Keeping insects out of your home during the summer months is never easy. Let’s face it: you want to open your windows as much as possible when it’s hot and sunny. But this is an invitation for flies, mosquitoes, bees, wasps and various other insects to set up camp in your property.
You can always turn to store-bought chemicals to get rid of unwanted critters, but these substances are often harmful — particularly to pets and children. And they don’t sweep up the dead insects and put them outside afterwards.
Like so many issues relating to health and hygiene, prevention is always the best cure. If you can deter insects from entering your home, you’ll win the battle before it has begun. And you’ll be glad to know that you won’t need to fork out a small fortune to win this particular war – there are some highly effective natural methods available to you.
1. Orange and lemon peel
If you have a particular problem with spiders, you’ll be glad to know that there is a way of sending them packing before they set up camp in your home. Arachnids hate citrus, and they’ll do anything to avoid it. Leave orange, lemon and lime peel around the areas where spiders tend to linger, including on window sills, along skirting boards and behind furniture. The added bonus is your home will smell wonderful.
Most insects and arachnids hate peppermint. Use this fact to your advantage by spraying key areas of your home with a combination of water and peppermint essential oil. You might also want to position some mint leaves near your doors and windows.
3. The sugar trap
If you’re having an issue with wasps and hornets, fill bowls with sugar, water and a little dishwashing detergent. The sugar will attract the critters to the bowl, where they will get into difficulties in the water. Simple tip the water onto the grass outside to allow the insects to get away.
A lot of creepy crawlies absolutely hate certain herbs, so make sure you have plenty planted in your garden. It’s also a good idea to place herbs such as basil, coriander and chives by your windows and doors.
If you know where ants are coming into your home, place a few slices of cucumber in the area. Ants detest cucumber, and they’ll make a huge detour — perhaps to someone else’s home — to avoid it.
This is a general tip, as the vast majority of critters hate vinegar. Create a solution of one white vinegar and three parts water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray your window sills, window panes, doors and hard surfaces, and you should notice an immediate reduction in the number of flies, midges and wasps plaguing the life out of you and your family.
7. Ground sea shells
Most bugs will run a mile at the merest whiff of diatomaceous earth, which is a white powder made from the crushed cells of microscopic sea creatures. No one really knows why, but beetles, cockroaches and ants just hate this stuff.
8. Get cleaning
A lot of bugs are attracted to odours and food accumulations. Have you ever spilt a glass of orange in the kitchen and forgotten to clean it up properly? You’ve probably noticed flies or beetles having a party in the area a day or two afterwards. Perhaps the simplest step you can take to prevent bugs descending on your home is to keep things clean and odour-free at all times.
When you drop food or spill a drink, clean and sterilise the area immediately. This is why it’s always good to have a lightweight vacuum cleaner and a powerful steam mop at hand in the kitchen.
Take a proactive approach to keeping insects and spiders out of your home, and you can look forward to a much more relaxing summer.