Showing posts with label pest control. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pest control. Show all posts

Sunday, June 23, 2024

A Summer Pest Control Update! - Enjoying a Pest-Free Patio with Peppermint Oil

A Summer Pest Control Update! - Enjoying a Pest-Free Patio with Peppermint Oil
This spring and summer, I've discovered an incredibly effective method for keeping our patio free from wasps, ants, spiders, and flies a simple spray made of peppermint oil and water. 

Wasps are the worst backyard pests for us. They were my target! Sorry, wasps, not sorry. You wasps should be happy, because it keeps you away, and thus extends your life!

I initially wrote about this several weeks ago, and this new article is an update on how incredible this all natural pest repellent has worked! 

I used to be harassed at our patio table, to the point that after some questionable language, I'd head in the house and let the little *& % & win!

Well, they're no longer winning. Who's the boss now! This update also reiterates some of the "science" behind why peppermint works so well - just because I was curious.

I opted for a spray bottle of water with about a tablespoon (or less) of peppermint oil. That way, I can liberally spray it everywhere.

The results have been nothing short of amazing. Previously, our outdoor meals were often interrupted by pesky wasps buzzing around our food, making it difficult to enjoy our time outside. However, since using a water-peppermint oil spray, we've been able to sit at our patio table and have a complete meal in peace.

I make sure to reapply the spray when I'm outside, targeting areas like the house bricks, flower pots (though not directly on the flowers), chairs, under the chairs, under the table, our swing, and the netting. It takes a few minutes or less and is well worth the results.

The mixture is mostly water with about a tablespoon of peppermint oil in the bottle, and it doesn't damage anything—not even our swing and chair cushions. There are absolutely no stains because it's essentially just scented water.

Why Peppermint Oil Works as a Pest Deterrent

The effectiveness of peppermint oil in deterring common pests such as wasps, ants, spiders, and flies can be attributed to several factors:

1. The Strong Scent

Peppermint oil has a strong, minty aroma that is pleasant to humans but overwhelming to many insects. Wasps, ants, and spiders rely heavily on their sense of smell to locate food and navigate their environment. The intense scent of peppermint oil can disrupt these processes, making your patio unappealing to them.

2. Natural Insect Repellent Properties

Peppermint oil contains compounds like menthol and pulegone, which are effective natural insect repellents. These compounds interfere with insects' ability to communicate and find their way around, effectively keeping them at bay. Research has shown that peppermint oil can repel various insects, including mosquitoes, flies, and even certain types of spiders.

3. Safe for Humans and Pets

Safety is one of the best aspects of using peppermint oil as a pest deterrent. Unlike chemical insecticides, peppermint oil is non-toxic to humans and pets when used moderately. This makes it an excellent option for families with children and pets who enjoy spending time outdoors.

Practical Application Tips

To maximize the effectiveness of your peppermint oil spray, follow these practical tips:

  • Consistent Application: When spending extended time outside, reapply the spray daily. This ensures the scent remains strong enough to deter pests.
  • Target Key Areas: Focus on areas where insects are likely to gather, such as around food, seating areas, and entry points to your home. Spraying under tables and chairs can help create a barrier that pests are reluctant to cross.
  • Avoid Direct Spraying on Plants: While peppermint oil is generally safe for plants, it's best to avoid spraying directly on flowers and foliage. This helps prevent potential adverse effects on your plants and ensures the oil is used where it's most effective.

Conclusion

Our personal experience with peppermint oil spray has been highly effective. The simple mixture of water and peppermint oil has transformed our patio into a pest-free haven, allowing us to enjoy outdoor meals and relaxation without the constant annoyance of wasps, ants, spiders, and flies. 

The scientific reasons behind its effectiveness—its strong scent, natural repellent properties, and safety—make it a practical and reliable solution for anyone looking to keep their outdoor spaces free from common pests. Give it a try and enjoy the benefits of a peaceful, pest-free patio!

KEY POINTS:

  • I apply the spray of peppermint water every day when I go into the backyard.
  • It wears off over time, especially when it rains. I apply it daily, because I'm in the backyard daily.
  • Spray furniture, under furniture, cushions, house bricks, where you know the pests tend to go
  • I especially spray around our patio table. That way I'm having my morning coffee in total peace!
  • It's cheap and easy, and if your pets or humans aren't allergic to peppermint, it's safe! Smells good too!
  • I keep the bottle of peppermint water sitting on the patio table all summer, so when I go outside, I can easily give everything a thorough spritz.

My hubby is utterly shocked at how well this works, especially when we're eating outside—it's pretty amazing.

The real test will be in August and September when wasps are punch drunk, and we usually cannot sit in our backyard. I'm totally confident that I've won this battle! I'll let you know.

