Natural disinfestation

Once upon a time…..the old natural disinfestation recipes.
natural disinfestation

This section is dedicated to all those popular methods used for a long time and that, in certain cases, prove to be still valid today.
During the years of work in the field of pest control we diligently wrote down the stories of our customers then we illustrated these methods that they had seen used or tell by their fathers and their grandfathers.
When there were no chemicals and the industry was not churning out continuous new devilry, only ingenuity (and sometimes despair) were the only weapons available to try to defend themselves from annoying presence of pests in their homes,huts,poultry houses and gardens.




We would appreciate Your comment and perhaps a hint about other “strange” techniques of  popular tradition, mostly unknown, or perhaps ineffective but that would be a shame to lose; describe it briefly, help us to enrich this veritable “museum” of the disinfestation.
Editor’s note: Some of the following tips or recipes require the use of today become unmarketable or hazardous substances are defined for the handling and use, especially in the presence of pets and children, so it is recommended to take the text that follows only as informative title and curiosity.Some pests species can be carriers of diseases to humans and animals for which it is advisable to contact a professional exterminator who can you recommend for a quick resolution of the infestation in place.

Coffee and chalk against ants

Mixing some coffee dregs with chalk, to an extent of 50% and externally spread along the walkways of the ants or above their nests .It’s a natural method that does not kill them but discourages them from the usual routes.

Natural vinegar spray against grasshoppers

Dilute one part of apple vinegar to three water with 5 grams of soap flakes and insert the blended solution into a spray bottle, spray the solution on the leaves and roots of plants infested by grasshoppers in the early morning, if you find already some grasshoppers present moisten directly. Wait two days and continue the operation as long as necessary.

Natural Spray against mosquitoes and sandflies
Diluite a few drops of eucalyptus oil in 250 ml of vinegar and put the mixed solution into a spray, sprinkling the parts exposed frequently as vinegar exerts it’s most repellent action when the liquid isn’t evaporated.

We have included some videos chosen among the most popular in our Youtube channel.

Bowl of water for flour moths
In case of infestation by moths coming from  larvae that feed on flour and cereal products as well as performing cleaning operations required, thereby removing the packs of biscuits or infested flour and vacuuming debris that easily can be formed you can use traps that are on the market to catch them.
We have seen how the butterflies seek to drink by putting a bowl of water on a shelf or on top of a cupboard  the moths easily fall into it, thus maximizing catches and speeding sanitizing times.

Black Jersey Giant Hen a lethal weapon against rodents

It’s a breed of chickens in danger of extinction particularly aggressive against mice and rats. Males excel for lethal skills against rodents.We could advise you to insert in a hen of this breed to reduce the murine population that often represents a true scourge in those environments.

CD against pigeons

Hang 4-5 CD (compact disk) out of the window or balcony by using a piece of string or plastic wire of the type that’s used for fishing.
The Cd unpredictable reflections are very annoying for pigeons who will stay away.

Ammonia and sardine against olive fruit fly
In a bottle of specially crafted similar for plastic traps like the on described in this page, pour a pint of ammonia and a sardine then you have a powerful Trap against the olive fruit flies.

Ecological trap to catch mice and rats

This is the modern variant of the bucket which you’ll find described more forward.

This cost very few cents, the bait we used in this case are 30 g of spreadable chocolate cream of the best quality, this trap can be effectively used in the home environment in the vicinity of small farms of chickens, rabbits, wood sheds and every another place for checking the presence of rats and mice, or if you want to avoid using rodenticide baits to the risk of contamination and poisoning occasionally. Remember to check the trap daily.

Soda against sooty mold

Dissolve with caution 200 g of caustic soda in 100 liters of water and with this basic solution wash by spraying on the diseased plants of fungi and sooty mold in particular.
Wear overalls, gloves and goggles.

White pepper spray against the large rose sawfly
Arge Pagana is the name of this little caterpillar that attacks roses.
It winters in a cocoon formed between the dead leaves and not interrate. For this is  most important to remove then as quickly as possibile. The insect born between May and June. Against this caterpillar are very effective sprays prepared with a macerate of 100 ml of water and 10 g of white pepper. Shake well and spray on the leaves every now and then.

