Friday, October 5, 2012

DIY All Natural Pantry Pest Repellant:

It's the time of year when all of the creepy crawly pests that are startling when spotted outside take it upon them selves to sneak inside where they can be downright terrifying.   Living in a 150 year old building on a wooded lot that stood largely unmaintained in recent years has presented us with LOTS of pests.  (click HERE for more information!.)

I've been fighting these pests with natural remedies to the best of my abilities, and have come up with some unique twists to good ol' "home remedies" that I'd like to share with you.  

When we moved into this house we were relegated to a VERY primitive kitchen set up in a damp basement.  As you might expect, this meant that keeping bugs away was a constant battle.  Shortly after we moved in I noted a HUGE weevil gathering taking place in the dog treat jar. - It was WAR! 

After a google frenzy I found that most people recommend throwing EVERYTHING away, bleaching everything in site, not keeping any dried foods stocked in the pantry for any length of time, and more harsh chemicals. None of those seemed like viable options, (Seriously, scrubbing my cabinets weekly is a rediculous suggestion!) so after some research I developed my own all natural pantry pest repellant (which has the added effect of keeping other creepy crawlies out of the area as well).

An Herb Sachet that smells great, and wont scream "We have a pest problem!" to even the most finicky of guests. 
 (And let's face it, the kind of person who would be offended when they found your bug repellant is the EXACT same person who would poke around in your pantry.)

This was a VERY easy project that involved items I already owned, herbs already in my pantry, and a quick trip to the bulk spice isle in Whole Foods.  

Instructions:  Assemble your ingredients and stuff them in your sachets.  Complex, right?  I know, I know.... but I do have some notes that I think are of value.  First, use the bulk isle at your grocery store.  If you are making 5 sachets, you only need 10 pieces of Star Anise - don't pay for a whole container.  Secondly, a note about ingredients.  I compiled this list based on various ingredients noted as being helpful when dissuading pests. The coriander was never specifically mentioned in anything I read, but it seemed like a similar scent that would have similar properties.  I've never tried the sachets without this ingredient, so I can't guarantee that they are part of the magic, but I do like the way they smell in the pantry if nothing else. Finally,  if you pull the bay leaves from the sachets, the remaining ingredients make GREAT mulled cider.  Since pest season and cider season are one in the same - I find this tidbit particularly charming.  :) 

1.  Sachet:   I used some little pink sachets left over from a baby shower project.  Anything that would allow scent to penetrate would work:  nylons, thin cotton, tea bags, etc.  

2.  Peppercorn:  (8 to 10.)  This is a good way to use up the ones that inevitably escape as you fill a    grinder and roll all over the kitchen floor.  Gather them up and refresh your sachets next time.  

3.  Clove:  (A  Pinch).  Let's say 3-5 pieces.   

4.  Star Anise:  (2) I think spiders don't like these because some sort of uncanny valley phenomenon. 
5.  Cinnamon Sticks: (2 ) Ground would work I suppose, 
but the powder would escape your sachet. 
6.  Bay Leaves:  (2 or 3) I received a bay wreath last autumn, so I had LOTS of leaves laying around.  The more the merrier but 2-3 seems to be sufficient. 

7.  Coriander:  2 Pods.  

YOU'RE DONE:   Place these little wonders throughout your pantry cabinets and anywhere else where you'd like to keep the beasts at bay.  I've tucked them into my bathroom cabinet, in my coat closet, dresser drawers, etc.  The scent is delightful, and they are effective for 6 months at a minimum.  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE! So this is also my fall table center piece lol.