The first line of defense is to remove the
attractants: keep counters free of crumbs and sticky spots. Cover
the sugar and put the honey jar in a plastic baggie. Cut off
water sources such as drips or dishes left soaking
If the ant invaders persist,
try these simple measures:
Keep a small spray bottle handy, and
spray the ants with a bit of soapy water.
Set out cucumber peels or slices in the
kitchen or at the ants' point of entry. Many ants have a natural
aversion to cucumber. Bitter cucumbers work best.
Leave a few tea bags of mint tea near areas
where the ants seem most active. Dry, crushed mint leaves or
cloves also work as ant deterrents.
Trace the ant column back to their point of
entry. Set any of the following items at the entry area in a
small line, which ants will not cross: cayenne pepper, citrus oil
(can be soaked into a piece of string), lemon juice, cinnamon or
Mix one litre of water, one teaspoon of
Borax and a cup of sugar. Soak cotton balls in the solution and
place them in a small yogurt container with holes punched in the
lids to allow ants access. Place container in a location where
ants are present. Ants will carry the bait back to their colonies
where it will eventually kill the colony. Important: use indoors
only; must be kept away from pets and children.
Leave a small, low wattage night light on
for a few nights in the area of most ant activity. The change in
light can disrupt and discourage their foraging patterns.
Ants on the deck? Slip a few cut up cloves
of garlic between the cracks.
Microscopic dust mites are everywhere in the home - in our beds,
clothing, furniture, book shelves and stuffed animals. For people
with allergies or asthma, dust mites are a problem.
Here's how to reduce the dust mite population in your home:
Vacuum mattresses and pillows. For people
with sensitivities to dust mite allergens, dust mite bedding is
available with zippered, allergen-impermeable encasings designed
to block dust mites.
Wash bedding at 55 degrees Celsius (130F)
or higher. Detergents and commercial laundry products have no
effect on mites unless the water temperature is high.
Keep books, stuffed animals, throw rugs and
laundry hampers out of the bedroom of allergy sufferers. Wash
stuffed animals occasionally in hot water.
Tannic acid neutralizes the allergens in
dust mite and animal dander. Dust problem areas with tannic acid
powder, available at health food stores and pet centers.
Cover mattress and pillows with laminated
covers which prevent penetration by dust mites. Avoid fabric-covered
Cover heating ducts with a filter which can
trap tiny dust particles smaller than 10 microns.
Avoid using humidifiers. Dust mites thrive
on warmth and humidity.
The best defense against cockroaches is a clean kitchen and
bathroom. If roaches are a problem in your home or apartment,
vacuum well and wash the area with a strong soap. Dispose of the
vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed container.
Catnip is a natural repellent to
cockroaches. The active ingredient is nepetalactone, which is
non-toxic to humans and pets. Small sachets of catnip can be left
in areas of cockroach activity. Catnip can also be simmered in a
small amount of water to make a "catnip tea" which can
be used as a spray to apply around baseboards and behind
counters. This natural repellent should only be used in homes
Keep a spray bottle of soapy water on
hand. Spraying roaches directly with soapy water will kill them.
In an empty one pound coffee can, place 1
or 2 pieces of bread which have been soaked thoroughly with beer.
Place in areas known to have roach infestations.
It is a little known fact that roaches like
high places. If you put boric acid on TOP of your kitchen
cabinets (not inside), if space allows between ceiling and
cabinets, the roaches will take the boric acid to their nests,
killing all of them. Boric acid is toxic by mouth - keep away
from children and pets.
Leave bay leaves, cucumber slices or garlic
in the affected area as deterrents.
The first line of defense against mosquitos is to seal their
point of entry. Mosquitos are most active in the early morning
and early evening. They seek areas of still air because they
are hampered by breezes. Close windows and doors on the side of
your house which are opposite the breeze. Then try:
The most important measure you can take
is to remove standing water sources. Change birdbaths, wading
pools and pet's water bowl twice a week. Keep your
eaves-troughs clean and well-draining. Remove yard items that
If you're using the barbeque, throw a bit
of sage or rosemary on the coals to repel mosquitos.
An effective natural bug repellent, mix
one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray
bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body
parts for an effective repellent lasting up to 5 - 6 hours.
Strips of cotton cloth can also be dipped in this mixture and
hung in areas, such as patios, as a localized deterrent.
Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil
extracted from the Neem tree in India. The leaves, seeds and
seed oil of the Neem tree contain sallanin, a compound which
has effective mosquito repelling properties. Neem oil is a
natural product and is safe to use.
Planting marigolds around your yard works
as a natural bug repellent because the flowers give off a
fragrance bugs and flying insects do not like.
For broad application outdoor mosquito
control, electric mosquito traps are
commercially available. These traps do not use chemicals or
Thai lemon grass
(Cymbopogon citratus) is a natural and
effective mosquito repellent. It contains the natural oil,
citronella, which is safe and effective; in fact, lemon grass
citronella is considered more effective than true citronella as
an insect repellent.
You can buy Thai lemon grass at garden
centers and supermarkets, and it grows readily into a clump
about 15" across and about 2ft tall. To use as a mosquito
repellent, break a stalk off from the clump, peel off the outer
leaves, until you find the scallion-like stem at the base. Bend
the stem between your fingers, loosening it, then rub it
vigorously between your palms - it will soon become a pulpy,
juicy mass. Rub this over all exposed skin, covering thoroughly
at least once. You can also make a tincture using alcohol, for
Plantings around the patio will also help