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Natural Pest Control in Your Home: Fruit Flies and Ants Be gone!

Natural Pest Control in Your Home: Fruit Flies and Ants Be gone!

All homeowners try to keep their homes clean, and it’s a bit embarrassing when pests get in anyway. But it happens to the best of us. Fruit flies come out of nowhere, and then you remember the banana you were saving to make muffins. Ants move inside seasonally, not just pursuing crumbs on the floor. Often, they’re after drips of water in the sink or even zinc lozenges in the medicine cabinet.

What’s to be done?

You could call Killo, of course, or your favorite pest control company. But if you are concerned about the amount of chemicals you would then have sprayed in your home, you should at least consider some natural alternatives. Each of these pests can be abated naturally or with an all-natural product, and it’s up to you to decide your personal balance between natural and convenient.

Clear a fruit fly infestation with vinegar and dish soap

If you have fruit flies, the first thing to do is to identify the attraction and remove it – the old banana, the compost container someone forgot to take out yesterday morning, or whatever it is. Then, the natural control is easy and effective to implement. Take a shallow jar (a half-pint Mason jar is ideal) and fill it about halfway up with cider vinegar. Balsamic vinegar will do, but cider vinegar often catches the most flies. Then, put a few drops of liquid dish soap in the jar and leave it open on the counter. Fruit flies are attracted to the sour smell of the vinegar because it’s similar to overripe fruit. The dish soap breaks the surface tension that usually allows fruit flies to stand on liquid, so they sink to the bottom and drown.

Rid your home of ants in two easy steps

If you have a trail of ants across a wall or floor of your home, become a careful observer. You’re looking for two things – what they’re going to (a food or water source that you need to remove if possible) and where they’re coming from. If you are a careful entomological detective, you’ll follow the trail to the outside wall of your home and find the tiny crack they’re using to get in. Then, get out the spackle or the grout, or whatever it takes to fill that hole. They may find another, of course, but in the meantime, you can attack the problem from the inside.
There’s a product made by Seventh Generation called Disinfecting All-Purpose Cleaner. It kills cold and flu viruses, among other germs, with a formulation of thyme oil. It’s also one of the better counter cleaners you’ll find on the market, and it needn’t be rinsed in advance of food preparation. Among all its other worthwhile qualities, it happens to kill ants on contact! Just wipe them up with a paper towel and come back in a few minutes for the next batch. Before too long, your combined efforts indoors and out will convince the ants that they’d be better off paying a call somewhere else.

These natural methods take a little more effort on your part, and perhaps a bit more time, than the call to the pest control company. But there aren’t any noxious chemicals involved, and you probably have what you need around the house. Give it a try next time you find these unwanted pests hanging around in your home.

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