Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes

Healthy Home

Control Summertime Pests without Chemicals

Summertime heat and humidity brings out all sorts of pests that you don’t want in your home. If you are trying to stay away from toxic chemicals, the last thing you want to use is a toxic pesticide to get rid of them. Here are some natural ways to rid your home from these nasty pests.

There are usually two types of ants we see in our homes. Those big black ones are carpenter ants and then those tiny ones are sugar ants. You can use this simple recipe to get rid of either. Use a  ½ cup of borax and ½ cup of sugar mixed together and sprinkle it anywhere you see the ants. The sugar will attract the ants and the borax will dehydrate them and kill them without poison.

basil-repels-fliesA fly infestation can drive you crazy. Did you know that flies hate the smell of basil? You can use basil plants by windows or place dry basil in muslin bags and tuck it in corners around your home.

Spiders don’t like the smell of citrus so you can mix up a spray bottle of citrus oil and witch hazel and spray it around window screens and window ledges. The citrus smell will keep them outside where they belong.

Ants use trails to remember where they’ve been so use vinegar to wipe away their trails. Just mix up a spray bottle of distilled white vinegar and water and spray the areas where you’ve seen an ant. The acid in the vinegar will destroy the trails and they won’t know how to get back to that spot.

Wasps won’t build a nest where there’s another nest. Wasps are very territorial so all you need to do is build a fake nest to keep the real ones away. You can put a fake one in the front yard and another in the back yard and wasps will leave your yard for a safer place.

Mosquitoes hate catnip and Listerine®. To keep mosquitoes away from decks and patios, just plant some catnip around your other flowers and your garden will work to repel mosquitoes. If you are looking for a safe mosquito spray, just put some Listerine in a spray bottle and spray legs, ankles or any place you’re getting bitten.

salt-controls-fleasIf you have dogs or cats that go outside, you may be dealing with fleas this summer. But something as simple as salt can work to kill the fleas. Fleas take 9 days to complete their hatching cycle so treat your carpets every three days with a sprinkle of salt to keep the fleas away.  You can also place a pan of dish soap and water next to a night light in the evening and they will hop in and drown.

If you deal with dust mite allergies you can use cinnamon sticks under your furniture cushions to repel the dust mites.

Fruit flies are so annoying and can come into your kitchen on fruit from the grocery store or from rotting food in your disposal. Make sure the disposal is cleaned and sealed so the fruit flies can’t keep going into it. Also place your fruit in sealed plastic bags or in the refrigerator to kill the flies. To get rid of the ones you have, fill a container with red wine and a few drops of dish soap. The wine will attract them and they will drown in the soap.

If you are dealing with deer eating your plants or flowers you can deter deer with Irish Spring soap. Just cut some shavings of the bar and place them around the plants or flowers the deer are eating. Once they smell the soap they will be off to your neighbors’ garden.

Seeing signs of mice in your home? Mice don’t like the smell of peppermint so you can repel them by buying some peppermint oil and placing a few drops on cotton balls. Place the cotton balls in the corners of cabinets or corners of rooms where you think they might get into your home.  Reapply the oil every 30 days

Roaches are so disgusting and really difficult to get rid of once you have them. I bet you didn’t know that they don’t like the smell of Tabasco® sauce. So to get rid of those sneaky pests just mix up some Tabasco sauce and water and spray the mixture in corners of your kitchen and bathrooms. The roaches will be on the run once they smell it.

diatomaceous-earth-kills-bedbugsBed bug infestations are scary and seem to take a lot of work to get rid of them. A simple treatment of diatomaceous earth can do the trick without any other chemicals. This natural dust has very sharp edges to it and works to “cut” the bedbugs so they die. Then vacuum up the carcasses along with the diatomaceous earth. Place this dust in areas that you suspect have an infestation. Be careful not to use around pets as the dust can aggravate their breathing and get into their eyes.  Another simple solution is to spray the area with rubbing alcohol. Just spray every day to kill off all the bed bugs.

mayo-kills-head-liceEveryone thinks that lice is a sign of a dirty home but actually lice are parasites that travel from person to person very easily. A simple treatment is to use mayonnaise like a hair conditioner. Put a thick coat of mayonnaise on your hair and wrap in a plastic shower cap. Have a good night’s sleep and when you wake up the lice will be dead. Just rinse your hair and you will have hair with a lovely sheen and will also be lice free!

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