Ask LH: How Can I Deal With Flies, Moths And Other Bugs?

Hi Lifehacker, Bug season is coming again — yesterday I was invaded by two friendly massive flies. I'm living in a share house so my time out of the room is limited. How can I avoid/limit bugs coming into my room? It would be nice to be able to work without the bugs saying hi every four seconds in front of my face. Thanks, Debugger

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Dear Debugger,

If they're crickets, try eating 'em. Failing that, there are numerous natural repellents you can deploy around the house to ward off unwanted insects.

Apparently, flies hate the smell of cloves. Hanging whole ones in a small square of cheesecloth and putting it wherever flies congregate should be an effective way to keep them off your turf. Cucumbers, meanwhile, are anathema to ants: place fresh slices near cracks and other areas where ants may enter the home and replace them intermittently.

Growing pennyroyal mint right outside your door or spraying peppermint oil near cracks and windowsills has also been shown to keep bugs at bay. To add some romance to your bedroom, make a DIY beeswax candle mixed with citronella, eucalyptus or cedar oil.

For fleas, try bundling two parts fresh spearmint, one part fresh thyme and one part fresh wormwood inside a pouch or small pillow. Popular natural spider repellents include lemon juice, lavender soap, mint leaves, chestnuts, dish washing liquid and moth balls.

Citronella, catnip, rosemary and marigolds are all said to be good mosquito repellents when crushed and rubbed on the skin. You can also make a homemade anti-bug solution using a blend of vodka, castor oil, aloe vera juice and different essential oils to combat specific pests.

We can't personally vouch for any of the above remedies but a lot of people really swear by them. If you're not having much luck, the next step is to eradicate the insects in your home with a proven bug spray, then carefully seal off any cracks or crevices around the house to stop them from re-infiltrating your home.

We've also included a DIY pest control infographic from Part Select below. This has plenty of tips that will guide you towards a bug-free home:

Keep Your Home Bug Free with These DIY Pest Control Methods

Butterfly picture from Shutterstock

Cheers Lifehacker

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    I'm pretty sure our house was built on a giant ant nest. Every few weeks would find a trail. Bought some gap filler and every time would trace to the entrance and seal it up. For some reason the wife thought this was stupid but we haven't had any ants for ages now.

    Do what my 2 year old does, call the cat (if you have one) over and tell it to eat them.

      That reminds me, my friend does that with his cat, if they (he and the cat) sees a moth of bug up somewhere the cat can't get to, he'd pick the cat up and hover him around the general area until he catches the moth (or bug), then my friend'd let his cat go enjoy the late snack.

        I try that but it fails, somehow my son can just get our cat to track down the critter just by voice command. Funnily enough he tried it this morning, only catch was we were about 45 minutes away from home and the moth was on the windscreen of our car.

          Now how did that end? I imagined it was a bit amusing?

            It ended in tears as he couldn't work out why the cat was not showing up.

              Ah.... poor guy, I guess it wasn't very amusing for you at all.

                This will make me out to be a monster of a dad but it was great, Nothing better than watching a kid cry over something funny,

                  Ahaha, don't worry, I can understand what you meant!

    Nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    Best.... anti-bug.... invention.... ever!!!!

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