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Are you like me, someone who is not fond of the bugs during the spring and summer, but always remind themselves that we need these little critters around, and they do serve a purpose? I do not hate bugs, (and this is coming from a former tree planter that has been in the worst possible bug situations known to man) I simply want them to leave me alone and stay out of my house 😛
My goal always is, never to kill or harm, but to deter bugs and send them packing, far from my bubble. The good news is we have many natural products that bugs can’t stand, but we really like. I this article I will give you some tips to keep these buggers at bay.
Prevention is the best solution. When we start taking steps to keep critters finding their way into our homes. We can potentially avoid a nasty problem simply by having deterrents in place that will dramatically help prevent an infestation.
Keep your counters, cupboards and drawers free from debris. Bugs like dark, hidden places where crumbs fall. This is going to be the most effective tip you can use. keeping your home clean will prevent feeding bugs and literally welcoming them to live with us.
I answer this because I know that if you have a family with children keeping you busy, you are not going to be cleaning all day (correction, I think that is what we do, clean up after everyone else all day, Right?) 🙂 Maintaining your kitchen and the kids rooms would be my priority. Bugs tend to hang out where there are little crumbs dropping from the kids. Try and have them eat at the table to contain food to one area.
We will find the most amazing things lurking in the kids room. Apple cores, peanut butter and jam spread on the bookshelf, and so on. Simply try and keep the kids from eating in their rooms. Have them help clean regularly. Explain to them the importance of keeping a clean room. Easier said then done I am sure, but you will find this tip will decrease critters in the home.
Plants that Bugs Hate. Bugs will turn around so fast when they encounter something they do not like. Keeping your home decorated with plants bugs do not like is a great deterrent.
Basil is a strong-scented plant that not only gives us fresh cooking ingredients but will quickly send bugs running. I keep one on the kitchen counter near my fruits and vegetable bowl. As well, beside my compost were bugs would have it their way and consume my fermenting foods. Basil will keeps fruit flies, spiders and ants away
Lemongrass can be used outdoors planted around the house border. It is an absolutely beautiful landscaping plant that will keep bugs away. If you plant lemongrass near your patio, the mosquitos will not like it at all. Allowing you and the family to enjoy outdoor time without buzzing biters hanging around.
Bay leaves are another counter top cooking plant that will keep critters away. This is a strong-scented plant that creates a large volume of aroma in the surrounding area where the plant is placed. Having a wonderful effect for pest control.
Mint. By now you are likely seeing a pattern. Strong-scented cooking plants including mint are going to be great pest deterrents. With a dual purpose, you can invite friends over for your culinary skills and be confident that no little bugs will be crawling around wondering why they were not invited too.
Essential oils are going to be your best friend when it comes to bug deterrents. There are a few ways to use them. I like to mix my formula and spray it around the kitchen cabinets and crannies around the counter. You can literally give a small mist along the borders of the counter every week or so. Just do not spray directly where you prepare meals.
Another way to utilize your essential oils is to have a diffuser running close to the area you want to be kept pest free the most. Again, I have a diffuser on a shelf in the kitchen.
For outdoor use in the backyard when you are enjoying a family time BBQ, you can mix peppermint and citronella together with unscented witch hazel in a mister bottle. Spray yourself and the family to keep away mosquitos. Pay special attention to your feet and neck 🙂
Oils for particular bugs:
- Flies: Peppermint, Lavender, Sage, Rosemary
- Mosquitos: Lavender, Citronella, Peppermint, Lemongrass
- Spiders: Peppermint, Spearmint
- Ants: Peppermint, Spearmint
- Beetles: Peppermint, Thyme
Want to learn more amazing uses for essential oils check out our article on The Top Ten Uses for Essential Oils.
Essential Oils Recipe
Choose your essential oils you want in your mixture. I recommend no more than 3. Add 20 drops per 100mls. You can divide your oils up equally.
I like to mix 10 drops Peppermint and 10 Citronella in my 100ml bottle of a non-scented witch hazel carrier oil. Or 10 drops of Thyme and 10 drops lemongrass. Both are my two favorite blends for pest control.
Tip # 4
Attract Birds, Keep a few feeders and bird baths around to attract the types of birds that will eat bugs. Especially in the spring, birds love nothing more than fresh bugs for their hatchlings.
Birds are an amazing outdoor pest control. Our bird friends can save us lots of headaches by combing our green space for cabbage worms, whiteflies, aphids, and earwigs. Check out the variety of bug eating birds you can welcome around the home for pest control:
- Bluebirds: grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, larvae, moths
- Cardinals: beetles, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, stinkbugs, snails
- Chickadees: aphids, whitefly, scale, caterpillars, ants, earwigs
- Grosbeaks: larvae, caterpillars, beetles
- Nuthatches: tree and shrub insects such as borers, caterpillars, ants and earwigs
- Oriole: caterpillars, larvae, beetles, grasshoppers
- Sparrows: beetles, caterpillars, cutworms
- Swallows: moths, beetles, grasshoppers
- Titmice: aphids, leafhoppers, caterpillars, beetles
- Warblers: caterpillars, aphids, whitefly
- Woodpeckers: larvae, beetles, weevils, borers
Simply keeping a few fresh water baths and bird feeders will up the population of birds around your home, helping prevent bugs coming into the home.
What sort of great ideas can you share about natural pest deterrents?
Drop us a line so we can help others find solutions to pest control.