Natural Pest Control Solutions

Let’s state the obvious upfront. If you don’t want pests in your house, don’t make it easy for them. Don’t leave any food or water (aka tasty looking treats) casually lying out for them, clean up after yourself. When the trash can is full, take the bags out. Don’t leave food and drink containers open for bugs to discover, keep them sealed up. Every living thing needs water so make sure your home is bone dry. And finally, shut down all potential ingress and egress routes.

ANTS

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Clean up after yourself. Make sure you clean up after yourself and that you remove every last trace of crumbs and sticky jam. Honey and sugar containers (even chocolate spread) should have lids replaced properly and wiped down to remove any spillages.

Repellants. There are a few natural repellants you can use to dissuade ants from coming into your home. Firstly, they have an aversion to cucumber, so leave some cucumber peel or slices around your kitchen or where you know the ants come in. They also don’t like mint, so leave a few used mint tea bags in areas where you know they frequent.

Close the roads. If you know where the ants gain access to your home from there are a number of household products you can lay down that they will not cross: lines of cayenne pepper, lemon juice or used coffee grounds all deter them.

Don’t set patterns. Ants don’t like having their routine changed, so if you know where they like to frolic when you are not around, leave a light on in that area for a few nights, they will quickly be discouraged from returning.

Clean up after them. Ants like to let other ants know where they have been by leaving a scent trail. If you know where they go, wipe down after they have been there and remove any trace of them. Use a vinegar based cleanser: 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 cups water, 12 drops peppermint, clove, eucalyptus oil to thoroughly scrub down the surfaces.

MOSQUITOS

This 2006 photo made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquiring a blood meal from a human host at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. The Chikungunya virus, spread by mosquitoes such as this and the Aedes albopictus species, causes fever and agonizing joint pain that can last for months. (AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, James Gathany)

Don’t let them in. We all know that mozzies come out during early morning and dusk and that their favourite places have warm, still air. Keep windows and doors closed, particularly during these times, and get mozzie nets up if you don’t want unwelcome visitors.

Don’t give them access to water. Mosquitos thrive in standing water so make you regularly change your pet’s water, empty the bird baths and don’t leave the paddling pool full. Make sure all gutters and drains can flow freely.

Make your environment unappealing. Mosquitos don’t appreciate strong smells so if you are cooking outdoors throw rosemary or sage on your barbecue; you will enjoy its pleasant aroma, the mozzies won’t. They also don’t like garlic: hang garlic bulbs up as a deterrent.

FLIES

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Repellants. Flies don’t like strong smells like mint, clove or eucalyptus so make up small sachets with a combination of these and hang them around the house. Flies also don’t like sweet basil, so either hang up bunches of it or bring in plant containers and leave them next to open doors.

Homemade fly paper. If you find the shop bought ones aren’t as effective as they could be, you can supplement them with homemade papers. In a bowl make up a solution of corn syrup and granulated sugar. Dip strips of brown kraft paper into the sugar solution and leave them to go tacky overnight. Punch a hole in them in and hang them up where needed.

SPIDERS

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Repellants. Spiders really don’t like peppermint or citrus oils, so spray these oils on webs, around doors or in dark places where you know they like to hide. Spiders taste with their feet so they will avoid standing in these oils.

Good luck!