There is not much more aggravating than having overly aggressive flies, yellowjackets, fleas, box elder bugs, and other insects making their presence known by crashing your backyard barbecue or harassing you and your loved ones in your home while you are trying to relax. In areas that experience all four seasons, insect populations can explode under the right conditions, and when they do, they can begin interfering with our everyday lives in a multitude of ways, such as:
- Fleas, bed bugs, cockroaches, and other pests affecting house pets and denizens as well as creating a more unhealthy indoor environment.
- The feces of swarming box elder can stain light-colored surfaces, and smashing them causes an unpleasant odor.
- Certain species of moth larvae can leave holes in fabric.
Rather than simply taking this sort of abuse from the encroaching bugs in question, here are five ways you can keep those pesky insects away from your home this summer.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
For crawling insects, there isn’t anything much better than Diatomaceous Earth, or D.E. This dust-like powder can be:
- Sprinkled directly where insects are entering the home.
- Applied directly to insects.
- Spread around doors/entryways/windows/perimeters to prevent future entry.
D.E. is deadly to these insects because the chemical compound pierces their exoskeleton, which then dehydrates and eventually kills them within 48 hours. When used as directed, D.E. is typically child/pet-safe as well as effective.
Fly traps come in a variety of models. The most common is the hanging fly strip, which is a sticky piece of adhesive that attracts flies via color/scent. Once the fly lands, it is stuck for good. Other models incorporate a plug-in light to attract not only flies, but also other flying insects such as moths, gnats, and other indoor pests.
Potted Plant Stakes
Much like the fly traps above, these use stick paper and color to draw in their targets. These stakes are placed in potted plants, where flying insects such as gnats, fruit flies, and others tend to hang out, and similarly traps them. Once the stake is full, it is replaced with another.
If you are looking for a solution to keeping down the creepy crawly count without having to resort to suburban chemical warfare, a solution of fifteen (15) drops of lavender essential oil in one cup of water is a good way to thwart their next invasion. Place the solution in a spray bottle and squirt it around doorways, windows, and anywhere else where there is access to the outside.
Peppermint is effective at repelling spiders, ants, mosquitoes, and mice.
Lavender plants have a soothing scent that is absolutely repulsive to flies, mosquitoes, fleas, and moths. Crushed lavender is typically sold in small sachets, and when these are placed in dresser drawers, closets, or anywhere else these pests may be interested in invading, it will repel them.