Living in Australia is all about the outdoors. But as much as I love the outdoors, I don’t like it when outside guests follow me inside uninvited and decide to make my home their own. We’ve covered a few ideas about how to keep insects at bay when you’re entertaining outside (here). Now we’re going to give you a few ideas on how you can deter bugs from coming inside using products you’ve probably already got around the house.
Natural bug sprays are gentler and more pleasant smelling than commercial sprays, so they won’t deter you from the space as well as the bugs with an overpowering smell. A great spider repellent that I love to use around my home is a mixture of 50% vinegar, 50% water with up to 10 drops of peppermint oil mixed in a spray bottle. I use this mixture around all my openings, windows, doors and the chimney of my fire place. Why they like to live there is still a mystery even when it’s in use. But the peppermint spray is fantastic in keeping them at bay.
I like to spray every couple of months. Here on the farm we tend to have an abundance of bugs that try to take over the house, so tend to have to spray more often. But just keep an eye out in your own home. As soon as they start to return, then the spray has worn off and you’ll need to reapply.
Next up are the little creepy crawlers that come in and invade our floors and cupboards like millipedes, centipedes or earwigs. I can tell you that I have a huge issue with earwigs – YUCK!!! But in a funny coincidence, since changing my floor cleaner to my homemade green cleaner which includes vinegar, I haven’t seen them make their way inside. I am so amazed by this as I have always had a huge problem with earwigs. When I’m mopping the floors I make sure that I wash the bottom of all my exterior doors and skirting boards too, and so far, so good. Check out our green cleaning post (here) for the recipe and other tips.
Last, are the flying insects. I’ll be honest here and say that this one is still a hit and miss for me. At the moment I’m using 75% apple cider vinegar to 25% water with 10-15 drops of eucalyptus in a spray bottle. It appears to be working okay but we’re heading into the cooler months so there aren’t as many flying bugs to deal with. I’ll keep you updated on how this goes through next summer so keep popping back.
When you’re using natural alternatives, you do need to keep in mind that they will disperse quickly and won’t linger as a harsh chemical-base bug spray would. Remember, we’re not killing the bugs, just deterring them from coming inside the home. Bugs are great and we do need some of them to help us in the garden, but that’s where they should stay.
My mum swears by hanging fresh bunches of basil from her doors to stop flying insects from coming inside. This has worked really well for her, but I haven’t had the same result. Maybe country bugs are built tougher?
Have you had any success with natural bug deterrents around your home? Let us know what you use; we’d love to hear from you.
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