Lemon juice, bay leaves, catnip, mint or sage are natural ways to rid your home of ants, instead of using harmful bug sprays. Bay leaves and catnip also serve as effective cockroach repellents. Other natural cockroach repellents include cucumber slices or garlic powder. Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. Lavender repels moths. Lavender sachets repel moths and also smell great.