17 Hacks To Get Rid Of Bugs For Those With Entomophobia

17 Hacks To Get Rid Of Bugs For Those With Entomophobia

When I was a child, I had a really bad case of entomophobia (or “bug phobia,” if you will). I couldn’t even play outside like the other kids because I’d freak out if I was even in the same vicinity as those creepy crawlies.

As I grew older, though, I realized I couldn’t avoid them forever, so I learned anything and everything I could about repelling bugs. If your entomophobia is as bad as mine used to be (and still is!), I recommend these tips and tricks to get rid of bugs.

how to get rid of bugs


    Vampires aren’t the only ones afraid of garlic. You can create a spray recipe out of this ever-reliable kitchen ingredient. If you have this, plus mineral oil, water and pure soap flakes, you can create a pest repellent from scratch.


    Yes, onions are good for something other than making you cry. Slice these up, place them in a bowl of water and watch the bugs head for the hills (or, rather, away from your home).


    Hot Pepper

    Mix three tablespoons of any hot pepper — cayenne, jalapeno, what-have-you — with a gallon of water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes, and leave it for 24 hours for the mixture to come together. Then, add a few drops of biodegradable dish soap, and you’re ready to go.

    Diatomaceous Earth

    Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, is probably one of the safest and most effective bug killers. When in contact with a bug, it literally gets under a bug’s skin and drains them of moisture until the bug dies of dehydration. Although it doesn’t harm humans or wildlife, it’s a good idea to wear a mask when spraying this mineral in bug-infested areas.


    Bugs may love to attack plants, but that doesn’t mean plants haven’t learned to fight back. If you plant lavender, marigold, rosemary and others with scents that repel mosquitoes in your garden, you can say goodbye to expensive, artificial ways to get rid of your pesky, bloodsucking friends.

    Cedar Chips

    Cedar is especially effective against moths. Put these in your closet or anywhere else moths like to visit. Next thing you know, your favorite sweaters will be safe from harm once again.


    If you’re a bit queasy about the other options, this may be worth a try. Put 10 drops of peppermint essential oil into a four-ounce glass bottle, shake and spray. Peppermint oil gets rid of a variety of bugs from spiders to cockroaches. Mice also hate the smell of peppermint!


    how to get rid of ants


      Ants are a bugger but there are natural remedies to repel them. Sprinkle ground cinnamon along the areas that you often find ants. If you find ground cinnamon a bit too messy, try using cinnamon essential oil. Add 5-10 drops in your glass spray bottle with water, shake and spray in areas you often see ant collecting.


      Yes, you read that right! These round, tangy slices of fruit can keep the ants away from your kitchen counter. Just leave those slices lying wherever ants hang out, and that’s it.

      Citrus Peels 

      Don’t want to waste those leftover orange peels? Rub them on areas where spiders lurk. Not only will your arachnophobia be kept in check, but your house will also smell great!

      Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

      If you’re looking for an alternative to DEET to protect yourself from mosquitoes or ticks, try using lemon eucalyptus oil. Put a few drops of this essential oil in your glass spray bottle, shake and spray before going outside.


      how to get rid of stink bugs

        For Stink Bugs

        Take a plastic Pepsi bottle, preferably the one with straight sides. Using the label as a guide, cut out the top of the bottle and set it aside. Put a silver LED light inside the bottom half of the bottle. Then, seal it with the top facing downwards, secure it in place with masking tape on four sides, and cover the bottom with dark electrical tape. You can get more info on how and why it works through this YouTube video.

        For Mosquitoes

        The trap is basically the same as that for stink bugs, only instead of LED light, you’ll use an anti-mosquito mixture instead. To make that, mix together sugar and hot water, then add yeast. Stir until the mixture is frothy, and pour it into the bottle along with one cup of water. Wrap it loosely with plastic, and store it in a place where the yeast can safely ferment for a week. Afterwards, hang it where mosquitoes congregate.

        For Wasps

        Again, the basic trap is the same as that for stink bugs and mosquitoes — except for what’s inside. Before you seal the trap with the funnel (i.e. the top part of the bottle upside down), pour cooking oil along the sides. Then, pour in any sweet liquid inside the trap, and hang it out near the wasps’ lair.


        how to kill cockroaches

          For Cockroaches

          Find a large, empty jar. Line the inside edge of the opening with Vaseline. Put your bait inside the jar (e.g. peanut butter) and watch the little buggers’ futile efforts to escape. Who’s laughing in the face of evolution now?

          Rinse, Repeat and Revise

          Even if the traps seem to work now, be sure to observe them until you see no more signs of infestation. Otherwise, your six- or eight-legged friends will either develop a resistance to them, or even “learn” to avoid them altogether.

          Keep It Natural

          If you notice, most of the bug repellents on this list come from Mother Nature. Artificial repellents can be just as effective, but they’re potentially toxic to the environment, so it’s recommended to use all-natural ingredients as much as possible.

          Take Preventative Measures

          As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Check your house regularly for possible places where bugs thrive, and clean/seal them off. Know why you had the infestation in the first place, and take steps to prevent it from happening again.

          More by this author

          35 Most Amazing Roads In The World You Should Drive In Your Lifetime 15 Life Hacks for the Beach or Pool 6 Hacks To Boost Your Willpower 8 Natural Energy Drinks to Give You a Boost Without Caffeine 12 Things That May Cause Breast Cancer You Should Avoid

          Trending in Science

          1 Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science 2 Science Says Screaming Is Good For You 3 Weighted Blanket for Anxiety and Insomnia: How to Make It Work 4 Scientists Discover Why You Should Take Off Your Shoes Before Entering Your Home 5 Science Says Piano Players’ Brains Are Very Different From Everybody Else’s

          Read Next


          Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

          Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

          We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

          Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]


          Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

          Looking at images of loved ones

          While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.


          In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

          Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]



          Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.


          Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.


          In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

          When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.


          With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

          Featured photo credit: condesign via


          [1] US National Library of Medicine: Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain
          [2] Daily Mail: Nursing a broken heart? How taking a paracetamol could dull the pain of rejection
          [3] Mother For Life: Oxytocin’s Role
          [4] Psychology Today: Facebook and Your Brain
          [5] Alex Korb: The Upward Spiral

          Read Next