From flies and fire ants to stink bugs and spiders, insects and arachnids often prove unwelcome guests in our home. Unfortunately, many bug repellents are chock full of harsh chemicals that are equally undesirable in our homes and around our children and pets. To help you rid your home of these pesky pests in the most unobtrusive, ecofriendly way possible, Paran Homes has compiled the following FIVE tips to battle bugs naturally…
- Homegrown Repellents: Planet Natural recommends making your own ant and cockroach bait by mixing 2 Tbsp boric acid powder with one 8 oz. jar of mint jelly. Place the bait on small cardboard squares and position these homemade “bait stations” in areas where you’ve noticed insect activity. When insects walk through your sticky concotion, the boric acid sticks to their legs and is carried back to the colony where it is ingested. Boric acid is less toxic to humans and pets than table salt, but it’s a deadly poison to cockroaches, ants, termites, and many other household pests. For fruit flies, fill a small ramekin with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid soap. They’ll be drawn to the vinegar, but when they land in the liquid – the weight of the soap will pull them under.
- Police Standing Water: In several states in the South, mosquitos are so prevalent that they could be unofficially recognized as the state bird. Unfortunately, mosquitos carry diseases – like the West Nile Virus – and should be taken seriously. The best way to battle mosquitos is to be proactive in your prevention measures. Clean your gutters – where rain water can pool, clean your birdbaths regularly, and make sure your potted plants are draining properly rather than serving as breeding grounds for mosquitos.
- Ever Heard of the Two-Hour Window?: If you’ve been outside hiking or working in the yard, Yale researchers recommend that you take a shower within a two-hour window. This measure could significantly reduce your risk of being exposed to Lyme Disease. Often carried by ticks, Lyme Disease can be a debilitating and often difficult to diagnose disease. Prevention Magazine suggests that removal of your clothes upon arrival to the Great Indoors can prevent ticks from making their way from your clothing onto your body, and a quick shower can knock off any ticks off your skin or scalp before they’ve had a chance to latch on.
- Watch Out Wasps: If you’ve noticed wasps hanging around a certain part of your home – either visiting a newly built hive or considering a new spot for their next nest – you should hang a bouquet of rosemary nearby. While this herb is a delightful addition to pork and lamb, it’s detested by wasps. And while we’re on the subject of herbs and spices, a sprinkle of dried mint, cinnamon or cloves at your entryways are all excellent deterrents for ants.
- Keep it Clean: A dirty trashcan is like a nightclub for houseflies. To prevent them from turning that party into a major rager, keep your trash can clean and sprinkle it with Borax to deter them further. The cleanliness approach is also particularly important in cabinets and refrigerators where ants and cockroaches (and even mice) might come looking for a tasty treat.
If you’d prefer to turn to a professional to help rid your home of pests, onsite Paran Homes agents at our communities throughout the Southeast will be happy to recommend pest control companies in the area. To learn more about Paran Homes, please visit www.paranhomes.com.