Pet-Safe Homemade Bug Killers


Pet owners often have difficulty finding insecticides for insect control that will not harm their beloved pets. Fortunately, there are a variety of homemade insect repellents and insect killers that are safe to use around animals. These products can be placed around the home or directly on pet collars to help repel fleas.

Citronella Oil

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), citronella oil is a safe, non-toxic insect repellent. Citronella oil can be applied directly by spraying it with a hand-held sprayer, or rubbing it on your pet's collar. This oil repels fleas, ticks and other biting insects around your home, such as mosquitoes. Citronella oil is registered as an insect repellent and feeding depressant for bugs, and is made from volatile oil obtained from dried grasses.

Soap Solution

  • Homemade soap solutions are generally safe for those who have pets living inside their home. If your houseplants become infested with damaging pests such as spider mites, mealybugs or aphids, apply a homemade soap solution to help reduce infestations. Combine 3 tbsp. of liquid dish soap with 1 gallon of water and spray it on your infested plants. This soap solution is not toxic for domestic animals, but it may cause stomach distress if ingested.


  • Insects in your outdoor garden can be trapped easily with damp paper. If you have infestations of pillbugs, sowbugs or earwigs, you know they are attracted to moisture. Place damp paper loosely rolled up near your infested plants. In the early morning hours, collect the paper and throw it away. The insects drawn to the moisture will be trapped inside. Place new rolls of damp paper each morning for continued control. This is an effective way to trap insects outdoors, without risking your pet's health with insecticides.

Fish Oil

  • Traps made from fish oils attract many pests, such as earwigs. Place a dish with low sides full of fish oil near points of entry or near your infested garden plants. Many insects are drawn to the fish oil, become trapped and suffocate when the oil coats their breathing holes.

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