Get Pests to Bug Out

By Joanne Loos Posted in: ImproveThe Fix is In

There are many things that bug people. Actual critters shouldn’t be one of them! These home remedies will send those domestic creatures packing

As I was winding down from a long day the other night, I lay in bed reading. I was starting to feel at peace and ready for some rest when all of a sudden something hit my hand. A flying cockroach flew directly into me before settling near my reading light, which was sitting on my lap.

Before we moved, my fiance and I had to deal with our share of bugs, but this time it’s different. Now, we are in a single-family structure with a yard and have to deal not only with bugs crawling in, but also those flying around outside. Regular extermination can help keep creepy crawlies at bay inside the home, but what about the occasional critters that crawl or fly into your territory? Here are some things you can do to deter them.

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• Remove standing water.Mosquitoes breed rapidly in water, so turn buckets or other receptacles upside-down if they’re outside. If you have plants that hold water, such as certain bromeliads, talk to a trusted landscaper or horticulturist about properly treating them so mosquito larvae cannot collect there. The solution could be as simple as rinsing their reservoirs regularly.

• Plant a garden that repels insects. Marigolds, citronella grass, spearmint and rosemary all are said to have properties that ward off insects such as mosquitoes, ants and whiteflies.

• Ban insect-friendly habitats.Tall grass and outdoor rugs provide cool, damp spaces that insects like roaches love to hide in. They also love stacks of paper.

• Seal what you can. The bugs that crawl or fly in do so through entry points. If you like to keep fresh air flowing, make sure your screens are hole-free and that the mesh is fine (20 by 20 mesh or finer should do the trick). Install thresholds under your doors and check to make sure your door and window frames are well-sealed.

• Stop feeding them. Keep trash in bags and covered bins. Clean the kitchen regularly and keep food in airtight containers.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.