It doesn’t matter where you live, whether it’s a warm climate year round or your house is the only warm place for miles, you’ve probably had at least a few unwanted house guests. No I’m not talking about your crazy aunt Ruth from Des Moines, I’m talking about insects. According to the Smithsonian Institute Encyclopedia there are over 900,000 known insects and even more that are yet to be discovered. If your not a fan of the creepy crawly here are some tips to keep some of these common pests out of your home.
For your first line of defense against these little insects make sure to store away anything with sugar including snacks, juices, and fruits to prevent making your house an appealing place to live. If the ants are still persisting try to locate the entry points and place some slices of cucumber. Because of it being mostly water and slightly bitter most ants have a natural aversion to this vegetable. If your ant problem is bad you could try a borax trap, while not safe around animals and children, I’ve found this very effective. Take one cup of sugar, one tablespoon of borax, and 3 cups of water then place cotton balls in to soak up the solution. Place in a container where the most ant activity is and they will take the fibers soaked with sugars and borox with them back to their colony, poisoning it from the inside out.
If you’ve ever had a furry animal you’ve probably encountered a flea or two in your lifetime. For an all natural remedy pour a cup of boiling water over citrus peels like lemon and orange, letting the mixture soak over night. The next day take a sponge to distribute the product in your pets fur, killing the fleas instantly. If the fleas have invaded your home try placing a pan or dish with soap and water under a light. After they jump at the heat of the light they will fall in the water and be stuck by the soap which prevents them from jumping out.
One of the biggest insect problems I’ve dealt with has been flies. If you have too many flies try placing crushed mint leaves around to keep them away. While mint is rather mild to us it seems rather spicy to many insects, keeping them from wanting to come too close to the source. To make your own fly traps just mix 1/2 cup corn syrup and 1 Tablespoon of sugar, soak long strips of heavy paper in this liquid and let dry overnight. If the problem is outdoors then a cheap trap like the Rescue disposable fly trap from Home Depot is probably your best option.
These are probably one of the worst insects to have around and one you’ll want to take care of immediately. Be careful not to just step on or swat at wasps since they release a pheromone that attracts and angers others when it is killed. First find any entry point like a torn screen or an crack in a door and seal off this area. Also, make sure to remove any food sources they may be attracted to like dog food, picnic leftovers, and open garbage cans. To make your own trap at home just take a two liter bottle and cut off the top where it just starts to curve towards the opening from the body of the container. Fill the remaining bottle halfway full of water and place honey or jam around where the lid usually goes. Flip the top upside down and insert into the bottom of the bottle. The wasps will be attracted to the food but will find it hard to get back out, fall into the water and drown.
While most people only think of cockroaches being in old or unsanitary houses these bugs can find their way into almost any house. Try using catnip as an all natural repellent to roaches. The active ingredient in catnip, nepetalactone, is all natural which makes it safe to use in any house even with pets and children. If you continue to have a problem keep a bottle of soapy water on hand and spray directly, usually killing them immediately. You can also trap them by soaking bread in beer and placing inside of a large can or jar. The alcohol will immobilize the roaches allowing you time to find and dispose of them easily.
Take these tools and apply them to your home bug infestation and you should be insect free in no time. Remember that while these tricks are great and will work for most pests, if the insects get out of control and persist beyond your efforts it may be time to look into an exterminator.