Ants, roaches, mosquitoes, and the occasional termite—no matter how clean your home is, and even if you live high up in a condo unit, these bugs keep on crawling and flying back!
If you are afraid of using DEET-laden insecticides commonly available at the supermarkets (DEET or diethyltoluamide is the main chemical in insect repellents), perhaps you can consider more natural ways of de-bugging your home.
Organic insect repellents are non-toxic and safe to use, especially if you have kids, and most of them are actual food ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen. Here are a few:
The herb that you put in your laksa can shoo away pests. Fragrant lemongrass leaves produce citronella oil, which is an effective insect repellent. Tie together bunched-up lemongrass sprigs and tuck into cabinet corners to repel cockroaches; just replace them once these dry up.
Citronella oil (available at organic stores like Zen Nutrients) can repel mosquitoes. Just apply every 30 to 60 minutes on skin.
The bitter scent of cucumber peels tends to drive away roaches. Get a young (bubut) cucumber veg and peel the skin into large strips. Sprinkle these around dark corners where roaches tend to roam around in.
The powerful irritants of the cayenne you sprinkle on your arrabbiata can also repel ants and cockroaches. Mix one tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper into a cup of water. Transfer to a small sprayer and spritz the legs of your furniture or the bottom of your kitchen cabinets.
Tip: Make sure to wear protective gloves and keep yourself from scratching your eyes while preparing and spraying this.
A basin full of water
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Lastly, if you’ve ever been bothered by pesky gamugamo (moths or flying termites), don’t bring out the insect spray. Simply fill a light-colored, wide-rimmed basin full of water, and set on an elevated area in the room—the moths will immediately fly into it.