MY CLIENTS ARE ALWAYS ASKING ABOUT 4 PARTICULAR PESKY PESTS WHEN LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME
Buzz… SLAP, SLAP! We just got hit again by numerous mosquitoes while I was opening up the front door to show a home to my clients. I decided it was time to figure out ways to help others so that they can enjoy their home bug free and find natural ways to avoid these full on ATTACKS! First of all…..the BEST best way to control pests is to not invite them inside in the first place. Most bugs are attracted to food and water, so keeping your kitchen clean, taking out the garbage regularly, and storing food and drinks in tight containers will deter most insects, and other pests. Removing water sources will also go a long way towards solving your bug problem, as will sealing off their point of entry.
If these methods don’t take care of the problem though…here are the 4 main pest I get asked about. Look below to see my top all-natural remedies for those critters that are really BUGGING you!
ANTS IN AND AROUND THE HOME
Keep your kitchen counters free of crumbs and sticky spots, cover the sugar and honey jar. Wiping down surfaces can go a long way toward keeping your home pest free! Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants’ point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to cucumber. Leave a few tea bags of mint tea near areas where the ants seem most active. Trace the ant column back to their point of entry. Set any of the following items at the entry area in a small line, which ants will not cross: cayenne pepper, citrus oil (can be soaked into a piece of string), lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds.
Leave a small, night light on for a few nights in the area of most ant activity. The change in light can disrupt and discourage their foraging patterns. If ants are attacking your pets’ food bowls, clean the floor thoroughly with hot, soapy water to eliminate the ants’ trail, then keep them from finding the food dish again by placing the food bowl into a shallow pan of soapy water, creating a moat. Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it ‘home,’ can’t digest it, and expire. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don’t have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!
MOSQUITOES BUZZING AROUND YOUR BACKYARD?
Mosquitos are most active in the early morning and early evening. They seek areas of still air because they are hampered by breezes. Close windows and doors on the side of your house which are opposite the breeze. The most important measure you can take is to remove standing water sources. Change birdbaths, wading pools and pet’s water bowl twice a week. Keep your house gutters clean and well-draining. Remove yard items that collect water. Ants leave a scented trail so other ants can find their way to food. Routinely wash away these invisible trails with a vinegar-based cleanser made from 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 cups water and 10 to 15 drops of peppermint, clove, eucalyptus or melaleuca essential oil. If you’re using the barbeque, throw a bit of sage or rosemary on the coals to repel mosquitos.
An effective natural bug repellent, mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repellent lasting up to 5 – 6 hours. Strips of cotton cloth can also be dipped in this mixture and hung in areas, such as patios, as a localized deterrent. Some bat species can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour! You can attract these beneficial bug eaters by installing a bat house in your yard. (New Post Coming Soon from Laura: DIY Bat House). Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil extracted from the Neem tree in India. The leaves, seeds and seed oil of the Neem tree contain sallanin, a compound which has effective mosquito repelling properties.
Neem oil is a natural product and is safe to use. Just add a few drops of oil to your favorite lotion and apply the mixture to your body. Plant some catnip (Nepeta cataria) in your garden; not only will it repel mosquitoes, but you’ll get some pretty flowers, too. Other mosquito-repelling plants include rosemary, marigolds, citronella grass, and lemon balm. Make your own mosquito-repelling candles using a mixture of essential oils and melted wax. A good rule of thumb is to use about 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of essential oil per pound of wax. Nutritionally, you can drink a tablespoon or two of organic apple cider vinegar and eat lots of garlic. Vitamin B1 taken daily is also supposed to help repel insects.
I went on Amazon and bought bug lights for my exterior lighting (link Amazon bug light link), bought lemon grass (on Amazon) and lavender plants at Costco that were replanted in pots around my deck and around my backyard. Lavender oil has also worked great and gives off that relaxing aroma.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FLIES?!
Place sachets made from small squares of cheesecloth and filled with crushed mint, bay leaf, clove or eucalyptus around the house to repel flies. Mix 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut strips of brown kraft paper and soak in the sugar mixture. Let dry overnight. To hang, poke a small hole at the top of each strip and hang with string. Plant sweet basil next to the doors, or plant in containers. The flies will stay far away. Cut a nice size bunch of it to take with you when you go on picnics. As an added bonus, mosquitoes don’t like it either. For creating a fly-free area, apply eucalyptus essential oil to a small cloth or rag and leave it in an area plagued by flies.
I CAN HEAR IT ALREADY…I HATE SPIDERS!
Well guess what? Spiders hate peppermint! Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil into a spray bottle. Add a squirt of liquid detergent and fill the bottle with water. Spray the mixture on cobwebs, around doors and windows, around the lawn and garden and on any surfaces where spiders lurk. In addition to having a pleasant aroma, this mixture is nontoxic and safe to use around children and pets.
The combination of coconut oil and white vinegar also makes an effective spray for repelling spiders. As oils may stain or cause spots, test the mixture on a small, hidden area of carpets, curtains or upholstered furniture. Spiders taste through their feet, and in addition to peppermint…..they do not like the taste of citrus which includes lemon, lime, tangerine, and wild orange. Although it will not kill them, it will make them avoid places where they can “taste” them. Always purchase real essential oils and not synthetic versions. Spiders thrive in dark, cluttered places, so keep stacks of debris, woodpiles and thick plant growth away from the sides of the house. The fewer places spiders can easily inhabit, the more effectively they can be repelled. Seal cracks in the foundation and close gaps in windows or beneath doorways to deny spiders access to the premises.
And last but not least….an all natural homemade insect repellent that should help out with all of the above!
HOMEMADE INSECT REPELLENT RECIPE
8 oz apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or vodka
45 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
15 drops Lemon or Wild Orange Essential Oil
Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and apply liberally. Store in the fridge when not in use. Should last 2-3 months.
What are your most effective pest control practices??
Contact Laura Lahti Today | 608-239-3469 | email@example.com