Home remedies to get rid of insects and mice

Nobody wants insects or rodents sharing the space in their home. Get rid of them with these DIY tips.

Home remedies to get rid of insects and mice

Lure ants with sugar

Give ants what they want: sugar. Make a trap by adding 125 grams (1/2 cup) of sugar to 250 millilitres (one cup) of water. Moisten a few paper towels or old kitchen sponges in the solution and set them in spots where ants are seen. Leave the traps overnight and check them in the morning. If they're crawling with ants (almost a certainty), sweep the traps into an empty dustpan and dump a pot of hot water over them. Repeat the process until no ants are left.

Repel ants with vinegar

If ants love sugar, it only makes sense that they hate vinegar. To get rid of these unwelcome pests, mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and squirt it on counters, windowsills, baseboards and anywhere else ants show up.

Herbed-out silverfish

These wingless insects enjoy munching on, among other things, paper, glue and starch. What they don't like? Herbs. Leave sachets or tea bags of dried lavender, mint, sage or bay leaves in bathroom and kitchen cabinets, where silverfish typically congregate. Wiping down surfaces with lavender oil or a similarly potent herbal solution should also encourage silverfish to make tracks.

Lethal treat for cockroaches

Ingesting baking soda will kill roaches, but you'll need to make it palatable. Bait the pests by mixing baking soda with equal parts icing sugar and sprinkling the mixture inside cabinets and other cockroach hidey-holes.

Minty mouse repellent

Whip up one litre (one quart) of peppermint tea — not for your morning pleasure, but to repel those mice you've heard scurrying about at night. Boil 250 millilitres (two cups) of water, turn off the heat, add four to six peppermint tea bags and let the tea steep for six to eight hours. Now stir in 10 millilitres (two teaspoons) of dishwashing liquid to make the super-strong solution stick to surfaces longer. Fill a spray bottle with the tea and coat baseboards and any areas where you suspect mice are entering.

Ground those flying insects

As much as you may enjoy the aromas of basil, oranges and cloves, houseflies and other flying insects are repelled by them — one whiff and they'll wing their way elsewhere. So chase them off while treating yourself to some nice scents.

  • Put dried basil in organza and muslin sachets (sold at craft and kitchenware stores). Hang the bags in the kitchen and anywhere else flies and other winged pests like to buzz around, and they'll quickly stop dropping by.
  • Make a pomander — a whole orange stuck with cloves. Hang it from a light fixture or hook, and you'll enjoy pest-free air and a nice scent as well.

Trap mice with melted cheese

Mice are crafty at stealing a piece of cheese from a mousetrap. The trick is to make sure the trap will trip while mice are nibbling the treat. How to do it? Just set the cheese in the trap and heat it with a lit match so the cheese melts. Unable to spirit it away, mice will sample the melted cheese long enough for the trap to spring shut.

Insects and mice are a fact of life, even in the cleanest of homes. These easy homemade remedies will make sure you keep the pests at bay and out of your house for good.

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