It’s not just messy homes that are prone to pests and bugs. Maybe you have new neighbors, or there’s been a change in the weather…pests can strike anyone at anytime for a number of reasons. No matter the reason they’re there, no one wants critters in their house. We have tips you can use to get in control of your home and get serious about pest prevention or removal.
Prevent bugs in the first place by making sure you’re doing the following:
- Clean areas where food is prepared or eaten. Ensure food is stored securely.
- Clean often! Vacuum your floors, clean your pets, and get rid of junk where bugs might like to hide.
- Get rid of lingering damp or standing water. Don’t leave water in trays under houseplant pots, fix leaky plumbing, etc.
- Make sure points of entry are blocked: seals, caulks, and screen are your friends.
- Keep the exterior of your home in good shape. House flies lay their eggs in animal waste, rotting food, lawn clippings, and more.
Prevention is all well and good, but if you already have pests? Below are ways to get rid of them.
Use Scented Oils
All cleaning helps prevent pests, but using scented oils in your cleaners is a way to do double-duty: clean up what attracts bugs and deter them further by spreading around odors they hate. Lemon, orange, peppermint, clove, or mint oil have all been reported to annoy pests such as spiders, ants, and fleas. You can also spray these oils (add about 20 drops to some water in a spray bottle) over entry ways, such as window cracks.
More Ways to Scare Ants
It’s not just scented oils; there are lots of things ants would rather not encounter. Put pure cinnamon, chili pepper, cloves, or paprika in the ants’ path or entryway to get them to go away. Lemon juice or peels will also work.
Kill Roaches Naturally
What about the notoriously difficult-to-kill monster of the bug world, the roach? There are ways to kill these guys without resorting to harsh or harmful chemicals. An extremely effective yet safe way to kill roaches is to use borax and sugar. Mix together 3 parts borax to one part sugar, then sprinkle a thin layer where the roaches will encounter it. The sugar acts as bait. The thin layer of borax will stick to the roaches’ bodies and will be ingested when the roaches clean themselves. The borax poisons the roach, ruining its stomach and digestive tract, as well as dehydrates the exoskeleton.
Make a Fruit Fly Trap
Take a glass jar or similar container and put a little bit of apple cider vinegar and a piece of ripe fruit in the bottom. Now take a piece of paper and roll it into a cone with an opening at the top that’s about 1 inch wide. Stick the cone upside-down into the jar (you may need to secure it with tape). You’ve just made a fruit fly trap! The fruit flies will be able to fly in, but not out. (No word yet on exactly why or how fruit flies are so dumb.)
Other variations of the fruit fly trap include:
- Just a bottle of apple cider vinegar (almost empty will work) covered in plastic wrap that has holes punched in it. Secure the plastic wrap with a rubber band.
- If the bottle’s not working, an uncovered bowl of vinegar with a few drops of soap might do the trick. The soap cuts the surface tension of the vinegar which means the flies can sink in and drown.
Pest Prevention for a Truly Clean Home
Your home isn’t truly clean until you feel at peace knowing you won’t come across a creepy crawly unannounced. Prevention in the form of all-around cleaning is your best weapon, but if that doesn’t work, use the methods above to safely get rid of pests.