It’s easy to reach for the nearest insecticide for pest control around the home and garden. But there are natural remedies that are worth trying first that not only prevent exposure to toxic chemicals, they save money too. Here are some DIY tips for common pests.
Coffee Ground Barrier
Whether you brew morning joe or plop in the single serve coffee pod, you can save used coffee grounds for the exterior of your house. Choose the areas where you think insects are making their way inside and pile up the coffee grounds. Apparently many critters can’t stand the scent of coffee and will avoid going near it.
Borax and Sugar Ant Killer
Got a trail of black carpenter ants marching in your kitchen? Mix half a cup of sugar with two tablespoons of Borax and one cup of warm water. Spread the solution in front of the ant trail and create a delightful last meal for the pesky insects.
Fruit Fly Death Trap
Fruit flies may be tiny, but they come in numbers that are enough to annoy the calmest of people. And since they love to hover around food, they aren’t easy to spray away. Pour apple cider into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Poke a few tiny holes in the top. Fruit flies will be attracted to the scent and make their way in with no way out.
Dust Mite Repellant
Got dust mites in your bed? Choose one of these oils and transfer to a spray bottle: clove, eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, or peppermint. Lightly spray over the bed and allow to air dry. Dust mites steer away from these scents.
Sweet Basil Fly Detractor
If flies love to enter every time you open the patio door, keep a potted plant of sweet basil nearby. It wards off flies and you can use some of the leaves for your favorite recipes.
Onion Deterrent for Spiders
Do you suspect spiders are making their entrance from a specific point in your home? Try placing a bowl of cut onions near the spot. Word is that they’re as turned off by onion odor as much as people.
Cloves for the Ladybugs
We know that ladybugs are a good sort of “pest” that we shouldn’t kill. But if a lot of them have decided to take up space in your house, try laying out bags of cloves or spritz clove oil in areas where they dwell in the house. The strong scent should send them back outside.
Bonfire of the Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes can be brutal when you want to spend time in the yard. Next time you have a bonfire, spread fresh sage or rosemary in the flames to keep the blood sucking pests at bay.
Bananas for Aphids
If aphids have taken over your garden, put your banana peels to good use. Tuck pieces of peel under the soil surrounding the infested plants. The banana peel will act as a deterrent for the bugs while adding nutrients to the soil. If the aphid problem is bigger than the banana can handle, try a quart of water with a teaspoon of dish soap and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Blend together well and apply directly to plant leaves.
Real Estate Term of the Week
Black Carpenter Ant: A common invader of homes in most regions of the United States. They normally nest in logs, stumps, and hollow trees, but often invade homes in search of food. These ants seldom tunnel into dry, sound wood, but they may excavate moist, rotting wood and other soft materials (such as foamed plastic insulation board) to make satellite nests.