Nobody wants to spend their day spraying insecticides in every corner of the house. Not only does it require contorting your body into weird poses to hit hard-to-reach places, but these chemicals also pose extremely hazardous health risks. So, what are you supposed to do if your home is infested with roaches, lizards, rats, bedbugs or ants? Well, there are several natural ways to get rid of pests. You can easily get rid of this nuisance with the help of some everyday household ingredients and enjoy life in a pest-free residence. Let’s get exterminating…
Pests You’ll Commonly Find in the House
Before we get on to how you can get rid of pests and insects ruining your domestic bliss, let’s list down the most common rodents and bugs you will normally encounter in your home:
- Bed Bugs
Now, let’s move on to discuss the natural ways to get rid of pests at home and make sure they do not return.
Red ants bite and black ones don’t, but regardless of whether your home is infested with red or black ones, watching a trail of ants trotting across your home is annoying and embarrassing, to some extent. Ants leave a scent trail for other members of the colony to follow. Thus, the best way to get rid of ants is to disturb the scent trail they are following. Here’s how you can do that with some simple natural methods:
- Ants hate the smell of cucumber. Cut small slices and place them at entry points of the trail. Bitter cucumbers work best, though.
- A mixture of soap and water can also be used to eradicate the scent trail the ants are following. Ants will also die if you spray it on them directly.
- A solution of one part vinegar and one part water can also be used in a spray bottle to kill ants and ruin their scent trail.
- Mint leaves can also be placed at intervals on the trail to get rid of ants.
- Sprinkling black pepper or salt will also create a natural barrier, breaking their trail.
- You can do the same with chalk as well. Just draw a line across the path where you see ants moving in a straight line.
- A natural way to kill ants is to mix a cup of sugar and a teaspoon of boric powder in a litre of water. Dip cotton balls in the solution and place them in a plate or container with easy access for the ants. The ants will carry these balls home to the colony, where they will die upon consumption.
Cockroaches are usually found in kitchens and wooden cabinets, especially where you store food items. The best way to get rid of cockroaches naturally is to deep clean your home and your kitchen clean and tidy. Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight, and do not leave food uncovered on the kitchen counter. Additionally, here are some ways to rid your home of cockroaches if they’ve already infested the premises:
- Use a cleaner with a strong soapy scent to prevent food smells from luring cockroaches to your home.
- Spraying a soapy water solution can kill cockroaches instantly too if a random one finds its way into your home.
- Create a mixture with equal amounts of sugar, cornmeal, and boric powder. This is your bait. Place small amounts of the mix on all the possible spots frequented by cockroaches for them to eat and die.
- You can also sprinkle some boric powder in your kitchen cabinets and near your sink to get rid of cockroaches naturally, as boric acid is toxic for them when consumed. Once they have eaten boric powder, they can infect all the other roaches that come in contact with them as well.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water and generally come out at sunset. Thus, it is important to not only keep your immediate surroundings free from standing water but also to keep windows and doors closed at sunset to avoid an onslaught of mosquitoes. However, there is only so much you can do to avoid standing water within your home or garden. What if a pipe has burst in your lane or if roadworks are causing water to stand at your door?
Well, if mosquitoes are treating you as their dinner on a regular basis and you are the only one in your home going through this, you should know why. Mosquitoes have a strong sense of smell, and you simply smell more delicious to the mosquito as compared to your siblings or parents. Here are some natural ways to get rid of these domestic pests and appear less appealing to mosquitoes:
- Create a solution with one part garlic juice and five parts of water. You can spray the mixture over your body to prevent mosquito bites. The mix is non-toxic and fairly effective.
- Applying neem tree oil on exposed skin can also keep mosquitoes at bay.
- Want to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home? Plant a marigold in your garden as it can keep mosquitoes away.
As is the case with cockroaches, houseflies are attracted to dirty interiors, as well as spoilt and rotten food in your kitchen. Since squatting them takes a fair bit of effort, here’s what you should do instead:
- Place some crushed mint leaves in small bowls or sachets at every entry point in the house. Houseflies hate the smell of mint and will steer clear of your residence.
