Dealing with flying or crawling insects is a pain, and chemical sprays are costly. You also risk endangering yourself and your family by spraying the chemicals around your house. The chemicals can leak onto cookware and dishes and land on food in the kitchen. Homemade vinegar insect sprays are not only cheaper but also safer to use around adults, children and pets.
Distilled white vinegar is strong enough to kill certain types of insects around the house. Plain vinegar is especially effective against ants, which follow a scent trail into your home. Vinegar acts as a repellant, because the ants do not like the scent or taste and usually seek a different trail. Apple cider vinegar and other types of vinegar may also be effective at repelling and killing certain types of bugs, but you should use a vinegar that is clear and contains no artificial colorings. Darker vinegars can potentially discolor or harm fabrics, floorings and furnishings around your home.
Rid Pest recommends mixing 1 cup vinegar with 3 cups water and 5 g soap powder to control aphids, caterpillars, mealybugs and stink bugs. Combine the water and vinegar before mixing in the soap powder. Stir the mixture or pour it in a plastic spray bottle and shake vigorously until everything is well combined. According to Environment, Health and Safety Online, ants are repelled by scents that include cinnamon, salt, citric extracts and cayenne pepper. You might find it helpful to add 1 tsp. cinnamon or another flavoring to your vinegar mixture if you plan to use it on ants.
Use the vinegar or vinegar mixture in a plastic spray bottle. Keep the bottle on hand, and spray it on any insects you see in the house. The vinegar effectively kills the bugs, because when you use enough the bugs to drown. Spray the vinegar until it thoroughly coats the insects. For ants and bugs that use trails around the house, spray the vinegar liberally on the trail. Watch how the bugs move, and follow them with the vinegar. Use more vinegar around any doors or windows, blocking their original entryway.
Vinegars are diluted by the distributor. When you shop for vinegar to make an insect spray, read the label and make note of the concentration. Purchase the highest concentration available, especially if you plan to use vinegar that hasn't been diluted with water. Higher concentrations are more effective, according to Planet Natural.