Suns out, bugs out:
Here are some easy and affordable tips for keeping creepy crawlies away
With the temperature only getting hotter in the UK, it’s the perfect time to get the BBQ out and soak up some sunshine.
But one thing Brits often dread about the warmer weather is the sudden infestation of creepy crawlies! From ants to silverfish, it can feel like a never ending battle trying to keep them at bay.
To help, Dominic Lees-Bell, cleaning expert at kitchen and bathroom retailer, Tap Warehouse, has pulled together some easy and affordable ways to keep your home free from bugs and insects this summer.
With ants reproducing rapidly, it’s important to know what is drawing them in and what you can do to prevent this. Food is one of the biggest attractions for ants so get into the habit of cleaning up any spillages, waste or anything sticky as quickly as you can, and keep any other fresh food items in your kitchen covered.
Also ants dislike the smell of peppermint, so mix 10-15 drops of peppermint oil into a mug of water and then pour the mixture into a spray bottle, which you can use on infested areas. It’s a cheap and easy solution and most homeware stores and pharmacies will sell peppermint oil. Scatter some fresh mint around your home too - they won’t be a fan of this either!
Another great natural repellent are lemons; grab yourself some lemon peel and place it by the entry point to deter them with the bitter smell.
Make use of some of the spices you have lying around. Cayenne pepper is not only great paired with chicken, but also keeps ants at bay with its strong smell. Salt is also a good way to work with the ingredients you already have at home to scare off ants. Mix salt with warm water, pour it into a bottle again and spray wherever the ants are.
Maggots thrive on rotting fruit and waste and feed for about five days before they turn into flies, so it’s vital to get rid of them before they can pupate.
It’s common to find maggots crawling in any rubbish lying around your home. With waste rotting faster in the heat, your bins should be cleaned more frequently than usual; make an effort to wash out your bin, on top of taking the rubbish out.
It’s as simple as using hot, soapy water to get rid of any dirt and grime leftover in your bin and on a sunny day, you can leave it outside to dry. A lot of the time, you may notice your bins still smell even after emptying and scrubbing them. Try putting some ground coffee in the bottom which will help neutralise the smell.
Flies are attracted to warm environments which makes your home the ideal spot. Remember to throw out any overripe fruits and vegetables, and keep your rubbish tightly sealed and emptied regularly. Remember, it’s not just the food - rotting or decomposing - but also the smell of sugar that is likely to attract them.
To prevent flies, try using essential oils and herbs including lavender, lemongrass, basil and peppermint. You can grow these in your garden, on your window sill or purchase them from local supermarkets.
Another easy (if slightly more harsh) way to reduce the amount of flies in your home is to trap them with vinegar and dish soap. All you need to do is fill a bowl with a bit of apple cider vinegar or honey, and some washing up liquid. The strong smell will attract the flies and then they will get stuck in the liquid.
Almost so small you’ll miss them, these pesky creatures can move quickly - and multiply rapidly - tending to reside in dark and/or damp places like bathrooms and cupboards in kitchens.
Silverfish are attracted to food sources, warm places and moisture, so it’s important to get rid of them quickly before they grow in numbers. Use different smells such as cinnamon, citrus foods and cucumber to naturally deter them.
To prevent them from returning, try fixing any damp problems in your home, as well as hoovering carpets regularly, as they also like to feed on dust and debris.
Although it’s quite rare for bees to fly into your home, it’s always good to know some ways to remove them without panicking and causing any harm.
Fresh cucumber is an ideal, natural homemade bee repellent that is simple yet effective. All you need is to cut up a fresh cucumber into slices and line the peels in a layer on an aluminium plate. The cucumber and aluminium react to produce a smell bees dislike.
When it comes to wasps, consider peppermint oil or soapy water. A simple solution can be made by mixing two tablespoons of dish soap with water, decanted into a spray bottle.
According to the British Pest Control Association, the UK is home to more than 30 types of native mosquito species, some of which bite.
Similar to wasps, mosquitos will be drawn to soapy water, and hate the smell of anything citrus. Cut a lemon in half and stick some cloves into the lemon to make it extra pungent to these small flies.