Natural Pest Control for Animals

Learn how to make natural insect repellent using all-natural ingredients.

| May/June 2015

Spring and summer are accompanied by many beautiful and wonderful new living things in our barnyards. However, these seasons also usher in many unwanted pests – mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas and lice – that can make our livestock and pets miserable, contribute to disease, and reduce production.

We often resort to using chemicals for pest control, but there are many issues with their use, especially if you are trying to raise organic stock. Pests can develop immunity to pesticides over time, making them less effective. In addition, there are possible toxic side effects to chemicals, and many of us are eager to exclude or reduce them from our environment, our food and our water.

So, before investing in any of these often expensive, potentially toxic chemicals this year, consider utilizing some all-natural techniques to control the pests that pester your animals.

Let’s look at a few of the possibilities:


Vinegar seems to be good for just about anything. It even works as a great insect repellent. Mosquitoes, flies, fleas and ticks find vinegar repulsive. I started using an apple cider vinegar mix repellent last summer, and I’m happy to report that I never had a tick on me when I used it. When sprayed on fur, skin or clothing, vinegar will deter most any pest from landing and biting. Either white or apple cider vinegar (ACV) may be used, but I prefer ACV. If the vinegar smell repulses you or those around you, mix in some essential oils to make it smell more pleasant. Vinegar can also be added to your animals’ drinking water, in small amounts, to help ward off pests.

Herbs and essential oils

A vast array of herbs and essential oils are effective repellents and even insecticides. While there are numerous plants and herbs that are great insect repellents, I will share a few of the more common and easily found. It may be necessary to do a little experimentation with different herbs and oils of varying concentrations and mixtures to find the perfect concoction for your needs.

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