You have the food, the guests, and the games, but who invited the ants? Summer fun typically includes unwelcome pests that enjoy the day right alongside you.

Pesticides are effective but also pose dangers to our health, so I consulted my old copy of Haley’s Hints by Graham and Rosemary Haley (3H Productions, Inc. 1995) and searched online to offer you some alternatives. I found several natural items that are said to be affective.

Following is a list of herbs, spices, and oils and the pest most annoyed by them. Give them a try, and let me know how they work for you. Sprinkle the spices and herbs around affected areas, in cupboards, point of entry, and the perimeter of your rooms. Or add a few drops of the oils and extracts to water and spray the areas.

Here’s the list beginning with the pest and then the remedy:

  • Ants: Sage, bay leaves, cloves, white or cayenne pepper, cinnamon, peppermint oil
  • Earwigs: Crushed bay leaves
  • Flies: Dish of molasses and black pepper, lavender oil
  • Meal worms: Fresh mint or mint flavored chewing gum
  • Mosquitoes: Oranges and onions
  • Mice: Peppermint extract, lavender oil

©Mary K. Doyle

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