If you’re like most people, you’re probably dreaming of the sunnier days and milder temperatures that spring has to offer. From returning birds to Easter egg hunts, spring represents a period of rebirth and growth after the harsh little death of winter. But warming temperatures also mean the return of pests.
If your homestead is prone to pest invasions, here are a few homemade remedies to try and stop the problem. A word of warning, however: if your home or other structures may be threatened, it’s always best to call in the big guns and get the situation checked out by the professionals.
Catch More Flies With Vinegar
We’ve all heard the old cliche about catching more flies with honey, but surprisingly, apple cider vinegar provides an excellent way to rid your home of gnats, houseflies and other buzzing bugs.
To make a fly trap, take a clean, empty mason jar. Fill the bottom of the jar with about a half inch of apple cider vinegar, add a few drops of dish soap and poke holes in the lid before capping the jar shut. Flying critters drawn by the scent of apple cider vinegar can get into the jar, but the dish soap suffocates them so that they can’t get back out.
Likewise, fill a plastic spray bottle with a solution of one part apple cider vinegar to equal parts water, and add a few drops of soap. Keep the bottle on your patio so that you can enjoy watching the sunset without getting bombed by flying critters.
Blast Fleas With Borax
If your dog brought some uninvited guests home from the outdoors, your entire family might find themselves scratching at flea bites. You can try to rid your home of fleas the natural way by using Borax. Borax works by dehydrating fleas, their larva and their eggs.
Begin by giving all the soft surfaces in your home, such as carpets and furniture, a good vacuuming. Then, sprinkle Borax liberally over the freshly vacuumed surfaces and allow it to sit for six to 10 hours. When the time is up, simply vacuum once more to remove the now-deceased pests and their eggs. You can also sprinkle Borax around doorways that your puppy uses to help keep new fleas at bay.
Spice It Up
Nobody relishes having the pesky ants crawling over food prep areas. But standing water left in kitchen sinks and even the bottoms of dishwashers lays out the welcome mat for these tiny terrors.
Luckily, dish soap also suffocates ants as well as their flying insect kin, so keep a spray bottle with a dish-soap-and-water mix at the ready to spray on the ants you see. Then, go to your spice rack and grab the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Ants hate hot, spicy substances, so sprinkling these herbs around kitchen entryways and windowsills keeps them from returning.
If you feel the ants are more than an annoyance, however, it might be time to call a professional. Carpenter ants are particularly dangerous when it comes to your home’s structural integrity, and homemade solutions won’t be able to destroy the entire colony. Sometimes the best remedies for household pests are the most permanent ones.
Cool It Down
If you’ve spied one roach lurking inside your home, hordes more may be hiding in dark crevices waiting for lights out to emerge and feed. Roaches carry disease, so eliminating them helps keep your kiddos healthier.
After thoroughly cleaning your home, spray areas where roaches enter with a dish soap solution to suffocate these pests safely. Seal up any cracks around faucets, sinks, windowsills and doorways with caulk, then go to your thermostat and turn it down a few degrees to make any remaining roaches flee. Roaches hate low temperatures, so keeping your home cool keeps roaches away.
Remedies for Household Pests
Of course, not every pest deserves to die. Unless you suffer from severe arachnophobia, avoid killing non-poisonous spiders in your home, as they dine on other pests.
As spring rolls around and pests come to life, these homemade remedies for household pests might be just the thing you need. For more serious issues, however, make sure you get some help — there’s no upside to risking your homestead’s safety.