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Natural repellents

Posted on 05 June 2018

 

The summer is fast approaching us and the likelihood of annoying bugs in the house is increasing. Usually they are harmless although can be very irritating to say the least.  Most of us tend to go for a spray of some kind from the local supermarket, but I find many of the natural repellents work very well if not better. At least they are safer to use for us and for children and animals. They also smell less potent and can be pleasant as a room fragrance. Here are some of my personal tried and tested favourites or most common pests. Hope you will get some inspiration and give it a try yourself. 

 

Mosquitos 

The mosquitos can be super annoying and also eager to suck your blood creating itchy red markings on our skin. These are the females mosquitos as they need the food to produce eggs.  Mosquitos are attracted to human breath and smells (chemicals). Some of us seem to attract them more than others, but the reasons for this are unclear. 

 

Natural mosquito repellents

 

There are several thousand type of mosquitos, but the European species are safe and do not carry diseases. When travelling to Africa there is always a risk of malaria infection, so prevention is important. The best ways to avoid mosquitos is to try to remove any of their habitats. They breed in shallow waters so remove any possible breeding grounds around your house. They live in colonies and do not fly long distances so preventing them breeding near you is important. 

There has been some signs that mosquitos are becoming resistant to insecticides, so use of natural repellent is a great option. They are easy to use and there are for example many essential oils you can try. Make your own sprays to use around the house or body lotions to use on exposed skin if you are spending time in the forest. 

Try some of the following essential oils: citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus lemon, clove, cinnamon to make a spray, oil or lotion. You can also try growing some herbs in your garden like mint, rosemary, lavender or citronella. Treating mosquito bites? Make your own treatment balm with base oil like sunflower oil and lavender essential oil which is calling and calming for the skin. Apply on the affected areas. 

Read How you can make your own insect repellent

 

Ants

Ants are not dangerous to your health, but can be quite annoying when they take over your kitchen or bathroom which are the most common problem areas. Ants live in big groups and suddenly there can be hundreds if not thousands taking over your home. These are the worker ants who are in search of a food or next home, they look after the queen, males and the babies. The best ways to avoid ants in your home is try to prevent them taking over in the first place. They are attracted to smells (pheromones) and often find their way to any sweet things and other foods left out in the open.  The ants usually send some workers to check out the area first leaving behind a scent mark for other to follow. They usually walk the same route and you can place your repellent on these areas.

 

Natural ant repellents

 

I have successfully used peppermint essential oil to get rid of ants and I swear by it. Just a few drops on the walk way is enough to confuse them and most likely they will not return. You can create a spray as well with just peppermint essential oil if you find that easier to use. There are a few other ingredients that are widely recommended, such as vinegar, lemon, clove and tea tree essential oils. Keeping things clean and avoiding food in open areas is also important. 

Check out some other natural ant repellent ideas

 

Mice

Now this can really be a challenge. Although they may not be dangerous, but they can carry viruses. Also cleaning up the mice poo continuously is not very pleasant. Mice are quite clever and can fit in through very small gaps in the house. They are territorial animals and live in small family groups. They can breed throughout the year and give birth to dozen babies at a time which can make them a big problem in the house. They are more active during the night and always looking for food. You usually realise you have a problem when you find small mice droppings in the kitchen and half eaten bread or fruits. I recommend you take action immediately before the situation gets out of control.

 

Natural mice repellent

 

The first things to do us to check any possible cracks or holes where the mice can get in and block them. It can be difficult especially if you live in an old house. Avoid leaving any foods out in the open and keep all dry foods like grains in hard plastic or glass containers. The mice will learn quickly where to get their food so will return to the same location repeatedly. Keeping the food source locked away will deter them coming back.

I tried peppermint essential oil which did not have any affect. I also tried the traditional trap, but found it too traumatic for myself to deal with. I did however successfully use chilli powder to get rid of mice in my previous flat. I sprinkled the powder in all the cracks of the floor. I bought super strong powder and used gloves and face protector.  I knew their usually walking route and targeted especially those areas. My mice disappeared almost over night never to be seen again. I find this to be the best method as nothing else seemed to work and I did not want to poison them as there is always a risk they will die inside the walls. I also have a problem with killing any creatures and try to find a way to get rid of the problem permanently. For me the chilli powder did the trick.      

Read about other natural mice repellent methods 


Hope you found these tips useful. Do you have problem visitors in your house? What are your top tips? Please leave your comments below

 

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