Vinegar and sugar trap against the Hornets
For the Hornets an effective cheap trap is prepared with water, 10% vinegar and 20% of sugar. Shake well and prepare the bottle by cutting the neck and overthrow it as a kind of funnel into the bottle or by drilling a hole large enough on a side of the top part that allows to bumble bees to enter but not escape.Put the bottle to a branch in the garden.
Recommended especially when you do not know the origin of a nest but or if you have hornets especially in the summer evening attracted by the lights of the lamps while you are out to dinner, under a pergola in the garden.

Honey Trap against the Hornets
One other effective trap for hornets to try if you do not have access to the cider or vinegar as already suggested, is to prepare a 25% solution of honey and water, ie in a liter of water dissolve 250 g of honey having care to shake well. 

Shells of mussels and clams against slugs
You can define areas of your garden with deep stripes at least 30-40 cm in a layer of clam shells and clams to prevent snails and slugs from attacking vegetables.This works also against the proliferation of weeds without “suffocating” the ground as it favors perspiration.

Herbicide made of water, salt and vinegar (verified method)
4 liters of hot water
0.5 liters of white vinegar or wine
1 kg of coarse salt
Dissolve the salt in the water and vinegar solution and spray it on the weeds in a dry day time as it increases much the assimilation when the plants are in a state of drought.

Flea & Tick Control for dogs and cats
Prepare a decoction of water, rosemary and tomato leaves to sprinkle on animal fur and in areas where they live.

Silver Ribbon against pigeons
Is well known that the pigeon, are bothered by the random light reflections  which make the use of silver ribbons to finds its place in the non-professional natural methods for the deterrence of these animals. They are often used for such purpose the packages of the Easter eggs cut appropriately in strips with a diameter of 7-8 cm and hanging off the balconies or terraces.



Trap insects made with a plate and glue
We receive this technique based on the principle of chromatic attraction, especially effective for flies (cromotropici adhesives panels) but also other insects.Take a plastic dish and sprinkle of mistletoe after it attacked and secured to the branch of a tree.
A variant to restrict access of insects on the trunk of a tree is to form rings with paper strips sprinkled with mistletoe around the trunk and the insects will remain attached.

Propolis against the olive fruit fly and cherries
850 ml of denatured alcohol
300 g of propolis
1 g of soy lecithin as an emulsifier.
Maceration: about 20 days and then strain through a paper filter.
Is possible to enhance with sodium silicate the solution at 1.5%
Spray on vegetation.

Marseille Soap against ants  (Verified)
Detergents usually have a decent knockdown against insects. Marseille soap is also a neutral product less aggressive than other products. This had an immediate effect even if no residual for which is necessary to frequently spray the solution if you want to eradicate a colony of ants.

Lit bowl with soap and water against fleas (Verified)
In the case of flea infestation try to put bowls filled with water and soap (preferably dish soap) in infested areas, making sure to put a light source behind the bowl (eg a lampshade but detached from the tray to avoid being in contact with water) .After few hours you should find several fleas in the water.
The bowl necessary to attract the fleas doesn’t have to be too deep.

The woodworm hammer (not verified)

This practice has the basis in the fact that the woodworm by definition dig very shallow tunnels under a thickness of a few millimeteres. The loud noise it produces it’s the cause of his discovery.With a rubber hammer tapping on the surface of the beam with a little luck, the worm can be disinfected at no cost.

Natural insecticide against larvae, aphids and small Diptera

You can prepare a natural and ecological solution to be sprayed on the plants to ward larvae, small insects, aphids and other using peppers, water and a mild liquid soap spoon, all well dosed:
-a cup of goat horn peppers, long about 10-15 cm spicy
-two cups of water
-a neutral liquid soap spoon
Preparation: add the peppers and water and proceed to the blending until it become a homogeneous solution.
Filter with a sieve, and put it in a spray bottle.
Add soap and shake gently.
Spray on the plants, avoiding to do it during the hottest hours of the day.

“Once upon a time …. the old recipes to get rid of pests” : download the publication in PDF format.


Charcoal powder against ants

The coal powder is an effective deterrent against ants, in particular for species of smaller size.
Sprinkle on the walkways, into fissure and around the edges  the ants will carefully avoid it or  change direction at best.

Aspartame against ants (verified)

For some time we receive advice about the use of aspartame as a disinfectant for crawling insects and ants in particular.We had waited a long time and got information to be more precise as possible on this news.
Spreading it  in grains close to the paths used by ants or directly above the nests in the garden, in a few days time the ants will disappear.

