Super-Simple DIY Pest Repellent for the Garden

As you probably know, most commercially available pest-repellants are full of harmful chemicals that you wouldn’t want anywhere near your house, children, or pets, let alone near the garden that you’re growing your food in.

Even if you don’t spray chemicals right on the leaves of your plants, spraying them around the perimeter, either to kill grass, weeds or bugs, will trickle into the soil and can easily be absorbed through the roots of your plants, and you don’t want that.

But there is a very easy, at-home solution for keeping pests out of your garden, and it’s safe enough to use regularly.

The solution is very simple: vinegar and peppermint essential oil. You can spray it around the perimeter of your garden, however NOT on any plants you want to keep alive, vinegar kills plants! If you have a fence around your garden it would be ideal to coat the fence with the spray every week or so, and the strong, pest-repelling scent of the peppermint oil is sure to keep pests away.

What you need:

Peppermint essential oil


Spray bottle

Label (optional but recommended)

What you do:

  1. Pour your vinegar into the spray bottle.
  2. Add about 25 drops of your peppermint essential oils
  3. Put the top back on the spray bottle, and shake to combine. You’ll want to do this before you use each time just to make sure the oil is evenly dispersed throughout the bottle
  4. Label if you like. This is highly recommended if you use spray bottles for other garden uses, as vinegar is something you definitely don’t want to get mixed up with say, a neem oil spray or fertilizer!

And that’s it! If you can create a barricade around your garden of the strong vinegar and peppermint oil scent, it will greatly reduce the pests in your garden without putting toxic chemicals in your food.

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11 thoughts on “Super-Simple DIY Pest Repellent for the Garden

  1. Ditto the previous 2 inquiries, and I’m assuming white vinegar rather than apple cider vinegar. Thanks for the tip!

  2. To the above, the vinegar should be the cheap distilled variety, full strength. That’s why it kills plants. That’s why you spray only the PERIMETER of your planting area.
    And Carlos, bees don’t kill lawns. You need them. They don’t kill anything. You can’t eat without them. Birds are the best grub control, and water near your garden draws birds.

  3. I have a stupid question. Will this work as a deterrent to ants, if used on the perimeter of windows or other entryway where ants come into your house?

    1. To Lizzie: yes, peppermint & vinegar should work on ants. I used 5 drops cinnamon essential oil & 4 oz. plain water in a spray bottle to get rid of tiny ants coming in through the bottom of two windows. Saturated the rascals & they ran back out through some unseen crack/hole. Then I saturated the seam where the bottom of Windows meet the floor. I sprayed again a second day for good measure even though there was no sign of ants. Haven’t seen any since July & it’s now Dec. Good luck.

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