact with this solution will typically experience paralysis and die within a day or two.

Calling the Experts

Contrary to popular belief, most exterminators actually use organic pesticides to deal with pest infestations, as they are safer for you and your home. The next time you contact an exterminator, be sure to inquire about what pest controls or chemicals they use to curtail certain pests.


Are there any organic insecticide sprays?

Neem oil is one of the most popular organic insecticide sprays, as the oil is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree and works by disrupting the life cycle of various insects. There are also several homemade insecticide sprays you can try using natural ingredients you may already have in your house, such as garlic spray, which can be made by pureeing garlic bulbs and mixing with vegetable oil, dish soap, and water. When applied to plants, this mixture can be effective in getting rid of any unwanted pests.

What smells do bugs hate?

There are several smells that many bugs are said to dislike. Some of the most common bug-repellent scents include citronella, lavender, peppermint, and geranium. Growing these plants or even diffusing the scents in essential oil form may be effective in keeping certain pests from invading your space.

How do I keep bugs out of my garden naturally?

Keeping bugs out of your garden can be difficult, but there are several different methods you can try that many gardeners have seen success with.

Companion planting is one method of pest control that involves growing certain plants together, typically one bug-repelling plant and one plant that attracts beneficial bugs.

Some of the most commonly used companion plants include lavender, mint, and herbs like basil and rosemary.