Ants, flies, cockroaches, moths and other bugs can be a real nuisance in a home. They damage plants, carry diseases and spoil furniture and upholstery. Pesticides in the form of powders, sprays and liquids can be effective in killing household bugs, but they can be dangerous to pets and children and can be expensive, too. To kill bugs with natural substances, reach for a few household products you already have on hand.
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Spices Repel Insects
Spices not only add flavor and heat to recipes, they can also be used to get rid of insects. Draw a boundary line along door frames or windowsills with a mixture of turmeric powder and cinnamon or cayenne in equal quantities to keep ants from entering the house. Finely chop some garlic, mix it with water, place the solution in a spray bottle, and use it the same way as a barrier to keep bugs out. Use cloves in place of mothballs to repel winged bugs in closets and trunks.
Mayonnaise Kills Lice
Schoolchildren sometimes bring home unwanted friends--lice. Mayonnaise is a combination of oil, egg yolk and lemon juice or vinegar. Lemon juice and vinegar kill lice eggs, and oil suffocates adult lice. Apply mayonnaise liberally to the hair, paying attention to the neck, scalp and the area behind the ears. Cover hair with a plastic shower cap or wrap it in cling wrap and leave it on for 8 hours. Wash with shampoo and rinse with water.
Baking Soda Kills Cockroaches
Mix baking soda and sugar in equal quantities and put the mixture in a dish. Place the dish in an area where you have seen cockroaches, like under the stove, behind cupboards or between the appliances. The sweet smell of sugar attracts cockroaches, but when they ingest baking soda they become thirsty. When they drink water, the baking soda will react with it, creating enough gas inside the stomach to make it burst. When other cockroaches feed on the dead cockroaches, they will also ingest more baking soda and should also die subsequently. Ensure the dishes cannot be easily reached by pets or children.
Red Wine Vinegar Kills Flies
Flies like wine. Mix 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in a bowl and set it in a place that is frequently visited by flies. Mix the ingredients very gently so that bubbles do not form. Flies will be attracted to the smell of the wine, but they will consequently die when they drink the mixture because of the dishwashing liquid, which acts as a poison.
- Head Lice Center; Using Mayonnaise to Treat Head Lice
- Vinegar Book; Getting Rid of Insects; George Hughes; 2005
- Planet Natural; Natural Born Pest Killers; Eric Vinje; 2009
- Pest Tips; Kill Roaches with Baking Soda and Sugar; 2011
- Tammy's Recipes; Kitchen Tip Tuesdays
- Wise Bread; Pesky Pests : Easy Homemade Mosquito and Insect Traps and Repellent; Nora Dunn; 2009
- Easy Fun School; Historical Housekeeping; Pest Control; 2011
- Get Rid of Things; How to Get Rid of Flies; Eric Ronning; 2011
- Safe Natural Cures; Natural Ways to Get Rid of Lice - More Than Home Remedies; 2010
Tom Don has been a freelance writer and editor since 2005. He covers topics such as small business, health and fitness for various online publications. Don holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and Master of Science in website administration from Johns Hopkins University.