Six natural pest removers
Brits are being offered tips to remove pesky pests who might find their way into homes this spring and summer.
The experts at GardeningExpress.co.uk have collated the best ways to remove a range of pests, without the need for harmful chemicals.
Most of us are at peace with wasps, mosquitos and flies buzzing about in the garden in the warmer months. However, when they start infiltrating the home or ruining a BBQ or picnic, there are simple, natural steps to take to keep them at bay.
Other insects, like cockroaches, ants and slugs, will make themselves at home in any accessible space. It is important to check the walls and behind kitchen cupboards for signs of them.
A spokesperson at GardeningExpress.co.uk said: “Pests make their way into our homes for a range of reasons, it could be because they can smell food, have found a crack or fancy a bit of warmth.
“Having food easily accessible will attract pests in bucket loads, so it is important to remove any crumbs from around the house, store open foods in containers and tightly shut jars.
“Whilst very few pests are particularly harmful, they can be very irritating. To avoid them causing an annoyance when you are relaxing, or ruining dinner times, Brits are being urged to use natural remedies to remove them.”
Natural pest removers and repellers:
These pesky biters can be found year-round, but are particularly prevalent during warmer months. They are great at biting and stealing a human’s blood incognito, as they produce an anaesthetic when they bite. Mosquitos are most active on warm evenings, so cover up any bare skin up to prevent getting bitten. Instead of using chemical-based products to repel the nasty biters, opt for crushed lavender flowers. Rub the mixture on areas that are particularly sensitive and susceptible to bites. The fragrance and oils produced repel adult mosquitoes and lavender has analgesic, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities, meaning it will also calm and soothe the skin.
The Eucalyptus Gum Tree is also worth investing in. This plant is well known for its insect repelling qualities thanks to its pleasant menthol aroma.
Wasps and hornets
Wasps and hornets are found in almost every garden over summer, but instead of running away and hiding food from them, consider using peppermint to repel them. Spray the areas of the home that are frequently covered in wasps by diluting some peppermint oil in water, one part to five. Planting peppermint in the garden will also deter the little critters, giving you space to enjoy eating al fresco in peace.
The hard-shelled stinkers are mainly nocturnal, meaning that it is easier to spot the signs of them, opposed to the pests themselves. An unusual smell, small droppings and smear marks on walls will alert you to their presence. To effectively and naturally repel cockroaches from the home, place catnip in places they might be able to access. If it is too late and the roaches have made it into the house already, pick up some clovite. It is a vitamin supplement for horses and is tasty to roaches, but also kills them. Place a small amount in a lid or on a plate, in the cockroach-infested area overnight. Be ready to find a mound of dead cockroaches in the morning and remember to keep the clovite away from children and pets.
Ants can multiply from nowhere, as soon as it seems like you have finally got rid of them! A foolproof way to get them gone and keep them gone is by mixing a vinegar and water solution together, 50/50 in a spray bottle. When sprayed directly onto ants, it will kill them. It is also a great deterrent to keep ants away when sprayed around windowsills, doorways and other ant entry points into the home. It works so well because ants hate the smell of vinegar, and it removes the scent trails that they use to get around.
There are loads of different varieties of flies here in the UK, but despite this, they all share some things in common, like being annoying and incredibly unhygienic! To create an instant fly repeller, mix one teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder with one cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray it near doorways, windows and whenever you see a pesky fly. The smell of the cayenne pepper will also deter other insects, as it is so strong. Other natural, nicer smelling fly repellents include lemongrass, peppermint, eucalyptus, camphor, and cinnamon.
These slimy pests are not only a nuisance, but they also leave nasty shiny track marks on the surfaces where they have been. Sea salt is super coarse and throwing it on them or laying it around their entry point into the house on them will kill them instantly. If slugs in the home are an ongoing issue, put bark or gravel next to their entrance to make the ground unappealing to them. It might also be worth considering getting a bird table to go in the garden. Slugs will be attracted to the dampness and the birds will enjoy their tasty treat.
Sticky backed copper tape can also be purchased and laid around flower pot bases to protect flowers and plants. They carry a small electrical charge naturally – if a slug touches it, they won’t want to venture over it.