Where I Buy Peppermint Oil:

I buy the peppermint oil from Amazon. There are many to choose from. Here's the latest one I purchased.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How To Trap Those Flies That Drive You Crazy: A Window Fly Trap Review

Flies in Your House Can Drive You Crazy

I'm usually pretty sane, but if I'm preparing a meal or trying to eat, seeing flies buzzing around me drives me nuts. Flies are dirty and carry diseases. I don't want them in my kitchen when I'm preparing, serving, or trying to eat food. 

How To Trap Those Flies That Drive You Crazy: A Window Fly Trap Review
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay, edited on FotoJet


Imagine my distress when my husband left the door open two weeks ago while he went outside to get something and about a dozen flies flew in! Once the flies were in, they didn't want to go back out.

 For at least ten days I fought them with folded newspapers and a fly swatter to no avail. Those pesky flies knew how to settle just where they would land on a clean dish or plate of food were I to swat them. I did get a couple who lit where I could hit them, but most escaped from my attacks. It seemed for every one I killed, two more would appear in its place. It seemed everywhere I went in the kitchen or family room, at least five flies were circling in the air. My stress level was high. 

My Electronic Fly Trap

After a few days of watching helplessly as the flies treated my table and walls as their personal airport, I remembered I once had an electronic trap for mosquitoes and other flying insects. I hadn't used it for years and was, in fact, storing it in the kitchen at our other house. I decided to retrieve it. In the past, it had caught a few flying insects. The one I own is obsolete now, but it was similar to this one and worked the same way. 


It uses light to attract the insects. Then it sucks them into a lower compartment with a powerful fan and traps them there. Eventually, they dehydrate. These traps work pretty well for mosquitoes, as I remember. Reviewers on eBay seem to agree with me. It may work for you if you have a problem with mosquitoes.

However, it did not work very well on my flies. I had it on the kitchen table and turned it on at night before I went to bed after other house lights were off. At my first morning bladder call, I'd shut the trap before the sun was up.  Unfortunately, my husband got up after me and thought he should turn it on again, which opened the trap. I'm not sure it ever caught a fly for long. Their numbers did not seem to decrease.

I brought my vintage Stinger NOsquito Ma06 Indoor Insect Mosquito Bug UV Light Quiet Electronic Trap | eBay decades ago. I don't remember where. I did find one like mine on eBay, which you can see if you follow the link above. 

Shopping for a Solution to My Fly Problem

Finally, I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to find a solution! I went to Walmart in search of fly paper, but they didn't have anything but sprays. I don't like poisons, especially spray poisons, anywhere I prepare or eat food. Rather than drive all over town, I checked Amazon. I found a description for Catchmaster Window Fly Traps.

These simple window traps got four to five-star reviews, depending on package size and seller. They were really cheap in comparison to the electronic zappers and light traps, some of which got much lower reviews. I figured I didn't have much to lose by trying the Catchmaster traps. They are very simple to use. They catch the flies that land on them with a very sticky surface that holds them in place. I keep my traps beneath the blinds that cover the windows.

How to Set the Catchmaster Window Fly Trap


How To Trap Those Flies That Drive You Crazy: A Window Fly Trap Review
Image created on FotoJet, © B. Radisavljevic

Here's how to prepare your traps:

  1. Open the package
  2. Pull out the trap
  3. Tear the narrow release strip off the trap
  4. Stick the trap in the corner of a window
  5. Be careful to put it where you won't need to touch it to open and shut the window
  6. Peel off the large release liner that faces toward you. 
  7. Wait patiently for the flies to land

My Results

How To Trap Those Flies That Drive You Crazy: A Window Fly Trap Review
Victims Trapped in My Kitchen Window. © B. Radisavljevic


I tend to be impatient, and catching flies this way isn't instant. I had put six traps in windows the day I got them. The next day only four flies were stupid enough to land on them. (I hate that flies seem to be smarter than I am.) As I write this, I've had my traps up for about ten days. I have trapped thirteen flies, a few gnats, and a couple of baby spiders that must have just hatched. I still have one very smart fly who continues to stay away from the traps. My east windows seem to catch the most flies.

Two days after I'd placed my first traps, Hubby went to shopping and found some Pic Window Fly Traps and brought them home. He didn't realize I still hadn't used all my Catchmaster traps. I finally decided to try a couple of the Pic traps to see if they would do any better at catching the flies still in the air. I picked one window and a bathroom mirror where I'd not yet caught any flies and put a Pic trap in another position in each of those places. They haven't caught any flies, either. Not yet.

Perhaps I just put the Pic traps in bad places, but a fly had circled that bathroom about every time I'd walked in. The Pic traps got better reviews a couple of years ago, but more recent users say they aren't as sticky as they used to be and aren't catching flies as well anymore.


How To Trap Those Flies That Drive You Crazy: A Window Fly Trap Review
God Designed the Very Best Fly Trap, © B. Radisavljevic
Of course, there is the messiness factor, and one can't be too squeamish.

My Recommendation

If flies are your primary problem, electronic zappers and light traps with fans probably won't work for you. I've read the reviews for just about all of them. I was leaning toward the light-fan combinations that plug in like night lights, but they got bad reviews. The electronic gadgets seem to work better on smaller flying insects with lighter bodies. They may be effective with gnats and mosquitoes, but the house flies that drive me crazy are much heavier. 

