Friday,26 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1403, (26 July - 1 August 2018)
Friday,26 April, 2019
Issue 1403, (26 July - 1 August 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Keeping insects at bay

Keeping insects at bay
Keeping insects at bay

Are you annoyed by those creepy summer insects that constantly pop up everywhere in your living spaces? Luckily, there are several natural ways you can control and eliminate these disturbing bugs before reaching for the chemical spray.

Keeping your home clean is the best way to keep pests away, especially the kitchen where crumbs and other potential treats hide. Try to avoid cluttering areas where bugs can congregate, especially things like stacks of magazines, boxes or bags.

Here are some natural solutions to make your home insect-free this summer:



Place pots of basil in doorways and on windowsills and the kitchen counter because flies hate the smell of basil. You can also put dried basil in a small muslin pouch, rubbing it occasionally to keep the scent strong. Another solution is to put slices of onion in a pot full of water. You can add vanilla essence to the water for a natural fragrance. UV light traps are ideal for catching houseflies and other relatively large species. Flies are lured in by the light, and then trapped on a glue board or killed by an electric shock



Use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to wipe down countertops and other surfaces where you’ve spotted ants. For best results, repeat this several times a day. Doing so destroys the scent trails that ants use to navigate. You can also spray around openings with lemon juice or use ground cinnamon where ants may be coming in. These are simple remedies to keep ants from invading your home.



Grow catnip in your garden or apply undiluted catnip oil to the skin for up to two hours of protection. This repels mosquitoes more effectively than anti-insect spray or cream.

The carbon dioxide that we exhale attracts mosquitoes, so to drive them away place dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) in a large container and keep it at a distance. When mosquitoes are attracted towards the container, place a cloth over it, trapping them and killing them. 



Though it can take a while to get rid of these hardy critters, there are non-toxic methods of keeping roaches out of your house. They start with lots of cleaning and then sealing up the spots where they get inside. To make your own natural cockroach bait, mix three cups of boric acid with one cup of powdered sugar. The sugar lures the roaches, while the boric acid kills them. Sprinkle the mixture under and behind the refrigerator, stove and dishwasher, under the sink and into the cracks along the edges of cabinets. Also try spraying a little soap and water on roaches, because like most insects they breathe through their skin and the soap essentially suffocates them.


Fruit flies: 

First get rid of the tempting leftover fruit and veggies that lured the flies in. Then try setting this delicious trap for the flies: in a bowl or cup, place a small amount of balsamic or apple cider vinegar and then add six to eight drops of dishwashing liquid and fill to the top with warm water. Cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. It may also help to place a rubber band around it to make sure the plastic wrap stays in place. Poke some small holes in the plastic wrap. The flies will crawl in and they won’t be able to crawl out again.

You can also make a funnel out of a piece of paper and put it into a jar containing a bit of ripened banana or other fruit with or without the vinegar. Put the trap wherever you’ve seen fruit flies. 

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