Thursday, May 30, 2013
Pests Be Gone
1. Flies hate the smell of basil so you can discourage them by placing pots of basil at doorways and windowsills and on the kitchen counter. You can also put dried basil in a small muslin pouch, rubbing it occasionally to keep the scent strong.
2. Catnip repels mosquitoes more effectively than DEET. Grow it in your garden or apply undiluted catnip oil to the skin for up to two hours of protection.
3. Spiders are not fond of citrus. In a spray bottle, mix water and unsweetened lemon or lime juice. Wipe your countertops with the mixture or spray down doorways and windowsills. You can deter spiders in your garden by spreading around lemon, orange, or lime peels.
4. Use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to wipe down countertops and other surfaces—anywhere you've spotted ants. For best results, repeat this several times a day. Doing so destroys the scent trails that ants use to navigate.
5. A pair of barn owls and their brood can eat over 3,000 mice in a nesting season. Attract them to your property with an owl box. If the food supply is dependable, the same owls may return season after season.
6. Many kinds of wasp are incredibly territorial and will not build a nest within 200 yards of another one. So build or buy your own fake nest and hang one in the front and back yards.
7. Alternately salting and vacuuming your ﬂoors will kill ﬂea eggs. But since fleas have a three-day reproduction cycle, you have to salt every day for nine days and vacuum every third day. Be sure to empty the vacuum every time, or the live ones will crawl right back out again!
8. Cinnamon bark oil has been shown to control dust mites. Mix several drops into a 50/50 solution of water and denatured alcohol. Spray bedding, carpets, and any other places dust collects.
9. Fruit ﬂies can be trapped with a glass three-quarters filled with vinegar or cider vinegar, six to eight drops of dishwashing liquid, and fill to the top with warm water.
10. Many gardeners have had luck deterring deer with Irish Spring soap. Hang it or spike it to a stake near things that deer like to eat. You can also sprinkle shavings or small chunks on the ground.