Rid your home of pests the natural way

There are a number of simple ways to rid your house of these bugs. Read on for some tried-and-true home remedies to drive them away.

Rid your home of pests the natural way

They may be invisible, they may bite and they may be lingering in your home. They may be after your food, your blood, the wood that holds your home together or even your clothing. Humans have been dealing with creepy-crawlies for generations, so here's your guide to keeping them out for good.

Ants

If ants have invaded, no need to fret; with these tips you'll have them marching away (one by one, or two by two) in no time.

  •  Ants follow a scent trail, marching in a straight line one by one. Disrupt the trail by sprinkling mint tea leaves, crushed cloves or chili powder at the point where they enter your house. Once they lose the scent trail, they can no longer find their way in.
  • Draw a line with a piece of chalk or baby powder through the ants' route; the tiny party-crashers won't be able to cross it.
  • Ants will gobble down strewn baking soda and feed it to their young, causing their stomachs to rupture and cutting down on their population.
  • Ants can't resist a solution of sugar, yeast and water; it, too, makes them burst.
  • Effective baits against ants also include honey, water and syrup. Set them out in a shallow dish; ants get trapped in the sticky solution and die.

Woodlice

Have woodlice? Not ideal, but we have solutions. Read on!

  1. Put a bottle of sweet liqueur or leftover wine in the basement; the creatures will climb in and become intoxicated. You can discard them along with the bottle and repeat the process as needed.
  2. Leave hollowed-out potatoes or turnips as a lure. You can crush them along with the woodlice that have crawled inside.

Mice

If life were a cartoon, you could lure mice through a hole with a piece of cheese, close the door and never see them again. For a real life mouse evacuation plan, try the following:

  • Before reaching for a mousetrap, try driving mice away with chamomile flowers or peppermint. Growing peppermint plants near your entrance works well as a deterrent.
  • Peppermint oil, turpentine and camphor are all scents that are supremely unappetizing to mice. Dab a little on some cotton balls and place them strategically in areas where mice might enter.

Flies

If you have a picture in your head of having to swat each fly away individually, get rid of it now.

  • The best solution is to install screen windows and doors, as well as keeping food covered.
  • Set out bowls of vinegar (replace them daily).
  • Use blue tablecloths; believe it or not, flies avoid this colour.
  • The smells of basil, peppermint, lavender and tomato plants also ward off flies.
  • Coat meat with lemon balm or basil before grilling it and all the flies will take off.
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