I hate bugs! Spiders, mosquitos, snakes, ants, and every other pest that can invade my comfort space! Here are some easy, peasy ways to keep these pests at bay from your living space! Most can be found right in the Gardening section of Walmart, or online at Home Depot. Maybe you've seen some of my suggested plants at your local Farmers Market?
Outdoor Plants - Keep pests away!
Instead of DEET or other harmful, toxic chemicals, the plants I list here are safe and non-toxic. The smell of Mint, Rosemary, Thyme, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Lavender and Marigold in your flower beds and pots will help to naturally deter most annoying pests from coming into your yard and home.
Plant some Rosemary, Garlic, Thyme, or Mint
Rosemary is one of my favorites because it's pretty hardy and tastes great in my beef stews! It repels snakes, most ants and flying insects. Unlike in the picture above, it's best to plant in a single pot! It grows into a tiny bush and likes partial light.
Mint plants or Mint oil will work on spiders, mice, wasps, ants, and mosquitos. There are actually two different kinds of Mint. The lighter the leaves, the lighter the scent and the darker leafed plants have a stronger Mint scent. These are perfect as houseplants. As an outdoor plant, it really digs its roots in, spreads itself around and makes itself harder to get up later! Mint likes plenty of sun and soil that drains water well. Like Basil, this is a great companion plant for vegetables! Planting 2-4 inches from Tomatoes keeps aphids and cabbage moths away from them.
Basil plants can also help deter mosquitos and houseflies. It's the perfect indoor plant! A small pot can be put on window sills or end tables, and caring for them as an indoor plant will cut the monotony of the Winter season!
Garlic is not the dietary favorite of moles, gophers, mice, fleas, stink bugs, aphids, OR snakes! Garlic water is an old trick to protect areas from rodent and pests.
Lavender is easy to grow and helps deter mice, mosquitos, fleas, flies and moths. Its no wonder the scented sachets have always been considered the best for suitcases, trunks, drawers and closets!
Lemongrass planted in full Sun will deter snakes, bed bugs, fleas, mosquitos, wasps, and most pests from trying to come inside. Lemongrass Oil is one of my favorite scents for the indoors, too! It has a fresh, lemony-smell that's also a great mood lifter. Did you know just by taking a whiff of a cut lemon you can instantly improve the way you feel? You can find the spray at Target, or Walmart, and it also comes as a diffuser kit. Lemongrass Oil is also available at my favorite online apothecary, Bulk Apothecary. House and garden pests find both the smell and the taste of Lemongrass to be unsavory!
Cedar Balls for storage, closets, and dressers
Red Cedar contains phenols which give off that earthy scent we all love but which is so poisonous to the livers and respiratory tracts of rodents, like mice and rats. An arachnid, Spiders are not considered to be insects, so Cedar will only affectively kill, and deter, rodents, cockroaches, fleas, ants (fire and crazy), moths, and venomous snakes! No wonder we loved cedar trunks so much, huh? Red Cedar kills odor causing bacteria and is resistant to rot, too. Make sure your Cedar is 100% and not mixed with fillers, such as Aspen or Pine.
Cedar Oil has been used by the United States Military for deployments to the Middle East. It's also considered a pesticide in Canada and can only be applied by licensed technicians.
Cedar Balls can be found at Target or Walmart. They are non-toxic and smell a lot better than moth balls! Use these and keep the creepy crawlies out of your drawers. They're also perfect for storage bins, too! I bought a ton about 10 years ago and still have them rolling around in our dressers, storage bins and closet organizers. I should probably take my own advice and get a nice refresher box!
Outdoor Lighting - Yellow Light Bulbs
Some people flick their outdoor lights off at night. This is not a good thing and I'll tell you why! It may be cost efficient for your electric bill, but outdoor lighting helps deter thieves. Burglars are less likely to try and break into a home where there is a dog barking. Also, when there aren't any shadows to hide in while they creep around at night, it's harder for burglars to peep into your windows! By simply changing the bulbs to a yellow light bulb, you not can not only keep your home safe, but mosquitos won't swarm near your lights. They can't see the yellow light as easy as they can see a blue or ultralight bulb. No more Kung-Fu fighting your way to your front door either! If there's no flying nocturnal insects, spiders aren't likely to build their webs near your home. They'll stick to trees or areas where there's a better chance for them to catch their prey!
Keep food stored.
One thing that instantly draws the creepy crawlies are available food sources. Make sure your yard has no standing water because it's a known breeding ground for mosquitos and most flying insects. Picnics or outdoor BBQ's make summer the best time for unwelcome pesky pest invaders. Repeat that three times fast! Use reusable storage containers for quick clean up. This will keep your food fresh and keep bugs away.
Throwing Rosemary bundles onto your BBQ is a great added deterrent while outdoors. Rosemary is also great on meat, but that's a different recipe! Sage bundles also work and both have a nice scent. I think Sage is a well-known favorite!
A Bat House
Building a Bat House for your yard and inviting Mother Nature to have one of her nocturnal creatures come and live a spell, is also a nice alternative to toxic sprays. One thing realtors all know is that it's all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Just make sure to put the Bat House in a spot that's not intrusive to the inhabitants of your own home. Under the eaves, not near any second-floor windows, or placing it high up on a stake, or in a tree, are great locations!