Bug Off! Tips For Getting Rid of Bugs Inside The Home

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mosquitoEarlier this summer, in an attempt to save energy and enjoy the crisp breeze, one night of leaving my window open also left me covered in whelps, courtesy of the mosquitoes that found their way through the window screen.

I spent the next week trying to kill the little suckers through swatting, but to no avail. In fact, I'm pretty sure they doubled in quantity.

Bugs outside the home, I can deal with. I'm in their territory. But when they come into mine, it's game on. Whether they be mosquitoes, moths, or fruit flies, I do not play nice with pests in my casa. Here are some tried and true ways of getting rid of the little buggers:

For mosquitoes, the method that best worked for me is pouring bleach into my all of my drains (kitchen sink, bathroom sink, shower), and getting rid of any standing water (never leaving dishes in the sink, interior planters, etc). This cut out their breeding grounds, so I didn't have to constantly keep killing new bugs. And for the ones that already existed, I found it easier to suck them up with a vacuum cleaner extension instead of jumping around my apartment swatting. I've also heard that mosquitoes tend to steer clear of lemon-scented products (time to do some dusting with Lysol!), Citronella plants, Bounce dryer sheets, and catnip.

If you find your home invaded by moths, the number one thing to do is clean. Clean, clean, clean. If they are pantry moths, get rid of any infested foods (obviously), and scrub the pantry walls to rid them of any hidden larvae and eggs, use a vacuum to make sure you clean out any crumbs, and put store grain-based foods, such as cereal, into an air-tight container.

Getting rid of moths that dare attack your wardrobe is similar to those in the pantry. You first want to be clear of larvae and eggs. Wash and dry any infested pieces, and then throw them in the freezer for good measure. Two to three days of extreme temperatures will kill any existing cling-ons. Then, thoroughly clean your drawers, shelves, etc. Every crack, nook, and cranny.

Bay leaves tend to repel these pests, so once the areas are clean, place a few of these in there to keep them that way. Now that you rid them of their breeding and feeding sources, use a swatter or moth trap to get rid of existing ones flying about.

Last but certainly not least, fruit flies. There are a few tricks that you can do to rid your home of these pests that have staked their claim on your fruits. One way is to place a piece of rotting fruit into a Mason jar. After a few days, there will be a little fruit fly party going on, and then BAM!, slam a lid on that sucker and take it outside. Keep this up until you only have one or two flies finding their way into the Mason jar. Another method is put a piece of skinless fruit into a bowl filled with balsamic vinegar, wine, or cider. Tightly cover the bowl (preferably a dark bowl -- the color attracts flies) with plastic wrap, poking tiny holes along the top. The flies will be able to get in, but can't get out. Mwuahahaha.

Have any tips or tricks for getting rid of bugs in the house? Let's share!

 

Image via Noel Zia Lee/Flickr