Ever since you moved into your own apartment, you would probably start to realise that it’s difficult to keep pests away from the house. And while some of them, such as ants or occasional fruit flies may not exactly cause a huge inconvenience, you still hate it when they appear.
If you believe that using chemical pesticides can be dangerous for your household, whether it is for your health from taking in the fumes, or to make sure that you’re not leaving behind any chemicals that may be picked up by a curious toddler, then this article is for you. We share a few ways you can keep household pests out of your homes without using chemicals.
How to get rid of cockroaches without chemicals
We’ll address the most obvious pest that gets us annoyed – cockroaches. One method that has been proven to work is to create your own bait and “poison”. All you need to do is to mix equal amounts of sugar and baking soda in a small container. Place them near the areas that you think the cockroaches are hiding. The sugar acts as a bait to attract these pesky insects and baking soda cause their organs to explode from the build-up of gas in their digestive system.
An unproven method that some people have said work is to create your own anti-cockroach spray. Simply mix one tablespoon of cayenne pepper with crushed onion, crushed garlic, and four cups of boiling water to form the mixture. Then, transfer it into a spray bottle and spritz it at areas where cockroaches appear.
How to get rid of ants without chemicals
Mix vinegar solution (three parts vinegar and one part water) and spray it around the trail that the ants take. If you hate the smell of vinegar around the house, consider doing the same with peppermint and spearmint essential oils.
How to get rid of fruit flies without chemicals
If you are great at DIY, make your own trap. Find a bowl and fill it with just an inch of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. Then, add fruit-scented dish washing detergent into the mixture. You can cover the bowl with plastic wrap to keep the smell in if you don’t like it. Don’t forget to poke a few holes to attract these annoying pests.
Alternatively, you can keep them away with peppermint or lemongrass essential oils.
How to get rid of mosquitoes without chemicals
The citronella scent repels mozzies. Consider getting a citronella plant, or if you don’t have a space for it, invest in a citronella candle. If you have green fingers, you can also consider planting basil or lemon balm. These plants have a nice scent that wards off mosquitoes.
Other tips to keep pests at bay
1. Cleanliness is key
This may be obvious, but we may slack off a little in the cleaning department because it’s too tiring to deal with housework after a long day at work. To help you make work breezier, invest in devices that are easier to use and are effective, so that it feels less like a chore.
Try: Dyson Cyclone V10. You probably have already heard of Dyson’s cord-free vacuum cleaners. The Cyclone V10 is the newest to the family. The V10 digital motor may be half the weight of V8 (its predecessor) but it is faster and more power-dense, as it spins at up to 125,000 rpm. Compared to older versions, it has a more powerful suction, option of larger bin capacity (this means you can empty out less often), and a better cleaner head that helps remove stubborn debris. The machine is even able to separate microscopic dust from air so that the air in your home won’t be polluted as you clean.
Dyson Cyclone V10 retails between S$999 and S$1,199 and is available at the Dyson online store.
2. Store your food well
Very often, pests are attracted by our food. Make sure that you make them less “attractive” by storing them in pest-proof containers. And as a bonus, you’ll help keep your pantry area neater and more aesthetically-pleasing too.
Try: Airtight and moisture-proof barrels, or air-tight clear jars. Barrels are easier if you store large quantities of food that you’d like to easily scoop out, while clear jars look better and allow you to see easily the contents in the receptacle. We really love the options available in the Taobao Collection available at Lazada. Here are a barrel, large container, and clear jar for your consideration.
3. Move your things around
Loose stored items such as cleaning products kept under the sink, plastic bags in a drawer, and toiletries in a cabinet are great hiding and nesting places for household pests. Make sure they don’t make permanent homes in these places by moving them around regularly. It’s as easy as shifting their positions around.
4. Clean up food spills immediately
This is especially after a cooking session. We understand that you’re tired after cooking up a storm, but you’ll need to wipe up every spill and stain, as well as give the stove a thorough scrub down after you cook. The sooner you get rid of food remnants, the less likely you’ll be attracting pests. If you’re the one cooking, ask your partner to chip in with the cleaning up!
5. Fill in crevices and fix leaks
See a crevice in the house, fill it up with cement as quickly as possible. Got a leaking tap or pipe? Fix it soon. These spots are loved by household pests (especially cockroaches) because they are dark and warm, and if water gets trapped there, it’s also a source of water for these pests.