We aren’t necessarily anti-bug. Without bees, there’d be trouble in the garden, and spiders are basically full-time mosquito eaters. But still, discovering an eight-legged interloper in your shower each morning isn’t fun.
The thing is, getting rid of bugs in your home can be tricky. Insecticides are certainly an option, but they generally rely on harsh chemicals to get the job done, and reaching for the Raid every time you see an ant is less than ideal.
So what’s an indoor bug fighter to do? We say, use household items to keep pests away! Here are some quick, toxin-free ways to keep bugs out of your home:
Note: These tips work best if you have a small, yet annoying problem. If you have a full-blown infestation, call a professional exterminator.
If you suffer from daily ant invasions, the problem is likely twofold: easy ant-access points and food that’s left out. To deter ants, move all of your food into air-tight containers. And, don’t forget to keep the sink clean! Dirty dishes, standing water and food in the drain all serve as sustenance for ants. Then, line any suspected entryways with a deterrent substance like cinnamon (ants hate the spice and will stay away).
Put a piece of old, skinless fruit or some sweet wine in a bowl (a combination of both works well, too). Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and poke a bunch of small holes in the plastic with a toothpick. The fruit flies go in and can’t get out (make sure the holes are very, very tiny).
To create a trap for silverfish, wrap the outside of a glass jar with masking tape and place a carbohydrate such as cereal or flour inside (their favorite food!). The tape will allow the silverfish to crawl inside, but they won’t be able to escape the smooth inner walls of the jar.
When it comes to skeeters, a fan is your best friend. Mosquitoes can’t land in a crosswind and hate flying against it, so they’ll avoid breezy areas. Sit directly in front of your fan and enjoy a mosquito-free afternoon. Cocktail optional.
To snare these prehistoric critters, create a non-toxic trap with water and soap. Pour water and soap into the bottom of a large jar. The water will attract the cockroaches, but they won’t be able to get out, and the soap will kill them. Note: This works best in a dry climate, because the cockroaches will be more desperate for water. For more tips, read: Pest Control: Cockroaches.
To stop the impromptu cricket concerts, place a few spoonfuls of molasses in a shallow bowl and then fill the bowl halfway with water. Set the bowl on the floor of the room where crickets are a problem. Crickets think molasses smells awesome, and they’ll hop into the bowl and won’t be able to get out.
These guys are great in the garden, but less welcome in your kitchen sink. Luckily, they hate the smell of lemon, so burn lemon-scented candles and use lemons to clean different parts of your home.
The natural, flowery aroma of lavender repels moths. Purchase some fresh lavender and place it around your home in small, breathable bags (closets and drawers are always good spots). Tip: Cotton balls soaked in lavender essential oils work, too!
These creepy crawlers eat insects, so if you have a spider problem, chances are there are other bugs around that are attracting them. So, the best strategy is focusing on the above bug fighting tactics. If that doesn’t work, the next step is adding caulk to any cracks in the basement walls and window casings, which spiders either hide in, or use as entry points. For more tips, read: Pest Control: Spiders.