- You can do the same with basil leaves too.
- To trap annoying flies that are already inside, create a sugar mixture with one part water, one part sugar, and one part honey. Cook it a little. Pour it in a disposable plate in a thin layer once the mixture has cooled. Leave the plate in an area where houseflies are likely to find it. The stickiness of the mixture will stick the flies to the plate, and you can then throw out the disposable plate along with its inhabitants.
Bedbugs enter our home via our clothes, purses and other fabrics when we come in contact with an already-infested bed or sofa. They hide in crevices in your belongings and eventually find their way to your bed. Coming out at night, they can leave itchy red bites all over the body. Want to regain itch-free sleep? Here’s how:
- Kerosene oil has been fairly successful in killing fully-grown bed bugs if you apply it to the sides and corners of your bed where these bugs hide the most. However, it is flammable and does no damage to the eggs of bedbugs, so caution is advised with its use.
- Another trick which requires nothing but sunlight is to air your bedding and your mattress. If you live in an apartment, this can be problematic, but if you have space, let your bed sheet and mattress air out under the sun. The heat will cause the bedbugs to come out, and exposure to the sun will kill them.
- Wash your bed sheets and covers with hot water, as heat kills the bugs and their eggs.
You’re having a pleasant lie-down on a Sunday, and you suddenly sense movement on the wall. Who hasn’t been there? Lizards have a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it and let’s not even talk about those lizards who leave the wall in favour of the floor. Lizards, while being quite creepy to look at, are also a major health hazard, especially if they come in contact with your food. Here are some natural ways to get rid of these domestic pests and prevent them from entering your home:
- Most of us like to have eggs for breakfast. Well, don’t throw those shells away! Lizards fear eggshells and will not enter a home where eggshells placed at entry points. There are two major reasons for this. Firstly, they hate the foul smell that eggshells give off and who doesn’t, and secondly, they see broken egg shells as a warning that a predator is close by. Thus, they avoid venturing into the house.
- If you run for cover every time your mom chops up onions, you are not alone. Onions can be the best way to lure a lizard out of its hiding place. Place a few slices where its hiding and it will come out for you to kill it. Alternately, you can hang onion slices on your windows to prevent lizards from entering your residence.
- Peacock feathers are beautiful. They also signify danger for lizards as peacocks eat lizards. So, place a few feathers at strategic entry points, and you’ll have a lizard-free home.
Moths are of several types. Some like to live in dark corners in your closets amidst the folds of your clothing and will often fly out of their hiding place when disturbed, catching you by surprise. Other moths are attracted to white lights around the house and will gravitate towards them automatically. Either way, if you want to get rid of moths, try some of the methods below:
- The best way to get rid of moths is to air out your clothes from time to time and always to wash them before storing them away.
- Use re-sealable plastic bags in your cupboard to store your clothing so insects will not be able to breed in them. This is especially important when you are storing winter wear for the rest of the year.
- Lavender scented air freshening sachets can also be thrown in with your clothes to avoid an infestation.
- For the other variety, which is a lot more common in Pakistan, you can hang pouches of lavender or mint around the house to deter their entry.
- A combination of cloves, thyme, and rosemary works perfectly at stopping them from entering your home when placed at strategic entry points in small net pouches.
Having a slim bone structure, rats often slip through the slimmest of cracks (pun intended) and find their way into our home. A little different from the rest of the creatures on this list, as they are mammals, not insects, they are annoying and hazardous to your health nonetheless. Here’s how to prevent them from entering your abode:
- Use steel wool to fill in any cracks or crevices that cannot be cemented immediately. This is because rats cannot chew through steel.
- One of the other pest control remedies for rodents is to place mint leaves at all such possible entry points, as rats cannot stand the smell.
- You can sprinkle red pepper around a hole where a rat infestation is present as the sting and smell of the peppers will draw them out and make them look for a new nest.
These are just some of the many natural ways to get rid of pests. However, their effectiveness varies on the severity of the problem and the cleanliness of your living space.
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