How to get rid of common pests and bugs

Pests and bugs are common household woes, especially in a tropical country like Malaysia. Though they usually don’t cause great damage, it’s hard to deny that these creatures can be irritating and sometimes, quite geli.

If you occasionally come across the housefly or lizard in your home, there’s no need to go all out and call pest control. Instead, try these safe, fast, and cheap fixes using home remedies that you’re definitely bound to already have to get rid of those creepy crawlies ASAP. 

–   Bugs   –

1. How to get rid of cockroaches 

Image credit: @cockroachdiaries

We can all unanimously agree that cockroaches are the most dreadful house pests. Not only do they carry diseases and germs, and look hideous, these scumbugs just don’t seem to die no matter how geng and how long you spray insecticide at them.

They are also, unfortunately, difficult to get rid of as you just never know how many eggs they’ve laid in the darkest recesses of your home, breeding their devil spawns.

Insecticides are only a temporary solution, so if you want a more permanent and cheap fix, try making your own boric acid dough ball. It is apparently dubbed as one of the best DIY remedies for roaches.


  • Boric acid
  • Flour
  • Sugar 
  • Water
  • All as much or as little as needed


  1. Take a bowl and mix 200g of boric acid, flour, and sugar. This will make around 15 marble-sized balls.
  2. Turn the mixture into a dough by adding a teaspoon of water at one time, until the mixture is damp, but not runny.
  3. Once the consistency is thick enough to be shaped, shape the dough and place them at spots where cockroaches tend to roam, such as under your fridge and kitchen cabinets.

The flour and sugar tricks the cockroaches into thinking the balls are food, but the boric acid in them is fatal to the bugs. Those with pets must steer clear of using this remedy though, as it’s also equally dangerous for your furry fam.

Boric acid can easily be bought on Shopee for around RM4.50 for 100g.

Credit: Tipnut

2. How to get rid of ants  

antsImage credit: @im_joeasy

There’s just something irksome about seeing a colony of ants crawling around your floors or kitchen tops. They seem to appear out of nowhere, while finding their home is like a next level quest of treasure hunt.

Some safe home remedies you can consider include: 

  • White vinegar

Mix white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio and use the solution to wipe down surfaces, focusing on your kitchen counter and dining table. Vinegar is a good hindrance to ants as the smell will continue lingering on surfaces.

  • Pepper or salt

Like vinegar, the smell of pepper and salt irritates ants, so this is an effective deterrent to keep ants at bay. But unlike the white vinegar-water solution that dries up, you can’t have pepper powder or salt sprinkled around your table tops, so it’s best to sprinkle the food seasoning behind appliances or at inconspicuous corners in the vicinity of where ants usually appear.

Credit: NDTV Food

3. How to get rid of bed bugs

bed bugsImage credit: @cinclibae

There’s a reason for the saying “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”. That’s because bed bug bites itch like mad and can cause skin problems such as rashes and allergies. 

The scariest part about bed bugs is that you won’t know that they’ve infested your beds and couches until you get bitten.

So if you want to be safe rather than sorry, try sprinkling baking soda on areas that you suspect are infected with the bugs. The baking soda dehydrates them, which then kills them instantly.

This method is not for the impatient though, as you’ll need to let the baking soda sit for 3 to 4 days before vacuuming it away, and it’s even recommended that you repeat the process a few times to ensure that you’ve completely got rid of the buggers. 

If your bed bug infestation is bad, meaning you can spot them crawling around, it’s probably too late for home remedies, so it’s best to call pest control.


4. How to get rid of houseflies

housefliesImage credit: @kcp_macro

Flies carry a mass of harmful bacteria – more than 600 different types of them, in fact – that can cause all sorts of ailments such as stomach flu, food poisoning, typhoid fever, and pneumonia, among others.

It sounds scary and serious, but the good news is that you won’t see them in masses, unless there’s something rotten in your house. If you see one or two buzzing around, it’s easy to set up your own fly trap.


  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dish detergent 


  1. Mix around 15ml of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish detergent in a tall container, like a glass or 1.5-litre plastic bottle, with its neck cut off.
  2. Cover the container with a thin piece of plastic, like cling wrap, and tie or tape it down with a rubber band or masking tape.
  3. Poke small holes in the plastic. Make sure they are big enough for the flies to go through.

The flies will fly into the container, drawn to the vinegar, but the detergent makes them sink instead, trapping and killing them.

Credit: healthline

5. How to get rid of spiders

spidersImage credit: @catur_winardi

Spiders may not appear as often as the pests above, but they admittedly, can be quite scary so here are 2 super easy and quick ways to deal with them.

Place a bowl of citrus fruits on the kitchen counter as spiders hate the smell of these acidic fruits, or rub the peels along window sills on the outside and doorways to prevent the bugs from coming into your home altogether.

Alternatively, you can crush some dried mint leaves, put them in sachets, and hang them in your cabinets.

Credit: Farmers’ Almanac

–  Reptiles  –

6. How to get rid of lizards 

lizardsImage credit: @armstrong.3bro

Cicaks are residents in most households, but you don’t have to run away in fear anymore with these tricks below.

Clean out eggshells and scatter them around places where lizards tend to be, such as under the fridge and in the corners. The smell will repel them, as lizards will confuse the scent with the present of birds – a predator to them. 

Another alternative is to place naphthalene balls, more commonly known as mothballs, in the corners of your closets, shelves, and cabinets. The pungent smell will also repel them. But mothballs can cause nausea and vomiting if ingested, so if you have kids or pets, it’s best to use eggshells instead.


–  Mammals  – 

7. How to get rid of rats

ratsImage credit: @rat.craft

Setting up a rat cage or trap is the most obvious way to get rid of these pests, but after you catch them, you might need to come into contact with the rat itself, which may not be the safest since they also carry diseases.

Instead of trapping them, try soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them at corners where you have spotted rats. The smell will drive them away eventually.

Rats also hate the smell of pepper flakes and garlic so you can place these around the house, too.

Credit: Angi

Easy, natural ways to get rid of common pests and bugs 

We may not be able to get rid of pests and bugs indefinitely, but the methods above provide cheap fixes using natural ingredients that are safe and easy to obtain. 

The key to prevent pests and bugs in the first place is to keep a clean, tidy, and neat home, so do make it a habit to deep clean your home every once in a while. 

Other home improvement ideas right here:

Cover image adapted from: @armstrong.3bro, @rat.craft, and Imgur

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