Bugs are not only annoying, but can also pose a threat to the health of our families. With that in mind, using harsh chemicals to repel or kill bugs can also be dangerous, especially around children or pets that don’t know any better. This is why it’s important for families to try natural methods before they resort to unsafe and/or expensive chemicals. While it’s also important to keep in mind that neglecting to address an infestation that needs professional attention can pose an even bigger threat to your family, there are things you can do to avoid this from happening to you in the first place. After making sure that you’re keeping your home and yard clean and tidy, there are plenty of things you can do to repel or kill bugs with items and natural ingredients you already have at home. Here are some of our top suggestions.
Using strong smelling essential oils is a pretty common method of repelling many different kinds of insects, including spiders, bees, ants, and more. And it smells good, too! You can use this method by filling a spray bottle almost completely with water, but with enough room to add about 5 drops of liquid dish soap, and 10-15 drops of the essential oil. Depending on your scent preference, the essential oil that you use is up to you. Typically, the stronger the smell is, the more it will work. Tea tree, peppermint, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cedar wood scents are all great ideas for this recipe. Spray it on all entrances, as well as the perimeter of your house, and any other areas that they are attracted to. Planting these herbs outside your home will also help steer them away.
Other scents that have been known to deter insects: citronella, vinegar, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, and catnip. Keeping your surfaces clean and sanitized regularly will also help steer them away, as well as wash away the territorial scent that they may leave behind.
Get a cat! They are natural hunters and are pretty good at catching bugs. Most times they will just kill it, but they have been known to eat them, so make sure you’re not dealing with any poisonous spiders.
Homemade Bait Traps
Many different insects are attracted to syrupy, sugary substances, such as ants, bees, wasps, and flies. The homemade bait trap is simple and can be altered to target the specific bugs you’re having an issue with. The basic idea is to create a trap with a container filled with a sugary liquid that will attract them. Cover the container with a lid, cut a hole just big enough for them to enter, and add oil to the inside walls to prevent them from crawling back out. Place the trap in an area where the insects are usually found. They’ll try to drink the liquid and will get stuck in there and die. You can use mason jars, 2-liter soda bottles with the tops cut off, buckets, or whatever you have on hand that is an appropriate size for your needs.
The liquid that you put in the trap can also be altered, depending on what type of bug you’re trying to trap. Sugary water will generally attract most insects, but some may be even more attracted to something else. For example, sweet juices, such as berry or mango, can be used to attract more cockroaches.
For mosquitoes: mix one cup of sugar and one cup of very warm water, then stir in one teaspoon of active dry yeast until bubbly and frothy, then stir in an additional cup of room-temperature water and pour into the desired container you’ll be using for your trap, but don’t put the lid on quite yet. Cover the top loosely with plastic wrap and place in a dark, warm, and humid place for about a week so the yeast will ferment. Then place the lid on with the hole and hang in the problematic area.
For fruit flies: add a big spoonful of jam to the bottom of the container first, and then fill with equal parts of fermented liquid such as wine or beer, and water. Finish off with a half-teaspoon of oil and seal the top with plastic wrap and a rubber band, and poke lots of tiny holes with a toothpick.
When all else fails, you may have to result to a pest control company. Be sure not to underestimate the problem, however, some insects can cause a lot of damage in a pretty short amount of time. Good luck!
Family Home Pest Control is proud to bring you a series of helpful articles that will help you find environmentally friendly ways to help reduce the bugs around your house.