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Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

5 DIY Remedies to Keep Bugs Away This Summer

Insects and bugs are a common problem during the warmer months of the year. Attracted by various food sources, from crumbs to your pets, insects like ants, mosquitoes and wasps can make your life miserable once they invade your home and garden.

When you hire a professional contractor, exterminating most of these creatures can cost an average of $250 to $300, while termite and bed bug extermination can cost $1,300 to $2,500. Thankfully, you don’t need to hire an exterminator or use a lot of toxic chemicals to deal with the issue; there are many natural remedies you can use to help rid your home of pests.

food and herbs on the grill
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Diatomaceous Earth and Borax for Ants

Even finding one ant inside your home can indicate a bigger problem. Ants can eat away at your home, cause foul odors and, generally, be a nuisance. To find the most effective means of dealing with them, you need to know what type of ants you have.

The most common ants found in homes are odorous ant, house ants and carpenter ants. For house ants or odorous ants, mix equal parts borax and sugar and sprinkle it around the areas the ants enter to attract and kill them. For carpenter ants sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth (DE), a lethal dust for insects, made from natural and organic algae-like plants around your baseboards.

Repel Mosquitoes and Flies with Basil & Rosemary

Simply put some fresh basil leaves in a vase or jar with water, then leave them on a table or mantel as decoration. Basil naturally repels both mosquitoes and houseflies, along with looking and smelling great. Add some flowers for a more appealing aesthetic, or decorate the vase or jar with ribbons to blend it in with your decor.

If you’re having a barbeque, and want to keep the bugs away from your guests, just throw a bit of rosemary on the coals to help repel mosquitoes. Rosemary also grows well in gardens as a culinary herb; you can keep it in small pots on your window sill or on your porch to help keep bugs away, while adding its fresh scent to your home.

Repel Garden Bugs with Flowers

Keep your garden and yard free of some of the more annoying bugs by planting any of the following around the perimeter. All of these plants are well-known natural bug repellents that will help increase your enjoyment of your yard.

Citronella Grass
Citronella oil is frequently added to natural bug repellents and the grass it grows from has the same repelling qualities. Plant some around your garden, or simply set a few pots of it out on your porch, to help keep the mosquitoes at bay.

Petunias are easy to grow and make a beautiful addition to any yard. Known as “Nature’s Pesticide”, petunias can repel aphids, tomato hornworms, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers and squash bugs. Protect your garden crops by planting petunias around the perimeter          .

Lavender has a smell that repels mosquitoes, even as it attracts people. Lavender is perfect for the summer season because it grows best in hot, dry climates. The beautiful purple blooms can also be harvested and dried to capture the scent inside your home for months during the winter, as well.

Make a Jar Trap for Wasps

Wasps are a nasty customer to deal with in your yard or home. If they’ve been buzzing around your house or garden, consider making a jar trap to attract and capture them naturally. Fill a jar with 6 ounces of white vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of salt. Set the jar near the area the wasps are coming from; the more wasps you have, the more jars you may need. Keep the jars in place until you’ve attracted and killed all the unwanted guests.

Before you opt for invasive or expensive methods to deal with pests in and around your home, give these simple, do-it-yourself methods a try. You may find them effective for dealing with minor to moderate infestations. If you find that you need more help, a pest control service may be necessary. To find out more about the costs, be sure to visit the Cost Guides.