Although summer means fresh air and barbecues with friends in the backyard, these outdoor activities also mean much more exposure to insects. Few people like to share their dinner or read on their patio with wasps or mosquitoes flying around, so we’ve found ways to get rid of them. If you want to keep your home and backyard insect free, follow these professional tips.
Domestic flies especially prosper during the warmer months, like the summer. Outside, they lay eggs in garbages, on the ground, on the grass, in still water, on animal droppings and rotten food. To prevent them from invading your house, get rid of any garbage in your backyard, don’t leave doors half-open, put lids on all your food and close your garbage bags.
“The ant population is easier to eliminate with boxes of pesticides and a few natural remedies”, explains Vila. Here is a solution to try: sprinkle boric acid or borax powder around your entryway and along your backyard concrete paths. Don’t let your kids or pets near those areas. Inside your house, dust off the infested zones with boric acid mixed with an equal amount of flour, cornmeal or sugar (again, don’t let your kids nor your pets close to the area). The ants will collect the small “food” on the ground, bring them back to their nest, eat them and then die.
These nuisances congregate around garbages, food and drinks. On the other hand, the nests are often close to buildings, under eaves or in bushes or attics. To get rid of these nests, buy a commercial product that you can spray directly in the nest at night. If this doesn’t work, don’t remove the nest yourself. “There are professionals that specialize in taking care of this problem”, says Vila. This is a much more sure approach.
4. Ward off wasps with cloves
Another totally natural way to get rid of wasps consists of squishing cloves and placing them on your outdoor table. You can also poke them through a lemon and place the lemon on your outdoor table or on your window frames.
Cockroaches come out at night to eat crumbs, paper, glue, pet food, and even wax! An effective cleaning is the best solution. They won’t stick around your house if there’s nothing to eat. Use some tape to close off openings in your walls around the water pipes to prevent these bugs from travelling around.
These bugs look for foods rich in starch, especially books, magazines or wallpaper. They will also munch on flour and cereal, starchy clothes and synthetic fabrics. Reduce your paper usage and correctly stock your clothes and the food in your pantry to make your house less appetizing for them.
These leeches are very present during the summer so check your pet’s coat and your body often. To keep fleas far away, give baths to your pet and brush their coat. It is also better to clean your sheets often. “Most people that have dogs or cats are conscious of the importance of putting an anti-flea collar on their pet”, explains Vila. You also have to vacuum carpets and stuffed furniture often. If the fleas are out of control, talk to a veterinarian and call an exterminator as soon as possible.
Ticks need to be removed immediately because some of them carry Lyme disease. With some narrow-pointed pliers, grab the tick the closest possible to the skin and pull it out. Try to remove the entire tick. Wipe the area with rubbing alcohol and wash your hands with soap and water. Place the tick in a plastic bag or container and place it in the freezer. If you notice a mark on your arm, a fever, muscular pains or joint pain, bring the tick to your doctor so the hospital can analyze it. If you can’t remove the tick from your skin or from your pet’s, go to the clinic as quickly as possible.
9. Fruit flies
If you let your bananas ripen, you will notice a lot of these bugs. Thankfully, there are numerous homemade remedies that work well to trap these bugs if they start infesting your home. But to avoid getting infected, you should always keep your fresh produced sealed.
10. Eliminate fruit flies with non-filtered apple cider vinegar
- Remove the cap from the bottle (the bottle can’t be full);
- Cover the opening with plastic wrap and secure it with an elastic;
- Make a small hole so the fruit flies can get in the apple cider vinegar bottle. They won’t be able to resist to vinegar odour but won’t be able to get out once they are inside.
Mosquitoes need stagnant water to reproduce, so eliminate as many sources as possible: throw out cans and bottles, throw out your potted plants and clean out your gutters. “All they need is half an inch of water to reproduce so be careful of kiddie pools and birdbaths”, warns Bob Vila, television host and spokesperson for the National Pest Management Association.
12. Ward off mosquitoes with Artemisia (mugworts)
Artemisia is a very useful plant to use to ward off mosquitoes. Whether you have some inside our outside (dried), put some everywhere around your home!
- Good Housekeeping