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Keep the pests out, keep your home healthy

Friday, Jul. 18 | By Hannah Dellinger
Mint can repel ants and flies naturally.
Stock Photo
It’s that time of year again. The bugs are invading your personal space. Instead of spraying harsh and harmful pesticides and chemicals in your home, try some cheap, natural methods to repel those pests from coming in doors. Fauquier Friday has put together a list of green bug deterring methods for you to give a try.

How to get rid of flies:
Try crushing mint leaves and placing them in small breathable cloth bags. Place the bags around your home and the flies will fly away from the minty smell.
Wrap bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus in cheesecloth and hang them near windows or doors.
Make your own green fly paper by mixing ¼ cup syrup, one table spoon granulated sugar and one table spoon brown sugar. Cut strips of brown Kraft paper and soak in the sugary mixture. Let the strips dry over night before hanging.

How to get rid of ants:
Cut up a cucumber and place the slices at the ant’s point of entry or wherever they are the most densely populated. Crushed mint leaves and cloves also work.
Find the ant’s point of entry and create an uncrossable line in front of it made of cayenne pepper, citrus oil, lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds.
Try leaving a low wattage night light on for a few night where the ants are the most active. The light will disrupt their foraging patterns and force them to seek food elsewhere.

How to get rid of mosquitoes:
Make your own natural mosquito repellent by mixing one part garlic juice with five parts water in a spray bottle. You can spray the mixture on yourself or on cloth strips that can be hung around your house or outdoors.
Marigolds are a natural mosquito repellent. Try planting them in your garden or potting them for indoors.
Neem oil contains sallanin, a compound that naturally repels mosquitoes. The oil is a natural vegetable oil that comes from Neem trees in India. It is completely green and safe to use on your skin and indoors.

How to get rid of stink bugs:
Not only is the brown marmorated stink bug an invasive species with no indigenous predators to cull their population, but they're physically resilient to boot. What's worse, chemical pesticides weaken in sustained heat, which is worst in the summer.
For these pests, the best repellent is prevention. Make sure to re-seal worn-out caulking and make your home as airtight as possible before fall, when the stink bugs crowd in homes for shelter.
A spray bottle full of a mix of hot water and dishwashing liquid, sprayed regularly around cracks and crevices, will also help keep stink bugs at bay.

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