Artificial nest for dormouse (verified)
Try to bring dormouse out of our own home by placing artificial nests close to the house. Some small adjustment such as: the height and orientation of the opening toward the tree trunk are in order to defend themselves from predators, that may speed up the colonization of the artificial nest . Put abundant seeds and grains, nuts and chestnuts near the nest to bait them to come closer to the artificial lodges and wait for the “change of residence.”

A copper wire against slugs and snails (verified)

Is true that snails and slugs are not able to pass over the metallic copper, experiencing a little shock that’ll make them back away, so a very low cost remedy is by surrounding the area with young plants cabbage, water melon,melon, tomato and salad with a copper wire, preferably forming a double ring. A problem can be the oxidation of the copper covering the wire ,so change the copper when is old.

The ashes of insects as a repellent in Bio dynamic (not verified)

The practice of incineration as a method in Bio dynamic to ward off insects and other pests from our gardens in a natural way . The Bio dynamic gardens use this practice that may seem cruel, but this occurs only in cases of a very serious infestations in order to avoid the shedding of chemicals, so it is done in absolute consciousness and respect of the natural balance between man and the ambient.

Inspired by an article here it is the detailed recipe:
“The insect ash ,of which is to be controlled the excessive development, is done by using wood, such as beech and using a metal mesh grid is where we put the insect you want to incinerate. Once the ashes proceed to the dynamics of the solution according to the techniques provided by this practice once the process is completed proceed to spraying the plants that are meant to be protected by it.”

Smoke against moles (verified)

A great non-lethal repellent against moles: digging a deep hole 20 cm wide and just in proximity of their galleries, best at an intersection of them and make a small fire with dry wood that effectively burn to produce much smoke. Cover it with a vase of terracotta and through the drainage hole pump air for example using a hairdryer. Repeat the process at intervals in the following days until the moles leave.

Neem oil as a flea and tick repellent for dogs and cats (verified)

A few drops scattered on the hair of our little friends and spread with a gentle massage to increase absorption are a valuable and environmentally friendly way to defend them from these annoying pests.

Snails trap with bran  (verified)

The principle of the trap with bran is the same as the one that exploits the luring power of the beer,  of which snails loves but in this case they are not likely to drown in the liquid . You need to collect the snails and put them in an underground container at ground level that contains  the bran and it will move the snails a few hundred meters from the garden they use to visit. They can be collected in a container where the snails accumulate for several days, giving them a few leaves of salad and bring them away when they are enough.

Neem oil against mite (not verified)

A few drops of neem oil diluted in water and sprayed finely on carpets, cushions, sofas are an effective natural method against mite.

Neem bread antimosquito fertilizer (verified)

The neem bread is a by-product of neem seeds from which we extract the oil used for multiple uses.
Is utilized as a fertilizer for flowerpot that results in a potent larvicide against mosquitoes it can remain into the water saucers without any contraindications.

Garlic spray against the green stink bugs (verified)

In the winter season is common to find green bugs in cracks and spaces between windows and shutters, where they seek refuge from cold temperatures.
Harmless and without sanitation consequences the green bugs have the characteristic of emitting a typical smell when disturbed or smashed. Prepare a lotion to be sprayed on the passing and stationary points. The liquid is obtained from 250 ml of water and 10-15 g of reduced garlic in fine cream to be diluted to obtain an homogeneous solution.

Bicarbonate against mites (verified)
Spreading baking soda on the carpet or fitted carpet, you get a reduction of mites up to 79% in one hour and 100% in 2. Vacuum to remove the product: any remaining crystals will still be active and will also affect on the eggs.

Corn flour for ants (verified)
A new recipe against ants the masters of  spring and summer times.
One of our customer spread cornmeal along the route used by ants he witnessed that once the insects have ingested it disappear, perhaps because it would give digestion problems or some other fact… and this leads to weakening of the colony.
A natural way at limited cost to try.

Sugar and soda for ants (verified)
Some species of ants, especially those who prefer a sugar diet can suffer from a mixture of sugar and a bit of natural backing soda. A cheap method to try.

Calcium cyanamide remedy antimoles (verified)
Calcium It is a slow release nitrogen fertilizer that buried in the ground it helps the quantity of microelements and has a good geo sterilizing activities and nematicide .For a long time the effect is renowned as a repellent against moles probably due to the smell that would disturb the sensitive nose of them.
Attention should be paid to the timing, modality of distribution and landfill as the crop may be affected, it’s still a fertilizer after all.

