While commercial bug repellent can be effective, it can also be filled with scary, suspicious chemicals; that’s why, when the bugs come out in the summer, we turn to DIY household pest prevention. There are a ton of natural household ingredients that bugs love to avoid. From essential oil to fresh citrus fruits, you won’t need to turn to chemicals with names you can’t pronounce. It’s especially important to try and avoid chemical-based bug repellent or pesticides if you have children, who can be especially sensitive to health risks. Luckily, DIY household pest prevention is easy and can be accomplished with many of the basic household items you already have in your bathroom, kitchen, or pantry!
How to get rid of…Ants
If you have ants running around your home, it’s probably because they’re leaving invisible trails for the other ants in the colony, letting them know where the good food is. Erase these trails by regularly washing down your countertops and floors with special, natural mixture. Mix 1/4 vinegar with 2 cups water and 10 to 15 drops of peppermint and just wipe it across the places where ants have been running. Want to make sure they stay out of your cupboards? Cinnamon acts as a natural repellent that will keep them far away from the dry goods. You can also plant fresh mint around the foundation of your house to keep them from even entering your home.
How to get rid of…Mosquitoes
Standard mosquito repellent can be filled with scary, unpronounceable chemicals. Instead of commercial repellent, make your own DIY household pest prevention mosquito repellent with a few drops of lemon essential oil, about 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, and 15 drops of citronella essential oil mixed together with about two cups of water in a squirt bottle. Spray that on yourself to keep off everyone’s least-favorite insect. If you’re having a backyard party or just want to enjoy a few drinks on the porch, cut up a few limes, place them on a plate, and add ten or fifteen cloves.
If you’ve already suffered a mosquito bite, don’t worry! There are natural itch-relievers that will get you feeling better in no time. Crush up some aspirin, mix it with water to make a paste, and apply it in a thick layer over the pesky mosquito bite.
How to get rid of…Flies
It’s not always the most glamorous solution, but it is effective; make your own fly paper to catch the pests! Mix together a 1/4 cup of corn syrup, a tablespoon of sugar, and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Soak kraft paper in the mixture, and let them sit out and dry overnight. In the mornings, just poke a hole through the paper and hang it from the ceiling. After a few days, your fly problem will be gone!
Are fruit flies plaguing your apples and bananas? Make a natural and easy trap with just a few simple ingredients: apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Pour some apple cider vinegar in a glass jar or cup. Then, add two squirts of dish soap and swirl the cup a bit to let it settle at the bottom. Carefully cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap, poke some holes in it with a fork, and set it out by the fruit bowl. You should see flies in your trap within a day!
How to get rid of…Spiders
Your secret weapon for spider DIY household pest prevention? Peppermint! Add about 12 drops of peppermint essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water, and spray around all the hiding places where spiders love to lurk: door frames, cracks in the wall, and dusty corners!
How to get rid of…Moths
While moths are a lot cuter than most of the creepy-crawlies we see around our home, they can still inflict damage on our cloths and personal belongings. To keep them away from closets and dressers, wrap cedar chips in cloth and place them in your drawers, or toss some dried lemon peels into your closet.