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Weekend DIY: Bug Proofing

cookelma / iStock /

cookelma / iStock /

They’re buzzing up the driveway, flying through windows, and bunking down in your kitchen. With spring in full bloom, the fight to keep insects outside has begun. Fortunately for the average home owner, there are many affordable, chemical-free solutions in the battle against bugs. Here’s a look at a few home remedies for unwanted summer guests.

Fruit Flies/Gnats
These red-eyed little flies only measure between one tenth to one fifth of an inch in length, but are one of the most irritating and difficult insects to control. As their name implies, fruit flies feed on overripe or rotting fruits, rotting vegetables, soft drinks, alcohol, and decaying foods in your garbage and drains. The most effective way to rid your home fruit flies is to rid your home of these sources of feeding and breeding. Simply put, keep your home clean.

Already fighting an infestation? Try leaving small cups of apple cider vinegar around the house. While the sour smell of vinegar may be unpleasant for you, it’s irresistible to the fruit flies that are sure to land in it and drown.

Few animals, big or small, can strike fear into a person like a spider can. And while most of these little nightmares are completely harmless, nobody wants spiders in their home.

Luckily, spiders absolutely hate something we humans love: Peppermint. Use this happy coincidence to your advantage by filling spray bottle with peppermint essential oil and water, and spraying it around the house. Focus on areas that can be points of entry for these miniature beasts: Doors, windows, and any cracks in your home’s foundation.

House Flies
The female house fly can lay up to six batches of 75 to 100 eggs, which will hatch in 12 to 24 hours (orkin). With this much reproductive ability house flies can become a never ending nuisance. More importantly, house flies carry bacteria and diseases, so it’s crucial control their populations throughout the year.

There are many products on the market for controlling house flies ranging from adhesive strips to the classic fly swatter. But these options are not only unsanitary, but also unsightly for any guests you might entertain this summer.

To repel house flies, as well as avoid smearing their guts all over your home, try setting out lavender oil wherever you want to establish a “no fly zone.” This is an especially useful trick during backyard barbecues. 

In the battle against bugs few enemies are as difficult to defeat as a colony of ants. With a queen that is solely responsible for populating the colony and an army of children who are each assigned a specific job, ants are a formidable enemy to say the least.

Fortunately, unlike fruit flies, ants hate vinegar. This distaste provides the Do-It-Yourselfer with a convenient and natural alternative to chemical products. Simply wipe down any surface you’ve seen ants on with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Doing this will also eliminate the scents ants use to navigate.

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