Repel insects from your home the natural way

Pesky bugs in your home are not only annoying, they can be expensive. But before you call the exterminator, here are natural ways you can fight them.

Repel insects from your home the natural way

Mites

  • Mites dislike both fresh air and light. Regularly shake out bedding and blankets thoroughly.
  • Vacuum rugs or beat them and wash them on a regular basis.
  • Replace carpets with wooden floorboards or tiles.

Carpet beetles

  • Vacuum regularly to keep hair and lint from collecting and providing food for carpet beetle larvae.
  • Seal cracks in parquet flooring and spray neem oil (available at most garden centres) along floor moldings. This makes the larvae stop eating and prevents them from growing and reproducing. Be warned, it will take time.

Mosquitoes

  • Keep mosquitoes from getting into your house or cottage with a screen. If they do get past the front door, a mosquito net will help prevent them from biting you while you sleep.
  • Keep the pesky stingers away from terraces and balconies by hanging up a cloth sprayed with a few drops of clove or laurel oil. Alternatively, pour the oil into small bowls or an oil lamp. 

Moths

  • Drive away moths with dried citrus peels or cedar chips in small bags.
  • Moths won't take up residence in fabrics that are used frequently, so shake out linens and clothing regularly.
  • Remove supplies infested with pantry moths immediately and wash out your kitchen cabinets with vinegar and water.

Silverfish

  • Sprinkle a little plaster on damp cloths and place them in the bathroom or the kitchen at night; in the morning, shake them and their load of insects off outside.
  • Grate a potato on a piece of newspaper to attract silverfish, then just fold the paper up and toss the whole lot in the outside garbage.

Cockroaches

  • For a minor infestation, use a cloth moistened with wine or beer as bait. When the insects have gathered on the cloth, pour boiling water over it.
  • Combat cockroaches with a lethal "roach dinner." Mix one part powdered boric acid, one part white flour and one part white sugar and place in bowls under the fridge, in the backs of drawers and behind the stove.

Bedbugs

  • Before calling in the pros, you might try spraying rubbing alcohol where bedbugs thrive. It may contain the problem by killing some bugs on contact.
  • Placing clothing, shoes and boots, toys, stuffed animals, backpacks and other non-washables in the dryer for 20 minutes or more on high temperature may kill bedbugs.
  • Wash and dry clothing and linens at high temperatures (over 45°C).

Wasps

  • Wasps make themselves scarce when they detect the odour of heated vinegar.
  • The insects also keep their distance from lemon slices studded with cloves.
  • Make a wasp trap. Fill a narrow-necked bottle with a sugar solution or diluted fruit juice and a little detergent and vinegar. Wasps will happily go in, but can't get out.
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