Pest control 01
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The joy of moving to your dream home to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the new ambience could be crumbled with a single sight of a pest infestation.

It is an inevitable reality that every home will be, at some point, invaded by unwanted pests such as ants, cockroaches, mosquitos, as well as flies - hidden in the carpet, crawling across counters or walls and nesting snugly in one’s wardrobe.

Though conventional pesticides are available for most common household pests, these harmful and toxic chemical compounds could pose a hazard to you, your family, household pets as well as to the environment.

Let’s take a look at some easy and non-toxic options that you can implement to your residence to keep away pests while keeping your family, pets and the environment unharmed!


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Ants

Homeowners have definitely experienced the infestation of ants within their homes at some point of time. This is because ants are attracted to the goodies that can be found in your kitchen, thus, the first line of defence would be to keep counters as well as the sink free of leftover food, crumbs and even sticky residue.

It is wise to store sugar in airtight containers while honey should be placed in a plastic bag. One may not be aware but some natural products found in your kitchen can be used as ant repellents, which include citrus oil, lemon juice, cinnamon, coffee ground as well as cayenne pepper powder.

All you have to do is to find the source of where these ants are coming from; usually from small cracks in your home. Next, you should place the aforementioned items in a straight line where an ant would usually come from and rest assured that these little bugs will not cross it.

Other items you can use in the same fashion include dry crushed mint leaves or cloves, bitter cucumber slices and sliced garlic.


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Cockroaches

Cockroaches can be found throughout the home as these brave pests usually make sudden appearances to the horror of those living within a household, especially in the kitchen and the bathroom. To get rid of this pest, it is wise to regularly vacuum and wash the affected areas with strong soap products.

To those who are unaware, catnip is a natural repellent for cockroaches. A small amount of catnip in areas infested with cockroaches will do the trick, or you could also gently boil the catnip in water and spray the solution to the areas that are hard to reach.

The active ingredient in catnip called nepetalactone is a highly volatile oil effective in repelling insects. However, it is best to only use this remedy in households without cats. If you have cats, you can optionally use bay leaves, cucumber slices or garlic as cockroach deterrents.


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Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are dangerous as they act as carriers for many viruses without exhibiting symptoms themselves such as yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya. To keep these harmful pests away, the first line of defence would be to seal even the smallest mosquito entry points visible within a residence.

Homeowners should also look into ensuring that potential breeding areas for mosquitoes such as water in birdbaths, wading pools and pets water bowls are changed and cleaned at least twice a week. Adding to that your garden should be free of any container able to hold stagnant water as well such as used tin cans and pots without drainage holes.

Did you know that introducing certain flowering plants in your garden can effectively keep mosquitoes away? Marigold, for example, is said to release a certain scent that flying insects simply dislike.

In addition to that garlic juice, neem oil, Thai lemongrass, sage or even rosemary can also be used to effectively to keep annoying mosquitoes from flying around your home!


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Flies

Just like mosquitos, flies are a nuisance found around the home that is able to carry diseases as well as germs. Some of the common diseases spread by flies include malaria, West Nile fever, encephalitis as well as food-borne illnesses.

What you can do to prevent flies from entering your home includes sealing up doors, and roof vents as well as washing fruits prior to consuming to eliminate ingesting any eggs that it may be carrying.

Herbs that you can find in your local store are extremely effective in keeping flies away from your home. Mint is an effective fly repellent and can be used in the form of small sachets to deter flies.

Basil is another herb that is commonly used as a natural pesticide. The application of basil is as simple as placing it on open food or exposed fruits to avoid flies from landing or coming anywhere near consumables.

Adding to that, cloves and eucalyptus can also be used in areas where flies are a problem by adding a few drops of the said herb oils on an absorbent cloth or gauze and leave it close by open windows or doors.


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Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small insects that are hard to detect with the naked eye. These oval and brownish insects thrive on the blood of animals and humans. After feeding their bodies would swell and appear reddish in colour.

Bed bugs can usually be found over floors and hiding on the edges of a bed. These fast-moving pests lay microscopic eggs throughout their lifetime that are extremely hard to spot. People that travel often should be aware of bed bugs and the best defence against the said pest is through thorough prevention, especially in rooms that are yet to be infected.

If you do suspect bed bug activity in your room, you don't have to throw away all your things just yet, instead you can opt to use a non-toxic bed bug spray that would kill bed bugs as well as eggs upon contact.

The said spray can be applied on clothing, furniture, luggage as well as mattresses, is able to prevent bed bug activity effectively for up to two weeks. It is also advisable to wash all bedding in hot water (approximately 50 degrees Celcius). This will wipe out any traces of bedbugs successfully.

Lastly, personal items such as soft toys and blankets can be vacuumed and stored in plastic bags for an extended period of time to eliminate bed bugs.


Conclusion

Keeping household pests away from your home is not rocket science however, one should consistently implement the aforementioned suggestions to keep your home bug-free.

It is wise to carry out routine checks in the areas that you would least suspect an insect infestation to take place such as in hard to reach nooks and crannies, crevices as well as stagnated water bodies, that provide the ideal conditions for these creatures to breed.

Now that you are equipped with solutions aplenty to combat these annoying critters, hopefully, you would be able to relax in your home with utmost peace of mind!

(By Viknesh Ashley Clarence, 27 June 2019)

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Thanks for suggestions on bugs