Chemical-based products aren’t the be all and end all when it comes to pest removal. Instead, you can rely on natural products to effectively eradicate whatever type of insect or rodent is bugging you.
Here are six examples of some gentler options to get rid of those pesky pests:
What? That aromatic herb that makes your Italian cooking taste even more delicious? It turns out that flies absolutely hate the scent that basil gives off. If faced with an influx of flies, place potted basil at the windows and doors through which you think they’re entering. And, if you don’t have enough sun to grow the herb properly, you’re in luck – muslin pouches of dried basil can give off the same smell. Just make sure to shake them up regularly so that they continue emanating their signature scent.
Fruit Flies: Vinegar Trap
Although we’ve used strong scents to repel pests, now it’s time to use them to lure bugs into a trap. Fruit flies, of course, detect the smells of ripened fruits and veggies, so use that to your advantage.
There are plenty of all-natural ways to trap fruit flies, including a vinegar trap. Use apple cider vinegar or another flavour-infused variety — white vinegar won’t work. Pour a bit into the bottom of a cup or jar. Then, cover the top with a tight piece of plastic wrap. Poke a few holes so the flies can get into the jar. They won’t be able to climb back out, though. And, if you’re feeling merciful, you can even take this trap outdoors, remove the plastic wrap and let the flies go once they’re all caught.
Pantry Pests: Concentrated Cleaning
The last place you want to find a pest of any kind is in the pantry, where you store the majority of your dry food. The good news is that you don’t need heavy-duty products to keep them at bay — instead, some concentrated cleaning efforts can keep your pantry safe indefinitely.
Start by adopting a pantry-cleaning routine that includes wiping shelves down and vacuuming to remove any crumbs. Without open food, pests won’t have any incentive to enter the premises. If you still find pests lingering, throw away contaminated food. You’ll find that, once these treats are removed, the pests will quickly disappear, too.
Mice: Peppermint Oil
As temperatures drop, mice will try and take refuge within the warm confines of your home. Once they find food, they’ll keep coming back.
So, start your crusade against mice by first sealing up and cleaning your pantry, as described above. Next, close any cracks or gaps through which a rodent could squeeze into your property. Pay extra attention to areas where utility cables run in and out of your home — mice will follow these right indoors, too.
Finally, you can use peppermint oil to deter a mouse’s entry — it turns out, they hate the smell. Dab some onto cotton balls and place them into the corners of your pantry to create a protective aroma. You can add a few drops to a homemade cleaner so that the whole place has a spicy smell, too.
Ants: Coffee Grounds
Ants will also be deterred by a strong scent, one beloved by many of us, especially in the early morning. Save your daily coffee grinds and spread them in areas where ants are traipsing through your home. You can also pour them outdoors to keep pests from entering — spraying the grounds with water daily will keep the scent strong.
No matter how much you love the outdoors, mosquitoes can and will ruin the vibe as soon as they arrive on the scene. Naturally repel them — no bug spray required — by planting some catnip in the backyard. It turns out that they despise of the essential oil created by the plant, so they’ll find a new barbecue to crash. As an added bonus, your feline pets will be happy to have a supply in the backyard, too.
These six examples are just a handful of the many ways you can keep bugs and rodents out of your home — no chemicals required. So, target your approach with all-natural remedies, and you’ll have a safe home for you and your loved ones.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.
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