Christina’s Household Hints: Beat the Bugs This Summer

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By Christina Shoup

As happy as I am to have the warm, summer months in full swing, I had somehow forgotten about my least favorite part this fun time of year… BUGS! This month I have a few tips to help keep you and your house as bug-free as possible.

• Fly Trap: When your swatter just won’t cut it, make your own fly trap! Your kids can help with this project, too. Start with a plastic drink container—I like the standard bottled-water size. Use scissors to cut off the top section, where the bottle starts to taper. Then invert the cut piece, putting the mouth-opening down into the bottle almost like a funnel. With a strong tape, seal the edges of the two pieces together. Then mix up a simple syrup of equal parts sugar and water and pour into the bottle. Flies will fly in to get the sugar, but can’t get back out.

• Ant Trap: Make a paste with Borax, sugar and water. Spread the paste onto thin strips of cardboard and leave them out in your problem areas, keeping them out of reach of children and pets. Replace when the paste dries out.

• Homemade Bug Spray: In a clean spray bottle, mix 1 cup water with 1 cup white or cider vinegar. Add 30-50 drops of essential oils. Good oil choices include Citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, cedar, lavender, mint, or cinnamon. Pick your favorites at a health food store and try them out.

• Deer Tick Repellant: In a small, clean travel-bottle, mix 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 Tablespoon aloe vera gel, 25 drops lavender or rose geranium oil, and shake vigorously. Apply small amounts of your repellant to your ankles before heading out.

Now, go enjoy your summer activities without the pests!