When I was a child, I had a really bad case of entomophobia (or “bug phobia,” if you will). I couldn’t even play outside like the other kids because I’d freak out if I was even in the same vicinity as those creepy crawlies.
As I grew older, though, I realized I couldn’t avoid them forever, so I learned anything and everything I could about repelling bugs. If your entomophobia is as bad as mine used to be (and still is!), I recommend these tips and tricks to get rid of bugs.
Vampires aren’t the only ones afraid of garlic. You can create a spray recipe out of this ever-reliable kitchen ingredient. If you have this, plus mineral oil, water and pure soap flakes, you can create a pest repellent from scratch.
Yes, onions are good for something other than making you cry. Slice these up, place them in a bowl of water and watch the bugs head for the hills (or, rather, away from your home).
Mix three tablespoons of any hot pepper — cayenne, jalapeno, what-have-you — with a gallon of water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes, and leave it for 24 hours for the mixture to come together. Then, add a few drops of biodegradable dish soap, and you’re ready to go.
Diatomaceous Earth, or DE, is probably one of the safest and most effective bug killers. When in contact with a bug, it literally gets under a bug’s skin and drains them of moisture until the bug dies of dehydration. Although it doesn’t harm humans or wildlife, it’s a good idea to wear a mask when spraying this mineral in bug-infested areas.
Bugs may love to attack plants, but that doesn’t mean plants haven’t learned to fight back. If you plant lavender, marigold, rosemary and others with scents that repel mosquitoes in your garden, you can say goodbye to expensive, artificial ways to get rid of your pesky, bloodsucking friends.
Cedar is especially effective against moths. Put these in your closet or anywhere else moths like to visit. Next thing you know, your favorite sweaters will be safe from harm once again.
If you’re a bit queasy about the other options, this may be worth a try. Put 10 drops of peppermint essential oil into a four-ounce glass bottle, shake and spray. Peppermint oil gets rid of a variety of bugs from spiders to cockroaches. Mice also hate the smell of peppermint!
Ants are a bugger but there are natural remedies to repel them. Sprinkle ground cinnamon along the areas that you often find ants. If you find ground cinnamon a bit too messy, try using cinnamon essential oil. Add 5-10 drops in your glass spray bottle with water, shake and spray in areas you often see ant collecting.
Yes, you read that right! These round, tangy slices of fruit can keep the ants away from your kitchen counter. Just leave those slices lying wherever ants hang out, and that’s it.
Don’t want to waste those leftover orange peels? Rub them on areas where spiders lurk. Not only will your arachnophobia be kept in check, but your house will also smell great!
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
If you’re looking for an alternative to DEET to protect yourself from mosquitoes or ticks, try using lemon eucalyptus oil. Put a few drops of this essential oil in your glass spray bottle, shake and spray before going outside.
For Stink Bugs
Take a plastic Pepsi bottle, preferably the one with straight sides. Using the label as a guide, cut out the top of the bottle and set it aside. Put a silver LED light inside the bottom half of the bottle. Then, seal it with the top facing downwards, secure it in place with masking tape on four sides, and cover the bottom with dark electrical tape. You can get more info on how and why it works through this YouTube video.
The trap is basically the same as that for stink bugs, only instead of LED light, you’ll use an anti-mosquito mixture instead. To make that, mix together sugar and hot water, then add yeast. Stir until the mixture is frothy, and pour it into the bottle along with one cup of water. Wrap it loosely with plastic, and store it in a place where the yeast can safely ferment for a week. Afterwards, hang it where mosquitoes congregate.
Again, the basic trap is the same as that for stink bugs and mosquitoes — except for what’s inside. Before you seal the trap with the funnel (i.e. the top part of the bottle upside down), pour cooking oil along the sides. Then, pour in any sweet liquid inside the trap, and hang it out near the wasps’ lair.
Find a large, empty jar. Line the inside edge of the opening with Vaseline. Put your bait inside the jar (e.g. peanut butter) and watch the little buggers’ futile efforts to escape. Who’s laughing in the face of evolution now?
Rinse, Repeat and Revise
Even if the traps seem to work now, be sure to observe them until you see no more signs of infestation. Otherwise, your six- or eight-legged friends will either develop a resistance to them, or even “learn” to avoid them altogether.
Keep It Natural
If you notice, most of the bug repellents on this list come from Mother Nature. Artificial repellents can be just as effective, but they’re potentially toxic to the environment, so it’s recommended to use all-natural ingredients as much as possible.
Take Preventative Measures
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Check your house regularly for possible places where bugs thrive, and clean/seal them off. Know why you had the infestation in the first place, and take steps to prevent it from happening again.