We all know that small bugs don’t eat the big ones, but there’s nothing worse than being surprised by an infestation of ants, faced with a moth problem or eaten by mosquitoes. Most often, there are ways to fight these unwanted guests and to prevent them from showing up in the first place.
Ants, like many other insects, can be useful in a garden. They clean it and protect it against thousands of parasites, they aerate the soil and, like bees, they even have a hand in pollination. Awesome, right? But these little guys can also become a major source of concern when they infest a home.
No one is safe
It can happen to anyone. Just be sure you’re doing what you can to put the odds on your side! You like sweets? Ants love them too! Never leave food—especially sweet foods—out around the house, and wash dishes right away after use. Take out the garbage as quickly as possible.
Before trying to get rid of ants, you need to find out how they’re getting in. Even though carpenter ants can be up to 2.5 cm long, their size really isn’t a problem: they can infiltrate the tiniest cracks in the house or window frames, which are usually damp, so good places to build a nest. Old wooden elements, which may be in bad shape, are also a prime location for these pests to make a comfortable new home.
Although ants love certain foods and odours, there are others they can’t stand. Once you’ve found their nest, you can create an olfactory barricade. Use lemon rinds, ground coffee and basil leaves to get them packing.
In the spring, or as soon as you seem them in the house, check every room and the foundation for cracks and fill them as you go. Don’t forget the drier and fan vents or plumbing and chimney outlets. Take a vacuum with you on your inspection. If you come across a nest, you can just suck these pests out then and there.
Moths in the closet
A veritable curse, the clothing moth is one of the most resilient species in the animal kingdom. It’s not surprising that they’re so hard to get rid of! Even though they only live 15 days or less, they reproduce very quickly and aren’t affected by weather conditions, so they proliferate, generation after generation, all year round.
A pain in the moth!
It’s no wonder that people with a moth problem get discouraged. While it’s possible to reduce their population with lots of patience and determination, there isn’t any effective solution to get rid of them for good.
Moths don’t like being bothered. In the spring, shake out and brush your clothing and carpets regularly, and check for hatching in your closets, dressers and even in protective clothing bags. Since moths like the human smell, especially on wool sweaters, only put clean clothing into your closet. And feel free to kill all the moths you see!
Won’t Grandma’s method work?
Many times, the only choice is to put glue traps in all the rooms that have closets or carpets. There are some natural moth deterrents, but they have yet to be proven effective. For a little added protection, it may be worth it to hang in your closet an orange with cloves stuck in it, cedar wood balls or even citronella sachets.
You think you’re immune to mosquitoes? Or are they out to get you? Well, it might not be all in your head! These unpleasant insects do in fact attack those with an attractive scent (to them). Good to know: they are more attracted by women and people who regularly eat sweet foods or drink alcohol.
Mount your defenses!
At home, the most effective way to keep mosquitoes at bay is to install screens in sliding doors and in windows. In the summer, wear light, long-sleeved clothing and pants when you spend time outside in the evening. If you’re one of the unfortunates who gets bit through your clothing, use bug spray, and make sure there isn’t a place where the buggers are reproducing nearby!
Keep an eye out for foul water in the yard and around the outside of the house. The smallest amount of stagnant water, puddle or accumulation of water can become a nursery for the 500 eggs a female of pests can lay each day! Eggs mature in just 10 days. At least once a week, clean out all the areas that could hold a clutch of eggs. Make sure there isn’t standing water in plant pots, wheelbarrows and especially under gutters.
There are many natural means and steps to take to keep out most unwanted insects. Your best allies are spiders—mosquitoes’ sworn enemies! Set aside your aversion for them and let them work for you. They’ll get the job done!