Are you trying to get rid of insects (or worse) without harmful chemicals? Here are a few ways to vanish those pesky problems with a some easy and natural remedies.
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Who says you need harmful pesticides to get rid of bugs? Repellex Bug-A-Tak ($13.50) relies on natural mint, clove leaf, and rosemary essential oils to deter and kill beetles, mites, whiteflies, and other insects.
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Unless you’re the Karate Kid, you’ll need more than chopsticks to catch pesky flies. Try the Fred Flare Black Fly Swatter ($10), which has an extra-large square head.
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Man's best friend
The mere smell of a cat (or dog) sends mice packing. Furry pals are great to have around—and they’re good for you, too. So why not adopt a pet? Go to www.aspca.org to find an animal shelter near you; fees typically are $75 for an adult cat or dog.
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Reclaim your yard from yellow jackets and wasps with the Oak Stump Yellow Jacket and Wasp Trap ($15.99). Put the lure (included) and water in this glass trap, hang it in a tree, and you can barbecue without having to bat away stinging insects.
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The amazing-smelling blend of lavender, cedar chips, and citronella in Purple Ranch Pest Away Sachets ($3 each) keeps moths at bay without the harmful chemicals found in mothballs.
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One way to get rid of bugs: starve them. Keep cookies, cereal, and other munchies in sealed containers, like The Conran Shop Varon Jars ($12 and up). Made of recycled glass with snug-fitting cork lids, they’re good-looking enough to go right on the counter.
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Keep persistent household pests away with these natural, do-it-yourself remedies from Annie B. Bond, green-living expert and author of Better Basics for the Home.
Ants. They hate the smell of citrus, so mix 1/4 cup citrus solvent (like Citra Solv) with 2 cups water; spray mixture in ant-traffic areas.
Roaches. Tea tree oil, garlic, peppermint, bay leaves, and hot peppers all work against roaches. Choose one oil or herb, mix 2 teaspoons oil or fresh, crushed herbs (2 tablespoons dry, ground herbs) into 2 cups water; spray infested areas.
Fleas. “The limonene and linalool in citrus-peel extract kill all stages of the flea’s life cycle,” Bond says. Try this dog rub (cats don’t like the smell): Cut up 4 lemons and simmer for 1 hour in 1 quart water, adding water as needed; cool, strain, and massage mixture into Fido’s coat.
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