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Using Everyday Ingredients to Banish Pesky Pests

October 16, 2010

Did you know that you could use flour for something other than baking/cooking?

When I just started blogging, I did a post about ants, roaches and lizards and how to keep them away.

I thought it might be worth revisiting since that was some time ago and many of you might not have seen that post. Also I’ve discovered one or two more prevention measures since then which I’d like to share with you!

This is not quite a food post, but if you cook often you’ll know just how mortifying it can be to see a big fat lizard running around just 2-3 metres from where you’re mixing your dough. So I’m hoping this post will help save you some of that trauma (and drama!).


(Image from here)

Solution: Flour
Efficacy: 7/10

My friend Jannie suggested I try this instead of using the toxic ant-killer pellets that you can get from Carrefour. The toxic pellets work like a charm, but they’re not so good to have lying around when children are in the house. Fortunately, I gave the flour  a go and am thrilled to report that it totally works! Make no mistake – if you leave a lollipop sitting exposed on your kitchen counter, the ants will still be there in an instant. But the flour does help stave off those little annoying ant trails that appear for no good reason (i.e. if you haven’t left exposed food lying around).

(Image from here)

Solution: Orange Peel
Efficacy: ?/10

I really don’t know if it works! Still haven’t tried it. Anyone have any idea?


(Image from here)

Solution: Pandan Leaves
Efficacy: 7/10 (in faith!)

I haven’t had to scare away roaches yet (thankfully) but this is a long-cherished Asian cure to cockroaches so I have full faith that it works.


(Image from here)

Solution: Egg Shells
Efficacy: 6.5/10

When I first tried this method, I thought it was da bomb. I didn’t see a single lizard in sight for many weeks after. (I still saw traces of lizard doo-doo, but no lizard.) But it’s important to remember that you need to change out the eggshells every couple of weeks so that they still carry the smell that scares the lizards. Also, if you’re making something in the kitchen that has a very strong aroma (say if you’re deep frying something) and you have a nest of resident lizards waiting in the wings to terrify you, the egg shells might not be as effective… But on the whole, still much better to have the eggshells lying around than not.

(Picture from here)

Solution: Peacock Feathers
Efficacy: ?/10

I was just informed by a friend that lizards are wary of peacock feathers because peacocks eat lizards. I haven’t found any affirmative proof of this but hey, no harm giving it a go if you know where to procure peacock feathers! (Peacocks do seem to eat a whole host of nasty stuff like mice, termites and ants.) (And yes ok I know this is not an everyday ingredient… 🙂


If you have any other brilliant non-toxic solutions to pest issues, please do share!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2010 3:17 am

    This is such an interesting article! I didn’t know any of this before. I love that you use natural ingredients, who needs pesticides around their house?!

  2. October 17, 2010 6:46 am

    Where to get peacock feathers?kekekek …heard abt pandan leaves being the nemesis of cockroaches before too. And when I was younger, I heard red chili and oops…dunno the name of that flying insect.

  3. October 18, 2010 1:20 am

    Thanks for sharing. Really love this post! I need to try your method to get rid of those “pappaLizzies” from my kitchen. 😉

  4. October 18, 2010 7:23 pm

    this is really interesting! very helpful! thanks!

  5. October 19, 2010 9:28 am

    Thanks BigFatBaker, food-4tots and sarah!
    tigerfish: My aunt told me you can get them in Little India. $0.40 a feather!

  6. October 28, 2010 11:50 am

    I will try the eggshell trick. I HATE lizards with a passion!
    For ants, I’ve tried sprinkling cracked black pepper along the ant trail and it worked like a charm. I could literally see the ants crawling and turning back when they spot the pepper. Not sure if it works with normal white pepper though

  7. October 29, 2010 3:16 pm

    Eatingsumo: Yes aren’t they the worst! Always sneaking around behind your back then taking you by surprise… Grrr. Will try pepper sometime!

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