It feels like half of our warmer months are spent battling bugs and escorting pets from our homes and gatherings. That’s probably why those critters are called pests – they just don’t know how to go away!
While there are many products on the market for dealing with them, more and more people are turning to natural, gentler options for getting things under control. Here are a few suggestions for ridding your house of creepy crawlies without dealing with all the chemicals.
Ants and Spiders
Identify the areas where these pests are entering your home and draw a line in the sand. Okay, maybe sand won’t work but you could try using cinnamon, coffee grounds, or chalk as a barrier at points of entry. You may also find that dabbing those areas with a cotton ball coated in peppermint, tea tree, citrus or clove oils does the trick.
The saying goes that cockroaches could survive a nuclear attack and it’s probably true. While you may not be able to kill them, you can make them reconsider hanging out in your home. They don’t like the smell of citronella, peppermint oil or lemongrass so it might be worth dabbing those essential oils (or adding a bit to a spray bottle filled with water) under cupboards and sinks which are known problem areas for these bugs.
If you’ve ever left a banana or other piece of fruit on your counter a day too long you understand the pain of fruit flies all too well. They are tiny but incredibly annoying and difficult to get rid of. For this, you will have to get a little crafty. Use an empty bottle with a long funnel top and fill the bottom with apple cider vinegar. The flies will find their way into the bottle but will probably have a hard time getting out.
Your kids might love Mickey Mouse but you probably don’t want to see any of his friends in your kitchen. Due to the types of diseases mice can carry, you may want to seek outside help but if you want to try to manage this on your own, pick up some large cotton wool balls, cover generously in peppermint, eucalyptus or spearmint oil and place them where you suspect the mice are hanging out. As long as you aren’t dealing with a serious infestation, this might be enough to run them off.
This year, you may want to take extra precautions against mosquitoes (especially if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant) as some breeds may be carrying the Zika virus. That aside, there are natural ways to stave off being bitten. These blood-thirsty pests hate citronella and lemongrass oil so you can burn candles, dab on essential oil or even add a few drops to coconut oil to use as a lotion.
While you may not necessarily want to see every ant, spider, or fruit fly in your immediate surroundings, there are ways to maintain a distance without using harsh chemicals. Experiment a little until you find the right essential oils and strategies to restore peace to your home without disturbing the ecosystem.