Do you know who you're really sharing your home with? They might be crawling around, eating your food or snuggling up in your bed. In a bug census, entomologists surveyed 50 homes in America for bugs and found that every single home had between 32 and 211 species. Gross! Unfortunately, many people leave these household pests until they're swarmed by infestations. There are, however, ways to nip them in the bud when their numbers are still small so you don’t need to use chemicals to eliminate them as that can be toxic to your health.
Here are some of the most common household pests and how to evict them.
Even writing their name has me on goose pumps! Wikes! It's the only thing that can make me cry on sight! Nick is sick of me and I keep telling him he's the man of the house, he should get rid of it!!! According to Discover Magazine, cockroaches carry over 30 bacteria species, including E.coli and salmonella. These pests eat anything, but they have a certain interest in anything starchy or sweet. The problem with cockroaches is that they reproduce very quickly, making it easy for infestations to occur.
You can keep roaches out of your home by filling it up with catnip or bay leaves. A study found that catnip is 100 times more effective than DEET at ridding your home of roaches, and isn’t dangerous to your health. Other ways to keep roaches away is to prevent food lying around, washing dishes immediately after they've been used and closing your garbage cans properly.
2. Bed bugs
If you’re waking up with small red rashes, bed bugs might be to blame. These small, flat, oval-shaped bugs like hiding in mattress seams, headboards and behind wallpaper and clutter. Bed bugs are fond of latching onto you in busy places like hotels and schools, and then hitching a ride to your home where they can get food - your blood - while you sleep. Eeuw! The only solace is that they don’t spread disease. Simple ways to keep bed bugs at bay include storing items that you regularly take out of the home, such as suitcases or jackets, outside of the bedroom to reduce contamination.
You might kill the ants you see but there are usually many more, forming nests in the hidden areas of your home. Ants leave behind a trail of pheromone chemicals for other ants to follow them once they've found food. Seal up any cracks in the walls because the tiniest ones can be enough for ants to move through. Be careful of food that you leave lying around or spill as this can attract them. According to Scientific American, there are many household ingredients that repel ants successfully, such as cinnamon, mint, salt, bay leaves, onion and garlic. Store these near any openings in the wall or windows.
Rats don’t just infect you with a bite - just breathing in dust that's contaminated with their urine or droppings can make you susceptible to viruses such as hemorrhagic fever. Rats enter your home for warmth, water and especially food. Keep food stored well instead of lying around, and make sure your garbage cans aren’t stored close to the house where rats can hide behind them. Essential oils can repel them, such as bergamot oil and geranium oil, according to studies.
These are annoying, especially during the warm weather, but they pose a real problem. Many viruses are associated with flies, including salmonella and e.coli. What’s so dangerous about flies is that they can transfer diseases to you simply by walking on surfaces. They like warm temperatures, so close windows and doors when it’s chilly outside. Clean your surfaces regularly and don’t leave food out in the open. You should also stock up on essential oils to keep flies out of your home. When essential oils such as geranium, lavender and peppermint were applied to cows, they repelled flies for up to 4 hours. The trick is to continue using these scents in your home regularly to keep flies away.
Mosquitoes affect millions of people every year with diseases such as West Nile virus that can cause neurological problems, plus they’re super annoying when they leave your skin covered in itchy red welts. Essential oils are good mosquito repellents. All you need are a few drops of citronella oil, lemongrass oil, lavender oil and peppermint oil to keep them away. You could even douse a ribbon in these oils and hang it up in a window so that the scent will keep mosquitoes out of your home. Best of all, they smell good so they won’t irritate you while you try to sleep like those annoying buzzing mosquitoes. If you want to make a beautiful wooden trap visit this blog here.
Your home could be visited by loads of small, flying or crawling insects, but you don't have to let them overstay their welcome! With green options such as the above, you can keep bugs away and reclaim your home.