Hot water for the ants (verified)
On ant nests can sometimes work a bit of hot water, even not hot in order to drive them away from where they made their nests.
If the nest is in a grass field or a flowerpot be careful because the hot water could damage the roots of plants or flower, drying it up .

Sulfur diskettes against the nests of hornets (verified)
In Lucca is common to use this practice to get rid of hornets nests inside of chimneys burning in the fireplace sulfur. The anhydride that diskettes produces is a powerful deadly gas for the Hornets who besides being felled by SO2 affect the room with a repellent effect. Is a “do it yourself” technique used much but we recommend all the possible precautions as the sulfur anhydride is also strongly irritating for humans, especially with children can cause even serious irritation especially in people with asthma or respiratory problems. Another danger come form the hornets that will start falling from the chimney introducing in the house lots of them angered and ready to sting.


Onions in vinegar for flies on horses (not verified)
Boil 4 onions in 1 liter of vinegar for about 30 minutes. Once cooled spray it with a sprayer on the horse’s coat to soothe the discomfort caused by flies.

Catnip a repellent for insects
Catnip so beloved by our feline friends contains an active ingredient, the Nepetalactone which has a repellent effect on insects .With this you can also prepare an infusion to be sprayed along baseboards where often cockroaches, silverfish, ants are hiding.

Nutmeg for the food insects (not verified)
Put some nutmeg into the pantry or cupboard in the kitchen that helps keep out insects, especially those attracted by food.

Shells of eggs for snails (Verified)
Break the egg shells into small fragments to be distributed on the soil around the plants attacked by snails.
These advancing onto the plants will find it difficult to pass on the splinters of shells and they will return back.

Rock’n roll for woodworm (not verified)
We received direct testimony about the effectiveness of harassing these wood-eating insects with high frequencies of modern music.
It seems that the woodworms do not want to hear noises during their meals and they stop until they hear only but silence. But whether the noise is protracted for long time would lead them to starve to death, or is this kind music that they can not stand? Try only If your neighbors are very patient or your parents are accustomed to musical chatter of their children.

Coffee powder against wasps and bees (not verified)
If the wasps or bees are going around the house or in the garden to find a place to nest you can try
to burn some coffee powder and put it in a pot. The dense and penetrating smoke that develops seems is  unacceptable to these creatures that they’ll escape trying to find another place to colonize.

Soap and soda for fungi on plants (verified and high efficiency)
Against some types of fungi that attack plants try spraying a soap and water solution or water and baking soda on the attacked leaves, taking care to rinse with water the next morning and see the antifungal effect after a few days. **

Soap for aphids (verified and high efficiency)

Dissolve a bit of Marseilles soap in water so as to obtain a whitish solution but not too thick otherwise you can not to spray on the plant attacked by these animals.
The recipe has some variations, with the addition of red pepper, garlic, tobacco, in smaller doses than what you would use if only each one of these ingredients are left to infuse with soap in order to accentuate the aphicide power.

Milk to protect vineyards and plants from mushrooms (not verified)
Use a mixture of 10% low-fat milk and water to be sprayed on the plants to protect against all parasites and blight on solanaceous (tomato etc.) Cucurbits (cucumbers etc.) And beans *.

“Once upon a time …. the old recipes to get rid of pests”: download the publication in PDF format.


Jar to trap the silverfish (not verified)

The silverfish is a very common insect in the attics and cellars, especially if they are damp. Frequently in environments with presence of wallpaper, great nourishment and an optimal hideout. The Silver Fish feeds on paper and all it’s various branches, including books and photographs, and also even some of synthetic fabrics.
To make the trap coat it with textured paper a glass jar, so that the insect can climb it and filled in with flour, paper and sugar that will attract the Silver Fish: once entered into the jar it will remain making an indigestion of the “goodies” inside.

Turkeys, chickens, geese and guinea fowl for the vipers (verified and high efficiency)

Since ancient times is known the extraordinary ability of these domestic birds to keep well clean the areas around the houses to be any unwelcomed guests . The turkey, although is a newcomer from the Americas, He’s one extraordinary hunter.This “Magnificent 4 “in their continuously scratching in search of food among their most coveted preys are the vipers, and this is an opportunity that we recommend taking for those who frequently notice the presence of these reptiles around the house.

