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BYE BYE, PESTS

Get rid of unwanted house guests the natural way.

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TIP

Essential oils are great at keeping bugs and insects at bay because they find the smell of these natural oils too strong. The best bug-repelling oils are eucalyptus, tea tree, lemongrass, and lavender. Soak cotton balls with these oils and place them in areas that attract bugs.

COCKROACHES

Feed these persistent crawlies with a mixture of sugar or cornstarch and boric acid. The sugar/cornstarch keeps the mixture moist and sweet-smelling, and act as a bait, while the boric acid serves as poison by dehydrating them. Scatter the mixture around kitchen counters and cabinets, or near sink and crevices where roaches usually lurk. Leave it overnight, and clean up in the morning.

MOSQUITOES

Citronella – whether in plant, candle, or stick form – is the top pick to repel these dengue-virus carriers. If you have a garden, a citronella plant is a great addition because it is easy to grow. All you need is to cut the leaves from time to time and crush them to release the strong aroma.

Other natural repellent plants include lavender, lemon balm, rosemary, and basil. They have certain scents that we find pleasant, but are repulsive to mozzies. Plant these fragrant herbs in pots and place them in your balcony or near the front door.

ANTS

Sprinkle talc powder or cayenne pepper near the source of the ants. You can also spray vinegar solution (mix three parts of vinegar and one part water) around the ant’s trail. This is especially helpful around the perimeter of your garden, to prevent ants from trekking inside the home. 

FRUIT FLIES

Make a DIY fly trap with apple cider vinegar – fruit flies can’t resist the smell of anything fermenting. Fill a shallow dish bowl with an inch of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. Add some fruit-scented dish soap. You can leave the dish uncovered, or tightly cover it with plastic wrap and poke a few holes to attract the flies.

MICE

Add about 10 to 15 drops of peppermint essential oil to each cotton ball, and lay them strategically around the house, particularly near holes where you suspect mice are entering. The smell of peppermint is too overwhelming for these little rodents. Refresh the cotton balls every week or so, or when you notice the smell is fading.

LIZARDS

Keep some egg shells around the corners of your doors and windows to keep lizards away. Lizards are repelled by the smell of eggs. Another smell that lizards hate is that of garlic. You can keep cloves of garlic around the house, or make a spray using garlic juice and water.

Text VERLAINE MARQUEZ Photo 123RF.COM