Beer: A Natural Insect Repellent

The top pops off of a cold bottle of beer.
  • 1-8 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-50
What You'll Need
Hose sprayer
Beer (cheap, leftover or stale beer)
Epsom or sea salt
Listerine or other mouthwash
Rosemary oil
Spray bottle

Although usually no one likes to waste beer, sometimes there's leftover or stale beer in the mornings after a long night; don't throw it out and just recycle the bottle! Recycle the beer too, by using it in these homemade insect repellent recipes to keep insects out of your yard and off of your skin.

Recipe #1 - For the Yard

A wide shot of a well-groomed yard

Clean out a hose sprayer that you would use for spreading weed killer or fertilizer. Combine in the container equal parts stale beer, epsom (or sea) salt, and Listerine (or other mouthwash). Then, add a half package of yeast for every gallon of beer mixture. Shake well and allow to sit, stirring occasionally, until the salt and yeast have dissolved into the mixture. The yeast and mouthwash are repelling agents, and the magnesium in the sea salt helps your grass to grow.

Spray your yard every month or so to keep the insects away and protect and nourish your lawn, or take it on camping trips when the insects are the worst. Avoid spraying this solution on flowering plants.

Recipe #2 - For the Body

An itchy arm

Mix half a teaspoon of rosemary oil and half a pint of stale light beer. Pour the mix into a spray bottle and mist it over your clothes and skin or rub directly onto your skin. Its unique aroma has a better scent than most insect repellents!

Other Tips for Using Beer as a Pest Repellent

At home, leave out a bowl of beer in your garden to attract slugs and snails. The little guys will drink themselves into a stupor and drown. Or to keep bees away from the deck or area in your yard where you spend the most time, leave out bowls of beer on the perimeter to distract them.

To trap fruit flies, cover a beer can or bottle with a piece of paper that has a small hole in the paper over the opening of the beer. Or, you can fill a small Ziploc bag halfway with beer and poke a small hole in it. Place the bag in a cup or bowl to keep it standing upright. The flies will fly into the can, bottle, or bag, but they will be unlikely to find their way out.

When you go camping, make a perimeter around your campsite or barbecue area with beer cans and bottles with a little beer in them. The flies and insects will be drawn to the beer and hopefully stay away from you.

Going green and recycling leftover beer can eliminate the guilt of wasteful beer-drinking habits! Who said it's a crime to not finish your beer?