Written By Jane Wilson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
House pests can be a real nightmare, causing potential health problems and damage to your property. The worst part is that once there is an infestation it gets really hard to get rid of them. This is why many experts recommend taking preventive measures such as using various techniques to repel incoming pests instead of fighting them head-on.
On the market, you will find many chemical solutions but we do not recommend using them since they can be very dangerous to people and pets. Instead, opt for natural remedies that will be harmless to your family and pets, and will not drill a hole in your pocket.
How to repel flies naturally
Flies are naturally attracted to sweet and sticky things, so in summer there are plenty of fly magnets around your home and garden. There are a few herbal-based solutions, which will help keep them at bay while you enjoy the warm weather.
Lemongrass oil-based spray
Mix ½ cup of hot water with 20 to 25 drops of lemongrass essential oil in a spray bottle. Spray along the windows, doors and other areas where flies reside. Lemongrass is a strong insect repellent and will keep the flies away.
You can also soak cotton pads into the oil and place them around the house. And you can also use lavender oil which you don’t have to dilute in water. Don’t use the oils directly onto the skin though because they are too strong and can irritate it.
Basil plants, lavender, mint or rue repel flies. You can plant them next to the doorway or in window boxes and take advantage of their anti-insect powers.
These solutions work because the scent they emit is just too strong, so the flies avoid it.
Solutions for getting rid of ants
Ants are usually attracted by food and various spills around the house, like when you spill some sugar on the counter, or something edible falls behind the stove. Make sure your kitchen is constantly clean, wipe up your counters after each use and most importantly, check for big entry points. If you find any, call a professional pest control expert to seal them properly and then you can start applying repelling techniques.
So here are our three neat solutions that will safely discourage them from invading your home:
Strongly scented sprays, such as vinegar, are the best option for keeping ants away from your home. To create a spray, mix one-part vinegar with one-part part water and spray it along ant trails.
Ants truly hate this smell, making it a great option for creating homemade ant spray. Mix 25 drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil with a cup of water and spray where you see ants — this will discourage them from returning to that spot. Reapplication is recommended every one to two days because the scent will fade away.
Cayenne or black pepper
Another scent that would deter any ants trying to invade your property is pepper. Just place it on the areas that you see ants frequently or close to possible entry points. Another option you have is to mix the pepper with some water and directly spray those areas. If you have any pets, make sure they don’t go anywhere near the affected locations.
These solutions work like magic for your ant problem because they interfere with the pheromones ants use to communicate. When ants encounter these sprays, their trails get disrupted and each ant that passes through the sprayed area gets covered in it — spreading it to the rest of their colony, confusing the entire population.
Natural mosquito repellents
Mosquitoes are probably the most unpleasant pest on this list. People are the main thing they are attracted to. They are attracted to our blood, but not all kinds. People with blood type AB are practically invisible to mosquitoes, for instance, while people with blood type 0 are an all-you-can-eat buffet. Sweat also attracts mosquitoes, so be careful while you’re outdoors in summer.
Lemon Eucalyptus oil is proven to be effective against pesky mosquitoes. Again, you can soak cotton pads and place them around your home, or even outside if you’re having an outdoor evening.
Other essential oils also prove effective, although they have a shorter protection time in comparison to repellents that contain DEET. This only means that you need to apply them more frequently but they are still at least as effective as DEET products.
Green ways to get rid of fleas
Fleas don’t cause damage to our properties but they can be really harmful to our furry friends. Look out for signs of fleas and don’t hesitate to call a professional when it’s needed.
Now let’s get to the natural solutions fleas hate!
Homemade Lemon Spray
All you need is a thinly sliced lemon left in water overnight and moved into a spray bottle. You can spray your pet's bedding, their favorite spot on the carpet and around the neck.
This sounds more like a cleaning solution and won't really help with a flea infestation, although it will make your home smell fresh. If the situation is too severe, we recommend that you take your pet to the vet and call a professional pest control company.
You can grind the herb into powder, occasionally combined with peppermint, fennel, and rue. You can use the powder to sprinkle your pet's bedding, the entrance of his house, the entrance of your home etc.
Once again, rosemary can't fight a full-grown flea infestation. What it will do is make the little bloodsuckers that are terrorizing your beloved pet show themselves. And it will keep them off the bedding of your pet for a while, giving it a couple of stress-free hours.
Fleas repelling flowers
A couple of flowers can also prove successful against fleas:
- Penny Royal
Those can be planted around your dog's house. It will look pretty and keep fleas away. That is a win-win situation right here! Chrysanthemums are often used in natural insecticides!
Natural repellents proven not to work:
- Citronella candles
- Bracelets that contain herbal extracts
- Sonic mosquito repellers
There was a study published by the Journal of Insect Science that tested some of the most popular means of repelling mosquitoes. The study found that the above-mentioned products aren’t effective at all and do not drive mosquitoes away.
Now, the study didn’t investigate the reasons why some products didn’t work but our best guess as professionals who operate with insecticides is because these particular products have too little of the active ingredient that repels mosquitoes.
Prevention is the best possible measure when dealing with pests if you want to keep your home and family safe. The best way would be to find what those insects or rodents need in order to survive and make sure you don’t provide it to them.
- A clean and tidy house is not very attractive to flies and ants because they don’t have any food there.
- Use bins with lids and make sure they don’t overflow with waste, especially if it’s food waste.
- For your grains, cereals and other similar foods, use glass or metal containers so that they are fully impenetrable.
- Clean your pet’s food and water bowls frequently - they will appreciate it and it will keep hungry pests away.
- Seal entry points and install mosquito netting on windows and doors.
- If you notice an infestation, don’t wait until it gets severe - call an expert and protect your family!
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Jane Wilson is a mother, blogger and marketing executive living in Melbourne, Australia. She works for the local branch of Fantastic Cleaners, a licensed cleaning company that provides a broad range of services. She also owns a small lifestyle blog called Modern Housewives, where she shares all kinds of home improvement and parenting tips.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.