Guest Post by Alexandra Arcand

It’s a new year, and that means you're hearing about resolutions left and right. One resolution that probably doesn’t pop up on your New Year’s resolution radar is getting rid of pests. It’s not the first thing to cross your mind, but as soon as the weather gets nice and those bugs start coming around, it definitely becomes something you wish you had done sooner. 

On top of that, we’re all looking to save some cash any chance we can. We all want to make the best financial decisions for our home, and taking care of pests can be a pricey job. You can save money and reclaim your home from pesky pests by taking charge of your pest problems with these DIY hacks: 

Inside your home

Keep plants around

Lavender flowers

This sounds easy enough, right? There are many plants you can keep in your home to help keep pests away. Plants like mint, lavender, and basil work wonders at keeping annoying bugs clear of your house. 

Mint is great for keeping bugs such as flies, fleas, moths, and ants out. Lavender repels moths, flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. Basil is great for keeping flies away.

Having one or all these plants around can ensure those pests find someone else to bother.

Spread coffee grounds

coffee beans

Coffee is great. It gives you a nice energy burst first thing in the morning, it smells wonderful brewing in your home, and it can also keep ants away. 

You heard that right, coffee is not a friend to ants. They can’t stand the smell of it. If you happen to find a few little ants making their way into your home, take some coffee grounds and place them in the spots they are coming from. This will ensure those ants hit the road and don’t come back.

Head online or over to your local market and stock up on coffee so you can stay awake and keep those pests away.

Use apple cider vinegar

Fresh fruit is great to have around the house, especially in the summer. The only downfall from fresh fruit comes with the friends it seems to bring along, those pesky fruit flies. They’re tiny, annoying, and seem to multiply before your eyes. 

If you want an answer on how to get rid of them, look no further than your nearest grocery store for a bottle of apple cider vinegar. Pour a little of the vinegar in a small cup or jar, then add a drop of dish soap. 

Place some plastic wrap over the jar. Make sure the plastic wrap is tight and secure over the mouth of the container, then take a toothpick and poke small holes in the plastic. Leave this out in your home where the fruit flies gather for a few days and you’ll see it work its magic. 

The flies are drawn to the vinegar, causing them to nosedive right for it. Once they enter the plastic wrap, they’re trapped. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but in this case, reach for the vinegar.

Spray peppermint oil

Peppermint oil has a ton of benefits, and now you can add another to the list. Much like keeping a mint plant in your home, using peppermint oil will help keep spiders, roaches, stink bugs, and even mice away. 

These pests don’t like the smell of mint, so they will steer clear of your home. To make peppermint spray, mix water and peppermint oil together in a spray bottle. Depending on the size of your batch, use the ratio of 8–10 drops of oil for every half cup of water. 

Shake well and spray at entry points in your home such as window sills, door frames, and any cracks you may see. You can easily find peppermint oil on sites like Amazon and other online retailers.

Dry lemon peels

Lemons

If you can’t stand the thought of moths in your home eating away at your belongings, your answer may be lemon peels. Peel a lemon and let it dry. Then place that peel wherever you wish to keep moths away from. Places like dresser drawers, chests, or closets will be sure to stay moth free.

Sprinkle cornmeal

If you seem to have ants and want an easy, natural way to get rid of them, use cornmeal. Ants enjoy eating cornmeal, but cannot digest it; it will kill them. Simply place some cornmeal in spots around your home where you noticed ants and in a little time, it will work its magic and your ant problem will be solved.

Grab your dish soap

Stink bugs are a nuisance no one wants to deal with. Use this hack to get rid of those pests without getting your hands dirty. Grab a pan, probably one you’re willing to throw away, and fill it with water. 

Add some dish soap and place it under a light in your home. The light will attract the stink bugs and then once they are in the water, the dish soap will stop them from getting out and bothering you any longer. 

Outside your home

Get some bird feeders

small bird in a tree

If you enjoy your time outside relaxing, grilling, or tending to your garden, annoying bugs can put a real damper on your day. An easy and natural way to control the bug population around your home is to get some bird feeders or even a bird bath. Birds naturally eat insects, so having them around your yard is a built-in insect control system.

Plant away

marigold flowers

Much like keeping helpful plants inside your home, you can also benefit from planting some outside your home. Plants like chrysanthemums, marigolds, and citronella are great to have around for their bug repelling abilities. 

eBay and other online retailers are great places to find seeds so you can get planting.

Reuse a plastic bottle

Who doesn’t like a hack that helps keep pests away and lets you recycle? With this simple hack, you can keep wasps away from your home and enjoy your time outside without fear of being stung. 

Take an empty plastic bottle and cut it about a fourth of the way down. Remove the cap, flip the top portion upside down, and put it inside the bottom portion, making sure the mouth of the bottle is facing down. Pour a mixture of salt, sugar, and vinegar in the bottom. This mixture will attract wasps, but bees will steer clear. 

Leave this out on your back patio or deck and watch your wasp problems quite literally fall into it.

Mow your grass

Dew drops on grass

You probably already try to keep your grass under control, but if you’re noticing mosquitos have been a bother and your grass is a little long, try mowing it. 

Mosquitos enjoy hiding in tall grass so, if you’ve gone a few weeks without a trim, you’re essentially inviting those mosquitoes to your home. Get rid of them by mowing and cleaning up the clippings afterward so the pests no longer have a hang out spot.

Switch your outdoor lights to LED

It’s a pretty well known fact that bugs seem to all linger around light sources. They don't, however, seem to be as fond of warm LED lights. Switching your outdoor bulbs to LED could cut down your bug problem significantly as your home won’t seem like such an invitation. 

Use coffee grounds, again

Coffee grounds aren’t just good against ants. If you have stagnant water around your backyard, this could be a perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Sprinkling some coffee grounds in the water will cause the eggs to come to the surface, cut off the oxygen supply, and the mosquitos will die before they are able to hatch. 
 
Take these hacks into your 2020, and you’ll be sure to be living your best life, no pests included.

Alexandra Arcand writes for HomeInsuranceRates.com and considers her best life to be a no pest life.

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