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Don't let them bug you

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By The Staff

If you don’t want bugs in your home, but also don’t feel right about using pesticides, you might want to try the following, ecologically satisfying solutions from Eartheasy.com:

Ante up against ants.

• Keep a small spray bottle handy, and spray the ants with a bit of soapy water.

• Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants’ point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to cucumber. Bitter cucumbers work best.

• Leave a few tea bags of mint tea near areas where the ants seem most active. Dry, crushed mint leaves or cloves also work as ant deterrents.

Better than DEET:

• Plant Thai lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), a natural and effective mosquito repellent. It contains the natural oil, citronella, which is safe and effective; in fact, lemon grass citronella is considered more effective than true citronella as an insect repellent.

• Another option is planting marigolds around your yard. The flowers work as a natural bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance bugs and flying insects do not like.

Non-toxic fly control:

• Use mint as a fly repellent. Small sachets of crushed mint can be placed around the home to discourage flies.

• Bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus wrapped in small cheesecloth squares can be hung by open windows or doors.

• Place a small, open container of sweet basil and clover near pet food or any open food in the house.

• A few drops of eucalyptus oil on a scrap of absorbent cloth will deter flies. Leave in areas where flies are a problem.

• You can make your own flypaper with this simple recipe: Mix 1/4 cup syrup, 1 tbsp. granulated sugar and 1 tbsp. brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut strips of brown Kraft paper and soak in this mixture. Let dry overnight. To hang, poke a small hole at the top of each strip and hang with string or thread.

No more earwigs:

• Trap earwigs in a shallow, straight-sided container and fill it half full with vegetable oil. Clean the trap daily; the oil can be re-used.

Silverfish, you, too – out!:

• Start by vacuuming the area to remove food particles and insect eggs. Silverfish can be easily trapped in small glass containers. Wrap the outside with tape so they can climb up and fall in. They will be trapped inside because they cannot climb smooth surfaces. Drown them in soapy water.