Pest-Proof Your Home
Safely rid your house of pests
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.