Today’s Solutions: May 20, 2022

The summer season is drawing to a close, which means that pests will be making a valiant effort to get inside your home before colder weather hits. While some indoor pests are harmless, they can be irritating and in the case of termites and mosquitoes, dangerous to your family and your home. Many chemical pest deterrents have negative health consequences, so today we’re sharing some of the natural solutions to a pest-free home.

Mint

This herb doesn’t just make a great garnish, it also keeps ants, mosquitoes, spiders, and mice at bay. Mix 10-15 drops of peppermint oil with eight ounces of water in a spray bottle and spritz on points of entry like door frames, windows, and vents.

Neem oil

This strong-smelling oil comes from the seeds of the neem tree and kills more than 200 species of insects. Mix with water and spray on indoor and outdoor plants to keep away thrips, aphids, and flies.

Vinegar

This ingredient is popular in DIY cleaning solutions, but it also works to repel and attract different insects. Why would you want to attract insects? Well, filling a bowl with apple cider vinegar will attract fruit flies, so it can effectively create a natural fruit fly trap. In terms of repelling insects, wiping down surfaces with vinegar can destroy ant trails and mixing it in a 1:1 ratio with water and spraying entryways can help keep out spiders.

Basil

Another herb with other beneficial properties, basil is an aromatic fly repellant, so just growing it in your kitchen will help keep the pests away. Alternatively, you can also put dried basil in muslin pouches and hang them around the house.

Lavender

This herb isn’t just good for your hair, it also repels fleas, flies, mosquitoes, and moths. Growing lavender in your garden or hanging pouches of dried lavender will help keep moths from ruining your favorite sweater. You can also mix 10 drops of lavender essential oil with water and spray it in problem areas.

Cucumber

Ants, silverfish, moths, and mites all have an aversion to this veggie, so leaving slices or peels near entryways can mitigate bugs. Remember to change them frequently as decomposing vegetables can attract more pests.

Diatomaceous earth 

This powder is made from fossilized algae and can be used to manage anything with an exoskeleton like stink bugs, spiders, earwigs, bed bugs, flies, beetles, and ladybugs. Sprinkle small amounts of food-grade diatomaceous earth in problem areas.

Citrus

Lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus can help manage spiders, ants, and mosquitos. Mix juice with water to spray problem areas or rub peels on entryways. Remember that citrus juice does degrade marble countertops, so avoid use there.

Cinnamon

Eugenol, a naturally-occurring compound found in cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and basil is a common ingredient in store-bought insect repellents. Combine a few drops of cinnamon bark oil with a 1:1 ratio of water and denatured alcohol and spray on carpets and bedding to deter mites. Laying a line of cinnamon across ant tracks will also halt their progress.

Eucalyptus oil

Mix a few drops of the oil with a cup of water and spray to keep away gnats, flies, and ants. Remember that eucalyptus oil is highly flammable, so avoid using it in rooms without ventilation.

Catnip

Catnip has been found to be more effective than DEET at keeping mosquitos away. Creating a spray with water and catnip oil will keep many pests away and can even be used on the skin if you’re going camping.

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