Fruit flies, ants, house flies, mosquitoes and spiders: no one likes seeing these creepy crawlies and winged-menaces around the house. Luckily, with a little perseverance coupled with a squeaky clean home, you can banish these pests from your dwelling by opting for these natural and non-toxic insecticides: (If cockroaches are your problem, we’ve got a separate article just for those nasty bugs.)
1. Fruit flies Fruits like bananas are notorious for being quick to overripe. And, when you forget to throw them away, a nasty surprise of a hoard of fruit flies awaits you. To get rid of them, take a screw cap bottle and pour a small amount--around an inch deep--of apple cider vinegar into it. Then, cover the opening in plastic wrap and poke a hole through it so the fruit flies can enter. The vinegar will attract the fruit flies into the bottle, but they won’t be able to get out.
Another method is to leave a bowl of vinegar near the fruit flies. Put a few drop of dish soap into the vinegar. The fruit flies will dive in, but the surface tension created by the soap prevents them from flying away.
2. Ants With crawling insects, the usual go-to is a sprinkling of borax. It is an additive often added to regular laundry detergent to make it more effective in fighting stains in clothes. Borax also happens to be an effective insect killer. Whenever you spot a line of ants marching about your countertops and cabinets, mix 1 part of borax with 20 parts sugar and sprinkle where you see the ants. You can also mix 1/2 teaspoon borax with a scoop of fruit jelly in a bowl and place near the area (just make sure the bowl is kept away from kids and pets).
3. House flies Flies can be a bit trickier and harder to kill. What’s worse, they can carry with them harmful bacteria and diseases. You can create a homemade baited fly trap. First, make sugar water by mixing 4 parts water with 1 part table sugar in a pan. Bring to a boil and let cool. Grab a wide-mouthed jar (like a mayonnaise or a mason jar) and pour your mixture in. Next, roll a piece of paper into a paper cone whose wide end is larger than the jar opening. Snip the narrow end so the whole is just about big enough for the flies. Make sure the funnel isn’t dipping into or very near touching the sugar water.
You may see that some restaurants use an ultraviolet light zapper, which is effective. You may want to consider it for your dirty kitchen or the area where you keep your trash.
4. Mosquitoes Mosquitos carry deadly diseases like dengue. The best way to keep mosquitoes away is to throw out any possible spots where they can lay eggs. This will mean any place that stagnant water can pool. Look in pots, plants, used tires and gutters. Smear on insect repellent lotion when going outdoors, too, especially during the rainy season.
5. Spiders We can see why you’d want spiders out of your home. The sight of them can make even the most courageous’ skin crawl. But, hear us out when we say you should reconsider squishing them. Most house spiders aren’t dangerous to humans. In fact, poisonous spiders that can harm us are quite rare. They are, however, dangerous to insects like flies, cockroaches and ants which they like to munch on. Yes, they will help keep down the pest population in your home. So, it can be your benefit if you simply turn the other way when you see one.