Onions for flying insects (not verified)

This “technique” should be effective especially against flying insects that would be sensitive to this vegetable characteristic aroma.
Cut an onion in half and slip on some cloves in the outer side. In a few second the characteristic aromas will spread in the environment thus beginning their action.
After a few days, especially in summer, the onion must be replaced while the cloves last a little longer.

Wood Ashes for snails (verified)

Often in the night garden plants, especially the younger ones are attacked by slugs and snails. They may even raze 15-20 tomato plants in one night as it happened to my neighbor.
Is Recommend trying to sprinkle around the plants you want to protect a little bit of ash taken from the stove or the chimney: its powdery consistency makes it difficult if not impossible to snails and slugs move toward their goal, because they should essentially consume all their characteristic burr used in their slow but steady pace.

Ice for moths

Some time ago it was customary to hang the blankets, clothes, clothing usually some nights in the winter ice winds to “sterilize” the tissues as much as possible by some pests that can find refuge or proliferate in those such as mites, moths tissue and other species (lice, bedbugs etc ..). Today we could also  use the freezer making sure to whisk vigorously clothing before putting them in sealed bags to be placed inside the freezer. Try with some tests especially for delicate fabrics like silk, satin and others.

Trap for flies

On the occasion of a visit to one of our customer where we had gone for a pigeon infestation problem we noticed this simple and functional trap against flies.Because that was full of flies we asked the recipe and I propose in here it’s simple formula.
To put together this economic and functional trap like we already described in a previous post  using a 1.5 liter PET bottle cut into half and place about 2-3  concentrated broth taking care to dissolve well in about 3 deciliters of water let it soak  for a few days. Once the fermentation processes will have started his course will start the baiting effect towards the flies and with the first catch  his baiting effect will rise. It’s advisable to put in a place with direct sunlight and put some new water once in a while.

Trap hornets with Cider (verified and high efficiency)
Bofonchi, gialloni, ammazzacavalli, ammazzabricchi, the hornet has a different name in each city in Italy but the danger it’s always the same: in our country It is considered more dangerous than the Viper, they are more widespread and less timid than the reptile. In case you sight several specimens that flutter in your garden, but you can’t locate the nest  to carry out a targeted pest control, you can always make a very effective trap using a PET bottle prepared in the same way of the olive fruit fly trap described below, but by inserting inside cider in this case.

Discovered by chance by the daughter of one of our customer that we had called for this hornets problem but wasn’t been possible to find the nest probably it was in the neighboring forest to the garden we will recommend to test if you have the same case as the one described above. In the next few days the bottle will be full of hornets and since his bating effect is recommend to place the bottle a few meters away from where yo habitually stay in the garden.

Trap for olive fruit fly with anchovy (verified)

Take a 1.5 lite PET bottle, cut the part closer to the cap and reverse from the inside the remaining part of bottle . Make two small holes with a heated needle  in order to pass a string to be able to hang the top of the bottle at the tree branch.

Pour some water and then a bit of vinegar with some meat or fish, such as anchovy or sardine, after a few hours of steeping the solution will attract flies.

Mistletoe berries to make traps (not verified)

The mistletoe is a parasitic plant that produces white berries filled with a sticky liquid with which ,the grandfather of one of our acquaintance prepares a kind of natural glue used to catch small animals infesting the house . By doing a little research we found that was used but also to hunt small birds and supplement the diet that was once very poor than now (hunting was a the time a personal need more than a desire) .

This is the recipe: harvest the berries from the mistletoe sprigs then make them boil in some water over low heat and stirring constantly, so that the infusion won’t stick to the bottom of the pot. When the mixture began to stick to the spoon the paste is ready. At this point take it out of the heat and try to put out as many seeds as possible and then making the berries came out.

Keep it in a long greasy jar  and properly heat it if necessary.

Hedgehogs for vipers (verified)

Skilled hunters of small snakes, including vipers especially but also other reptiles. You cannot buy or breed them, so it is recommended, to those who have a great quantity of reptile close to his home, to don’t drive them away these cute little animals as they “tend” to your own garden.

Shards of glass mixed into the cement to seal cracks (verified)

To seal critical points due to passages of pipes, conduits portions or mere slits, were once used to mix broken glass into the cement to make it impossible to sawdust by rodents.

