How to Get Rid of Pests In Your Singapore Home WITHOUT Using Pesticides

(image: Marcus Tan, The Straits Times)

Feel like creepy crawlies are taking over your home?

Try these easy, less-toxic solutions to rid your place of pests – while also being kind to the planet, people and pets. Then, scroll down to find out how to prevent them from setting up house (in your house!) in the first place.


Feed these persistent pests with a mixture of sugar or cornstarch and boric acid. The sugar/cornstarch keeps the mixture moist and sweet-smelling – acting as a bait – while the boric acid serves as poison by dehydrating them. Scatter the mixture around kitchen counters and cabinets or near sink and crevices where roaches usually lurk. Leave it overnight, and clean up in the morning. (Or try this pandan trick that Singapore locals swear by!)


Citronella – whether in plant, candle or stick form – is a top pick to repel these dengue-virus carriers. If you have a garden, a citronella plant is a great addition because it is easy to grow. All you need is to cut the leaves from time to time and crush them to release the strong aroma.

Other natural repellent plants include lavender, lemon balm, rosemary and basil. They have certain scents that we find pleasant, but are repulsive to mozzies. Plant these fragrant herbs in pots and place them in your balcony or near the front door.


Sprinkle talc powder or cayenne pepper near the source of the ants. You can also spray vinegar solution (mix three parts of vinegar and one part water) around the ants’ trail. This is especially helpful around the perimeter of your garden, to prevent ants from trekking inside the home.


Add about 10 to 15 drops of peppermint essential oil to each cotton ball, and lay them strategically around the house, particularly near holes where you suspect mice are entering. The smell of peppermint is too overwhelming for these little rodents. Refresh the cotton balls every week or so, or when you notice the smell is fading.

Fruit flies

Make a DIY fly trap with apple cider vinegar – fruit flies can’t resist the smell of anything fermenting. Fill a shallow dish bowl with an inch of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. Add some fruit-scented dish soap. You can leave the dish uncovered, or tightly cover it with plastic wrap and poke a few holes to attract the flies.


Keep some egg shells around the corners of your doors and windows to keep lizards away. Lizards are repelled by the smell of eggs. Another smell that lizards hate is that of garlic. You can keep cloves of garlic around the house, or make a spray using garlic juice and water. Or, try these other natural ways to send lizards packing!

4 Tips to Prevent Pests in the First Place!

(image: Lisa Fotios from Pexels)

1. Take out the trash every night. When you leave your trash out, you’re inviting pests to enter your home. Make it a habit to take the trash out every night and dispose of raw food waste immediately

2. Clean your sink regularly. You’d be surprised at how insects and other pests can actually crawl up your drainage pipe at home. Every time, when you wash plates and let leftover food find its way into your sink’s drainage pipe, you’re inviting pests into your home.

Cleanse your draining pipe by pouring half a cup of baking soad and half a cup of vinegar to dissolve leftover food particles. Afterwards, rinse with boiling water.

3. Clean your counter tops properly. Make it a point to clean your kitchen countertops and stove every night to keep food particles from constantly building up. This way, pests don’t have a reason to come into your home.

4. Get pest-control netting. Get those magnetic pest control nests that keep tiny critters out. This way, you can still leave your windows open without worying about mosquitoes or bees entering your home.

Some text adapted from Home & Decor, March 2018; other text adapted from The Singapore Women’s Weekly, July 2016 / Last updated: May 2020

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