1. Get rid of dust mites with a DIY repellent spray
Dust mites are microscopic pests that feed on human skin cells and pet dander. Most people aren't even aware that they have dust mites in their home, but these pests are a common allergy and asthma trigger, so they can be quite a nuisance. If you’re sensitive to dust mites or suspect that you are, try using this natural repellant spray: mix clove, rosemary, eucalyptus, lavender, or peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle.
For every cup of water, add 10 drops of essential oil. You can use any oil we mentioned above alone or use a combination of these oils. Mist the bed with the spray and allow it to air dry. Dust mites hate the smell of these oils and will abandon your bed. Repeat as needed.
2. Make this vinegar trap to eradicate fruit flies
Fruit flies are some of the most annoying pests ever - they appear out of nowhere and start munching away at all the food in the kitchen. If you have trouble with these pests, try this DIY fruit fly trap: mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar with ½ a cup of hot water and 2 drops of dish soap.
Fill the bottom of a tall glass, a bottle (or any other tall container with a narrow top) with the mixture (the tall container ensures that the insects will get in but not out). Place the trap in the room with the fly infestation and wait. Within a few days, you’ll see flies and even spiders accumulate in the trap, and you will have no more fly problems. For more tips on getting rid of fruit flies, read our article titled 7 Novel Ways of Trapping Fruit Flies.
3. Herbs that repel ants and other pests
Dust mites aren't the only ones with an aversion to strong scents. Ants and other pestiferous insects hate the smell of certain herbs for the same reason. You can use this to your advantage by placing either fresh potted plants or dried bunches of these herbs in the troubled areas in your home.
Mint, rosemary, rue, pennyroyal, or tansy are just some examples of herbs ants hate. Flies, on the other hand, can’t stand the smell of basil and will not go near a place that smells like this herb. If you don't feel like dealing with plants, you can wipe down the kitchen counter and the windowsills with clove or eucalyptus oil. The oils keep away several kinds of pest insects.
4. Diatomaceous earth can keep away bed bugs
For those of you who don’t know what diatomaceous earth is, it’s a white powder made from remnants of diatoms, which are microscopic algae the cell walls of which are made of silica, the same substance glass is made of. This powder is harmless to humans. But for bed bugs, stink bugs, flies, spiders, and earwigs, diatomaceous earth is like shattered glass.
Sprinkling this white powder in your bedroom, at the entrance, on the windowsill, and the bed frame will kill the pests within 48 hours and keep them away in the future. Note: avoid inhaling diatomaceous earth and keep pets away from a room treated with it in order to prevent eye, nose, and throat irritation.
5. Reuse coffee grounds to fight off pests
Many people, including ourselves, love their morning coffee. Luckily for us, pests and other animals don’t share our love of caffeine. For some insects and animals, coffee can be deadly. Yes, this means that you should never let your cat or dog try coffee.
But when it comes to pests, you can take advantage of the fact that they hate coffee. Simply sprinkle used coffee grounds around your home and garden, focusing on the areas the bugs are coming from, and voila, they will be forced to leave your home and garden.
6. Onions can help you repel cockroaches
Cockroaches are infamous for their resilience and ability to survive even in the least habitable of environments. But even they have a weak spot - the smell of onions and garlic. To eradicate a cockroach infestation, chop up an onion and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda into the mix. Place the mixture in the spots from which the cockroaches are emerging. The unbearable smell of onions will lure out the cockroaches of their hiding place, and the baking soda will kill them; all you’ll have to do is clean up any dead bugs.
Alternatively, you can mix the baking soda with some sugar, too. Sugar has the opposite effect - it will attract the roaches straight into the baking soda trap. For more tips on eradicating cockroaches, read the article How to Get Rid of Roaches: What Works and What Doesn't.
7. Sprinkle spices to keep ants away from certain places
Ants are pretty small insects, so you can easily prevent them from getting into certain places by creating a physical barrier. Just sprinkle an unbroken trail of salt or pepper on their path, and you’re done. We have plenty more ant control tips in the article Natural Ways of Keeping Ants at Bay.
8. The Borax and sugar trick that eliminates ants
Here’s another trick for dealing with ants: mix ½ cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of Borax, and 1 cup of very warm water in a bowl. Spread out the mixture on the ants’ trail. The ants will eat the sugary but deadly substance, and you won’t have an ant problem anymore.
9. Steel wool can help stop mice from getting into your home
Now, insects aren’t the only pests that can terrorize your pantry. Rodents, such as mice or rats, can also do a lot of damage to your home. The best tactic for these pests, however, is to keep them out of the house. After all, we don’t think it needs explaining why the last thing you want is a dead mouse or rat stuck in a place where you can’t reach to dispose of it.
So, instead of poisoning the rodents, it’s a good idea to find the cracks and holes the pests are coming from and seal them with something a mouse or rat can’t chew through, like steel wool.
10. A natural DIY bed bug trap
In the video above, you'll find another trick that will help you get rid of bed bugs. It’s a DIY moat trap created and explained by scientists from the University of Florida. The trap makes it difficult for the bugs to get to the host at night. All you’ll have to do is dispose of the pests before you go to bed and in the morning.
Since this trick relies on isolating the bed from the pests, though, it’s also important to make sure that no bed covers are touching the ground and pull the bed away from the wall.
Useful tips to keep pests away for good
- Rotate items in closets and cupboards to prevent nesting: Household pests, especially cockroaches, love nesting in or under household items, such as towels, plastic bags, electronics, toiletries. Move these things around regularly to discourage nesting.
- Fix leaks: Most pests, be it cockroaches, mosquitos, or mice, are attracted to damp and dark places. It is common for pests to congregate near a leaking tap or pipe, too. Cockroach colonies are even known to live inside kitchen electronics, such as coffee machines or dishwasher doors. Fixing any leaks as soon as possible will help prevent and detect pest problems early.
- Be wary of standing water: Mosquitoes need standing water to live and multiply, so they will be instantly drawn to any buckets, wading pools, and birdbaths (especially those located in the shade). Move these items under direct sunlight, cover or empty them to prevent a mosquito problem in your home and garden. For the same reason, it’s important to clean out the rain gutters on your roof regularly - clogged rain gutters with standing water are the perfect place for mosquitos to breed.
- Pest-proof your kitchen: In most cases, food is the reason why pests end up in people’s homes. So, it only makes sense that storing food in sealed glass or hard plastic containers and keeping the house free of food morsels will discourage pest infestations. Sometimes, pests can be brought into a home with the food we buy at the supermarket. When this happens, keeping foods in pest-proof containers minimizes the chance of pests spreading from one jar to the entire pantry.
- Block any door gaps: Is your door always open for pests like mice and cockroaches? If you don’t have brush strips on the bottom of the front and back doors, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Installing these strips is super easy, and they will prevent pests from getting into your home.
- Inspect the surroundings: Protecting your home from the outside is just as important as cleaning your house and knowing how to get rid of pests. Ants and aphids can get into the home through any branches that touch the roof or the window. Window screens and roof vents with holes in them, or cracks in the wall can likewise invite pest insects and even squirrels and mice into your home or attic. After all, when it comes to pests, prevention is key!
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