The Catchmaster Window Traps I tried worked pretty well. I'd much rather deal with one stubborn fly than fourteen. Getting the gnats and baby spiders, along with anything else that wants to land on my windows, is a bonus. 

I believe these traps are a great value for the money. My life has been much calmer since I put them in my windows. There is a bit of a yuck factor in having to look at trapped flies, but you can decide where to place your traps. If you put them in top window corners instead of the lower ones you won't have to look at them so often. You also need to be careful not to touch the sticky part of the traps. My mini blinds hide the traps, including the one next to the table, most of the time.

If flies in your kitchen drive you as crazy as they do me, I believe these window traps will help you as more or more than the other fly catching gadgets I've tried or looked at. Why not pick up an inexpensive package now so you'll be ready immediately to fight any flies who invade your home. Any mosquitoes, gnats, fruit flies, moths, and spiders you catch will just be a bonus. 



 Window Fly Traps by Catchmaster - 12 CountCheck Price Pic-Corp Window Fly Traps (12 Pack of 4)Check Price RESCUE! Outdoor Disposable Hanging Fly Trap - 12 TrapsCheck Price

 


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Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


Monday, January 4, 2016

An Awesome Ant Control Product

Ants.  They have their purpose in the world but, in my opinion, there is almost nothing more disgusting than ants marching through your home or office.  Ants are pesky and extremely difficult to control.  But I have stumbled upon an inexpensive, effective, and safer way to get rid of ants. I am so excited about this product that I have to share it with you.

My Ant Infestation


Almost everyone has had to deal with ants.  And there are many ways to exterminate them; professional pest control, chemical sprays, solids, liquids, and so on.  Recently, I had such an overwhelming invasion of ants that it was almost fun to watch then marching on their invisible super highway.  But before long it got old and was no longer interesting.

I work in a historic, beautiful old building.  My office is on the third floor. As autumn turned colder, I suddenly began sharing my office space with what seemed like millions of ants.  They marched up from the floor, up across my wall, and behind a bulletin board.  I wasn't sure where they were coming from or where they were going. Or why they were interested in an old bulletin board. But they were there and they seemed intent on staying.

Initially, I was content to watch them march up and down the wall, until they began also marching up onto my desk and occasionally up my legs. Since I found a can of ant spray in the supply closet, it seemed that ants were probably an amenity that pre-existed my employment.  So I sprayed with the ant spray. I sprayed and I sprayed.

The ant spray only killed the ants that I was able to hit directly and soak. It's more likely they drowned than were killed by chemicals. The rest of the ants just marched around the wet spots until the wet spots dried.  Then they resumed their march on their normal path.  The only apparent outcome of using the spray was triggering my migraines.

I started to look for more natural ways to get these ants out of my space.

Pest Control Options


I searched the internet for solutions. Exterminators are pricey and the agency was unlikely to pay for it.  Sprays were clearly not effective and the chemicals hurt my head.  So I looked for options with fewer or no chemicals.  I decided to do a water and vinegar spray. That concoction seemed completely ineffective. Then I decided to do a boric acide and sugar water mixture. Trouble was, I didn't know exactly what boric acid was and where to find it.  It also sounded frightening. While looking in the pest control aisle at a local store, looking for this scary sounding acid, I found my solution.

"Terro Ant Bait. It Works."


Terro liquid ant bait. It works. That's not only a slogan, it's the truth.  I am no expert on extermination. But I can say that my ant problem was large scale and persistent. And was solved by using Terro.  This stuff is the best. I've stocked up on more, to make sure I have some on hand if I need it again.
Terro Liquid Ant Bait



Have Faith and Patience


Know that at first MORE ants will come. Yes, MORE ants.  The amount of ants that came for the first 2-3 days was amazing.  But that was good. It meat the Terro was doing what it was supposed to do.  I returned after a weekend, and the number of ants was dwindling.  Then I was in and out of the office for the next few days and the number of ants decreased.  Approximately 7 -10 days later, the ants were magically gone.

I placed the bait in their path
Make sure to follow the directions on the packaging and take a look at the Learning Center section on the Terro site.  Also, make sure to place the bait directly in the path of the ants.  Initially, I placed my baits in three different areas; the wall, the floor at the legs of my desk, and on the floor near where they were entering  The ants did not go to the baits I placed on the floor. But they swarmed the baits placed in their path (I had taped one flat against the wall in their path).  Don't move the baits that are in the path of the ants and be patient as the infestation seems to worsen.

Terro liquid ant bait is an easy-to-use, inexpensive, and effective way to get rid of the ants invading your home or office.  I am overly sensitive to smells and chemicals, due to my migraine issue, and while I noted that there was an extremely slight scent, it was not a harsh chemical smell and it did not trigger a migraine.  If you have an ant problem, I highly recommend Terro.





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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