Why You Should Leave A Few Cinnamon Sticks In Your Garage

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Garages are a gathering place for pests all year round. In the wintertime, insects and other animals may enter to find shelter in your warm, dry location. During the summer, they may be drawn to your garage to escape the heat. You have probably tried quite a few tactics to keep critters out of your garage, but did you know that an effective pest repellent is likely already in your kitchen cabinet? It's true, cinnamon sticks can help keep a large number of pests out of your garage.

Cinnamon is safer and more affordable than traditional pest repellents. With this alternative, you don't have to worry about breathing in harmful fumes or accidentally coming into contact with the harsh chemicals in bug sprays and other substances used to deter critters. It's also easy to get your hands on. You should be able to find cinnamon sticks at your local grocery store or online if you do not already have some at home.

So, why do pests dislike cinnamon? The widely-used spice contains a component called eugenol that is actually used in many insect repellents. This means that cinnamon works similarly to traditional products by releasing a strong aroma that pests can't stand. However, it accomplishes this without releasing fumes that threaten respiratory health. Here's how to use cinnamon sticks to keep some of the most common pests out of your garage.

Place cinnamon sticks throughout your garage to repel pests

To use cinnamon sticks to protect your garage, first identify the places where pests are likely to enter, hide, or gather. This may include corners, baseboards, or near windows and doors. Once you have located these spots, place cinnamon sticks in these locations to keep pests away. You should lay down enough to release a strong aroma, which will deter them from entering. You will likely end up going through quite a few cinnamon sticks to protect your garage, so it may be best to purchase them in bulk. You could do this on Amazon, where a 14-ounce bag costs about $15. 

Keep in mind that some pests are better repelled with other forms of cinnamon, such as oil or powder. Ants, for example, can be killed and repelled with cinnamon essential oil, according to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications. If you want to use an oil, soak cotton balls in the strong scent and place them around your garage or put them directly on the pests, if possible. Cinnamon powder is more effective on some other pests. You can simply grind some of your cinnamon sticks into a powder to use when needed. To make a powder, place one handful of cinnamon sticks in a high-speed blender and blend for 30 seconds. Keep blending the ingredient in 30-second intervals until a powder is formed.

Many common pests can't stand cinnamon

There is a long list of common pests that don't stand a chance against cinnamon. To find out whether cinnamon will help you repel the critters you often find in your garage, it's important to know which pests dislike the smell of this spice. If you have been searching for a way to get rid of unwanted roaches, you might be happy to hear that they tend to avoid the strong aroma that accompanies cinnamon sticks. A cinnamon and cinnamon oil profile published by New York State Integrated Pest Management and Cornell University shared that the spice can be used as a low-risk pesticide against these bugs as well as mosquitoes.  

Arthropods like spiders and centipedes also commonly make their way into garages to find shelter. Thankfully, they are also among the creatures that are less likely to do so if cinnamon is present. According to a 2020 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, the eugenol found in cinnamon makes it an effective insecticide against arthropods. Larger pests like snakes, mice, rats, and racoons may also be repelled by the scent of cinnamon, though this belief is mostly based on anecdotal evidence. If you try out this hack and find that it's unsuccessful for whatever reason, keep in mind that you may need the help of a professional exterminator.