Ahhh, summer . . . Balmy weather, warm evenings, dewy fresh mornings and long days spent in the great outdoors. But there’s a downside too: bugs.
There’s nothing like a creepy-crawly to plague your nights, ruin your picnics and generally annoy the heck out of you.
It may be tempting to reach for a can of pesticide but sprays can harm the environment and affect those with allergies. Rather try these nifty home hacks to keep pesky pests at bay.
Flies and fruit flies
To stop these flying pests making a meal of your fruit, half-fill a glass with apple cider vinegar and tightly cover the top with plastic wrap. Poke holes in the plastic to attract fruit flies – once they’ve made their way into the glass they won’t be able to get out.
Flies hate the scent of fresh basil, so keep a small potted basil plant on a windowsill to keep them out.
Citronella candles, oil and incense are known to keep mozzies at bay, but also look out for candles infused with geraniol, a plant-derived scent that’s even more effective.
Rubbing oil of lemon eucalyptus on your skin is one of the best natural repellents and gives up to six hours of protection.
Tea tree oil is another good natural repellent. Rub a few drops on your pulse points before you head outside. As a bonus, tea tree oil also has antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
A cat’s best friend, catnip, also helps keep mozzies at bay. Grow some in your garden to avoid being bitten on warm summer nights.
Ants dislike the smell of strong herbs such as mint, rosemary or thyme, so placing pots of these on a windowsill acts as a natural deterrent. You can also wipe down areas of your home with cloves or eucalyptus oil to stop ants from marching in.
Sprinkle ground cinnamon across the path of ants on the move to throw them off track and make them scatter and move elsewhere.
Citrus oils are toxic to ants – mix a few drops into a spray bottle filled with water and use it to squirt the invading army.
These guys aren’t fond of citrus. Mix a few drops of unsweetened lemon juice with water and spray it on your counters or skirting boards to keep spiders out.
- Fix leaking taps and pipes around your home as soon as possible as many bugs love damp, dark, warm places close to water sources.
- Store opened food items in tightly sealed jars or containers to stop insects from helping themselves.
- Seal their hiding places. Caulk up cracks in your walls or floors or use silicone to block tiny entryways into your home.
- Regularly disturb loose-stored items such as plastic bags, towels, and under-sink products – insects love to nest in these comfy places.