Anti mole and mole cricket bottles (not verified)

To prevent moles and mole cricket attacks in the gardens some older farmers are planting in the ground of the bottles, the best is the typical Tuscan fiasco. The effect of the “whistle” that produce the breeze and the wind inside the belly of bottle should drive away the mole cricket . Was common use at the time in Capannori (Lucca).

Camphor to keep moths away clothes (verified)
To ward off moths, sprinkle the clothes with small camphor resin flakes.

Castor plant for flies and mosquitoes (not verified)

Try to cultivate a castor plant in the garden: keep away flies and mosquitoes.

Bay oil repellent for flies (not verified)

To keep away the flies from the walls and surfaces of infested environments also sprinkle a few drops of bay oil.
Repeat if needed.

Walnut leaves housefly repellent for domestic animals (not verified)

To prevent the flies to annoy horses and cows. Boil 3 handfuls of walnut leaves 3/4 (about 3 and a half liters) of water, spray the horses (before you get them out) between and above the ears, neck and sides. Treat the cows in the same way.

Repellent quassia wood flakes for flies (not verified)

Take quassia wooden cast and prepare an infusion for 5 or 6 minutes by taking a piece of wood and 8 of water. Filter it and add 40 grams of sugar molasses, spread on wooden tablets in the outdoor areas.

Matches for cockroaches (not verified)

Mix flour and water so to make a cream and crumble inside the heads of some matches. Spread the mixture over a couple of salad leaves.
The phosphorus content of the dough would have a potent insecticidal effect.

Disinfestate mosquito tiger eggs (verified)

The larvicide fight against mosquitoes as well as being very effective, economical and also biological: put a copper wire in the water of the pot saucers, is an excellent remedy against the development of the larvae of Aedes albopictus (Asian mosquito tiger) .

Some commercial products exploit this especially copper properties against mosquito larvae.

Remedy to soothe mosquito bites (not verified)

A natural remedy against the bites of mosquitoes, insects and arachnids in general is to
moisten the part of irritated skin with a cotton ball soaked in vinegar, wine or apple juice, it should help reduce the annoying itching.

Coal to deter dogs from digging the garden (verified)

Sprinkle in some hidden areas of the garden coal pieces, especially in places already excavated it will deters the dogs from going on in this activity, at times very destructive for the garden: in fact, the olfactory apparatus of the dogs made up of millions of cells dedicated to this developed sense It means that the dog does not like the smell of coal.

Garlic for mosquitoes (not verified)
Seems that after heavy bellyfuls made of garlic the skin emanates a pungent odor that deters mosquitoes from attacking. Natural and cheap is another propriety of this miraculous plant with a thousand virtue for being vermifuge, rebalancer of blood pressure and heart tonic.

Water bottles for cats (not verified)

It’s been in use for several years to put outside the doors or along the paths a clear plastic bottles filled with water in order to deter pets like cats and dogs from urinating on the point you wanted to protect. This custom is still in use especially in Versilia (Lucca)

“Once upon a time …. the old recipes to get rid of pests”: download the publication in PDF format.


Lemon with cloves for flies (verified)

The shell of a well squeezed out lemon can be effectively used as a repellent for flies inserting within a few cloves .The whole goes placed in different points of the environment affected by the flies, replace the lemon after a few days when it tends to shrivel.

Holly (verified)

It was used to bind up the meats that seasoned in the cellar with boughs of holly to prevent rodents from attacking the sausages.

Cat (verified and high efficiency)

The ancient Egyptians to honor the ability of the cat in hunting the mice raise to be a true god.

Infinite are the anecdotes about the man over time using these great hunters of mice.

Milk (verified and high efficiency)

Talco (not verified)

When we heard the story of a client who had seen preparing a mixture of baby powder and superfine sugar to ward off insects we came to mind as the boric acid was used until a few years ago as a potent insecticide against cockroaches (Rovos bait).

Today supplanted by refined molecules that the industry employs years of churning out research, boric acid can be safely counted among the deans of the “museum of the disinfestation”

Holy water aspergillum (not verified)
It is said that some of the country priests in addition to doing exorcisms were able to ward off insects and other pests from homes with the help of holy water and prayers whispered softly.

