Depending on where you live, there’s no defined bug season – there’s more and then sometimes less. The rest of us mostly get a break in the winter, which is great….until everything starts hatching. And biting. And invading. Calling a pest control company is sometimes necessary, but can get expensive. Plus, the chemicals aren’t always so great. But what can you do instead? Keep reading and we’ll get you on your way toward a pest-free home!
Morning Coffee, Take 2
Ah, morning coffee. There’s something about the smell of a fresh cup. Now, you get can an extra use out of those grounds. Take the grounds and place them outside your house where you think pests are invading. You’ll also get bonus points if you can place them in your flowerbed or garden. While coffee grounds won’t necessarily change the pH like some people think, they’re good for aerating your soil.
Sugar and Borax DIY Ant Traps
If you can’t keep ants outside with the coffee grounds, try these DIY traps.
- Dissolve 1/2 cup of sugar in a cup of very warm water, and stir in 2 tablespoons of Borax.
- Grab cosmetic cotton pads and plastic lids from food containers like yogurt.
- Saturate the pads, place on top of the lids and put them in the path of the invading ants.
One thing to keep in mind: Borax and other household chemicals can be toxic. Keep well away from small kids or pets.
Dust Mites and Allergies
Achoo! Not only are you sneezing from pollen, but you might be allergic to dust mites, too. While this won’t get rid of them completely, it can improve things for the allergy sufferers in your house. Every little bit helps!
To control dust mites in your mattress, you’ll need:
- A fine-mist spray bottle.
- An essential oil like rosemary, lavender, eucalyptus, clove, peppermint or a basil/lemongrass mix.
- Mix a few drops of essential oil with water and shake to combine.
After vacuuming your mattress, lightly spray it. Let it dry before making your bed again.
Shoo (fruit) Fly
As summer heats up, fruit flies can be a nuisance. To trap them using things in your pantry, grab a bottle or jar. Make sure they can’t crawl out again by using one with a narrow neck or lid with holes. Fill the bottom of the jar with apple cider vinegar, or regular vinegar and a few apple pieces. Make sure you change it out every few days.
Bug Spray, the DIY Edition
While you might like peppermint-flavored things, bugs aren’t quite as fond. Here’s an easy, cheap, chemical-free bug spray (buildings, not people). It’s even safe for indoor use, too! Mix 1 tablespoon of peppermint castile soap with a half gallon of water. Spray the mixture along baseboards and other areas.
Grab the Vinegar
This trick works for both ants and spiders, a 2-for1! Vinegar gets rid of the scent trails that ants follow back and forth into your house. It will also cut down on those corner spider webs, too. Grab your vinegar from the pantry and mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. You can use whatever you have, white or apple cider works well, too (though is a little more expensive).
Silverfish and Other Wingless Pests
Boric acid has a variety of uses, including pesticide. It’s a relatively harmless to humans powder that will kill roaches and other pests. It’s available at most retailers, including big box and home improvement stores. Be careful, a little goes a long way. All you need is a light coating along baseboards or in corners.
The Bottom Line on DIY Pest Control
There are a variety of ways to keep pests from getting into your home, and getting rid of them if they do get in. Most of these solutions are made from common things that may already be in your cabinet, which is the best part! Remember, many of these are repellents, not true insecticides (like vinegar). You may need to reapply them a bit more often, but at pennies on the dollar, that’s an easy fix. Happy spraying!