When the weather starts to change, it means that everyone is coming out of “hibernation.” This includes not only humans, but also rodents, insects and bugs! Unfortunately, these pests can create havoc during your picnic. They might even try to find a way into your home! YUCK!
I don’t know about you, but I hate all of the chemicals normally used to help get rid of them. Below you’ll find some safer, homemade options you can try to use this year. Not only will you save money, these will be a healthier option for you and your family.
Getting Rid of Spiders.
Most of them are harmless, but they still give me the creeps! Here are some options you can use to get rid of spiders:
- Place chestnuts around the perimeter of your home. Spiders do not like this nut.
- Plant mint and/or lavender near your windows. Spiders do not like the scent, and therefore, will not make a web in these locations.
- Spiders do not like citrus. Make a spray and spray along baseboards, doors, and windows to create a barrier. Create your own with:
5 Drops of Essential Oil — citrus, peppermint, cinnamon or lavender work well
5 Drops of dish washing liquid
1 quart of waterMix and put into spray bottle
Getting Rid of Ants.
It seems when you find one in your home, you will soon see an entire army invading. The key is to prevent them from entering your home altogether. Here are some ideas:
- Draw lines around entry points with chalk. Ants are repelled by the calcium carbonate. You can even pour powdered chalk around gardens, foundations and more.
- Sprinkle talcum powder around your house. You can also try cream of tarter or borax.
- Plant mint around your home. This too works to keep other pests out of your home (including spiders as noted above).
- Sprinkle flour in the back shelves, floors and corners of your pantry. Ants will not cross over the flour to reach your food.
- Spray your door thresholds and around the windows with lemon juice. You can also spread lemon or orange peels or around your entrance and in the garden. (Bonus of this treatment is that it also can keep roaches away).
- Sprinkle salt across your door frame. They will not cross the barrier.
If they have already invaded, you can try these tips:
- Place masking tape, sticky side up, near the locations where you see the ants. These work as a free sticky trap. They will walk on and then will become stuck to the tape, which you can then discard.
- Put cayenne pepper around the areas where the ants are invading. They are searching for sugar and this will stop them in their tracks.
- Spray areas with a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar where you see the ants. You can use this along your entry way, baseboards and other areas in your home. Of course, you will have to smell the vinegar yourself for a little while, but at least you will git rid of the ants!
Getting Rid of Wasps.
These are not only annoying, they can actually sting and cause harm to both you and your family. Worse yet, if you or someone you know is allergic, the sting could actually be deadly.
- Put on protective gear (so you do not end up being stung yourself).
- Do the following at night – when the wasps are less active.
- Pour boiling water on the nest. Doing so can kill thousands at a time. Just dump and run as fast as you can. It may take a few attempts to get rid of all of them.
- You can also fill a bucket with soap water and pour it on the nest as well. Just as with boiling water – dump and run. This too may require more than one application.
- Take a 2 liter bottle and cut off the top, just below the shoulder of the bottle. Fill 1/2 way with water and then invert the lid into the bottle. Tape to secure it. Add a few drops of soap and vinegar to attract the wasps (and keep out honey bees). They will come in and then can not get back out. Here is a photo of how this looks:
(photo credit: http://www.inriodulce.com/)
- Remove food. Wasps are attracted to trash – especially protein foods. Make sure pet food, scraps and trash are properly disposed of and/or covered to prevent attraction.In the late summer/fall, the attraction turns sweet, so soda pop, fruits, jellies, etc will be more attracting to them.
- Do not swat them. When you squash a wasp, they release a pheromone which alerts nearby wasps.
- Walk away. If you see a wasp, just walk away calmly.
- Avoid floral prints and bright colors. Wasps are attracted to these.
Getting Rid of Mice.
While mice are not a bug, they certainly are a pest and can impose a serious health risk to your family. Try these tips in your home:
- Use peppermint oil as a natural deterrent. You can place a few drops on cotton balls and place those in the areas where they will enter you house. You can also try to grow peppermint plants around your home as well.
- Check your house for entrance points. Mice can squeeze through the smallest of openings. Make sure that all windows and doors are tightly caulked and fill any larger holes with steel wool.
- Keep your home clean and trash away. Mice love the smell of trash. Keeping this away from your home will keep them away.
Once they are in your home, if you need to get rid of them, you might try these options:
- Use sticky traps. Peanut butter or bacon grease work better as they can’t grab and run, they have to stop to eat.
- Use humane traps. Just make sure that you release them far from your home, so that they can’t find way back.
What have you used to get rid of unwanted pests in your home? We’d love for you to share. Please leave us a comment below.