Milk (not verified)

The reptiles in general and in particular snakes are fond of this particular beverage. Exploiting this weakness were prepared troughs full of milk to attract and catch these reptiles .If the attraction point was also infested with mice it was possible to take the classic “two birds with one stone” as the mice sight a snake disappear.

Beer (verified and high efficiency)

The beer is a real magnet for snails and slugs are very greedy about it. Like with milk with snakes also beer were prepared ecological and effective traps .

Garlic against roses aphids (verified and high efficiency)

At the base of the plants heavily attacked by aphids, especially as the rose attacked by green aphids, we can recommend to plant a couple of cloves of garlic: their root exudates are absorbed from the roots of nearby plant, which then will move to the leaves making them very repellent for aphids.

Tobacco and Cigarettes (verified and high efficiency)

Always against aphids leave a bottle half full of water with a bit of tobacco to infuse a few days. The nicotine contained in it is a powerful insecticide (the nicotinoid chemical synthesis if used indiscriminately are responsible for the extermination of swarms of bees).

Once filtered all you can spray this biological solution on the leaves attacked by aphids.

Chestnut flour and chalk (verified)

The chestnut flour was for many centuries an ever-present in the families food that they had to fight to defend it from attack by rodents.

Some of our ancestor had the bright idea to mix it with powdered chalk to create a deadly mix .very still used today, especially in the mountain areas of Lucca, in Garfagnana, in the Apuan Valfegana and villages.

Hot pepper (not verified)

Another surprise for our small rodents: the hot pepper was used to prepare very tasty morsels on the outside but with a “hot surprise” in them (in Fantozzi style) . Some stories extend the use of hot pepper, which through various stratagems it was reduced in cream and put the parts in direct contact in fur less area of the rat (eg.eyes).

As mentioned with tobacco even with the hot pepper can be prepared a macerated which properly filtered can be sprinkled on the leaves of the plants attacked by aphids.

Beech marten, weasel, ferret (not verified)

Do you have an attic infested with pigeons? If you could introduce a marten or a weasel (even better if is starved) it seems that the deterrent effect against pigeons exceed by far of what could do the best exterminator.

Tomato leaves (not verified)

The leaves of the tomato plant seems to have a repellent power against some sort of crawling insects who do not like their characteristic pungent smell . The same effects have other plants of the nightshade family, catmint, basil.

Eucalyptus Plant (proven effective)

The leaves of this wonderful tree of a thousand virtues has a concrete repulsive power against mosquitoes. By having space in your garden to create a barrier made up of eucalyptus trees is a good deterrent against the intrusion of mosquitoes. The same effect is obtained by other “balsamic” species such as mint, citrus, lemongrass, basil and so on.

Water Washtub (verified)

One simple but effective technique was to fill with water a washtub with a small wooden board  leaning on the edge with a bit of bait at the center; when the rodent passed the gangway fulcrum, the tablet was flipped and the rodent ended up in the water.

Snap Trap

Mousetrap: it is always relevant, it never grows old.

Naphthalene (verified proven effective)

Naphthalene against tissue moths . It has also a weak repellent effect against other species of animals, especially dogs and cats that sometimes they get used to urinate on the sidewalk.
It’s also known to have a repellent effect against reptiles.

(Editor’s note: naphthalene has undergone considerable trade restrictions at European level)

Scoop swatter

Always effective in good hands, also this tool does not show symptoms of old age.

Cow urine

The urine of the cow was used as an insecticide to exterminate nests of wasps and hornets.With the progressive abandonment of the farmlands this method has been gradually disappeared.

“Once upon a time …. the old recipes to get rid of pests”: download the publication in PDF format.



A beekeeper has told us that his grandfather used to beat on the spade to call to the hives the bees who had moved away suddenly swarming. This often happens in spring in the hives where the bees family are divided into two swarms, one of which goes looking for a new home, often ending up on the branches of trees, inside of window blinds, in attics: the beekeeper with this method could recall their bees as a “Pied Piper”.

Sea salt  against ants

The sea salt is still used today for the repellent effect against some species of insects, especially creeping insects.Can get to deflect their path and at best to drive them out completely.


Since the dawn of time the farmer tried to protect crops from the attack of the birds using these puppets specially dressed up to make them look lifelike as possible to figure a person. As today there are so many types, including mechanical that fall within the visual repellents category very used against the birds.

* Grant received from Mr.Renato
** Contribution received by Ms. Maria

*** Contribution from Ms Alice

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