Is Vinegar a Good Bug Repellent?

Medically Reviewed on 1/6/2021

Vinegar as a bug repellent

Vinegar is one of the best ingredients to make a pest control spray.
Vinegar is one of the best ingredients to make a pest control spray.

Vinegar is one of the best ingredients to make a pest control spray. It is effective in repelling ants, mosquitoes, fruit flies, and many others. Creating a mix is quite simple and is considered safe for humans and pets.

  • Acidity of the vinegar is potent enough to kill many pests. Vinegar is often used as a contact type insecticide, which means that you need to spray it directly onto the spotted bug to make it effective.
  • Vinegar is basically an aqueous solution composed of water and acetic acid. Vinegar as a product has already undergone both alcohol and acid fermentation.
  • The content of acetic acid in vinegar makes it an acidic compound. In most types of vinegar, the pH level is 2.5. Especially the white distilled type of vinegar is commonly used as a cleaning agent in homes on various surfaces. It also has antimicrobial properties.
  • You can deter bugs, especially spiders, from entering your home with white vinegar. You can also stop a trail of ants marching on your walls, tables, or floor by spraying them with distilled white vinegar. Ants are dependent on each other’s pheromone, and the vinegar will help break that, causing panic in their orderly line.
  • Pairing vinegar with essential oils such as tea tree oil, lemon rind oil, or orange peel oil can increase its effectiveness.

However, vinegar offers short-term and limited effects when fighting against bugs because

  • It is not as effective as a stand-alone treatment against serious cases of infestation. Furthermore, vinegar won't be able to penetrate the hard casings that protect bug eggs.
  • Vinegar alone is not enough as the treatment for an entire infestation.
  • It is not capable of repelling the pests out of your property.
  • Overdoing the vinegar spray option will mean soaking the entire bedroom with the liquid's pungent corrosive smell. However, it can be used together with lavender, lemongrass, cinnamon, clove, peppermint, and tea tree oils to repel bugs, especially bed bugs.

Apple cider vinegar for pest control:

  • Apple cider vinegar can be used to repel and eliminate common pests. It works at eliminating pests that are indoors and outdoors. A lot of people use apple cider vinegar to eliminate fruit flies from the house, which is done using a fruit fly vinegar trap.
  • Apple cider vinegar is also great at repelling ants, and it is quite easy to make an ant repellent with this vinegar.
  • If you have a problem with aphids, then you might want to try apple cider vinegar to help get rid of these crop-killing bugs. Take a bottle and combine 1 ounce of apple cider vinegar with 3 ounces of water and mix it together. You can spray this on your plants to keep the aphids off them, although some plants don’t like the acidic nature of apple cider vinegar. It could end up hurting your plants if you spray too much or spray too often.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/6/2021
Green J. Does Vinegar Get Rid of Ants, Other Insects or Spiders? San Francisco Chronicle.