Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Home Pest Control Methods, Tips, & Products

Outside of entomologists, very few people like bugs. Sure, unusual species are interesting to look at during a visit to a science museum, but with the exception of butterflies do you ever see an insect in your home or yard and want to get closer? Likely not. Most folks work to get rid of them. Here are a few pest control tips on how to do exactly that for four pests in particular…

Mosquitoes

No-Bugs The best way to control the mosquito population in and around your home is to prevent their existence altogether. These biting bugs lay eggs on the surface of water, so eliminate that option. Inspect your property for standing water and dump it as well as the vessel that collected it. Keep your gutters clear. If you enjoy having birds on your property, invest in a bubbling fountain instead of one that stays still.

Unfortunately, when it comes to mosquitoes what your neighbors do has an impact on your yard and home. If they do not follow the above advice, the insects will be born and venture out to seek their meals. Help deter them from coming onto your property by planting marigolds, a natural bug repellent thanks to their fragrance. There are also a variety of mosquito traps available, from those that use pheromones to electric models. You can even hang a bat house and invite the bigger flying creatures to eat the much smaller ones: Some species of bats can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes a night.

No matter which method you choose, be sure to seal up any entry points to your home. Replace damaged screens and recaulk any gaps between windows and doors and their frames.

Fruit Flies

pest controlLike with mosquitoes, prevention is key. These insects lay their eggs near fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials, which their larvae then eat. Do not keep rotting fruits or vegetables. Wash all containers you plan to recycle and keep your bins clean. Do not let dirty dishes sit, especially those that have held sweet foods or drink.

Finally, keep your sink drains clean. Organic matter can collect in sink drains, giving fruit flies the perfect nursery. Products that dissolve the organic matter are available at your local home improvement store, as are long wire brushes you can use to scrape the inside of your drain. Once the kitchen and drains are clean, set out a vinegar trap—a small glass with cider vinegar inside and a plastic bag with a tiny hold punched through over the opening—to collect the adult fruit flies.

Ants

A clean kitchen also helps keep these bugs at bay. If they do make their way inside, the most important step you can take is to eliminate scent trails the first visitors to your home leave behind for their colony mates. A thorough cleaning with white vinegar will do the trick. If you cannot locate the ant nest to eliminate it, create bait by combining 1 liter of water, 1 tsp. Borax and 1 cup of sugar. Soak cotton balls in the bait and leave near the entry points. The ants will take the bait back to the colony, where it will eventually prove fatal. Note: Do not use this method if you have small children or pets in the house who can reach the bait.

Spiders

These insects help indoors way more than they harm. If you only see the occasional spider, and it is not one of the venomous varieties, let it be. That spider will dine on any roach, earwig, mosquito or fly that dares invade your home. If you simply will not share your home with the eight-legged, carefully relocate spiders to the outdoors using a glass and a sheet of paper, where they will dine al fresco.

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by Molly Maid