Household Pest Remedies
Australian households struggle with the usual pests, which thrive under the Aussie sun. Ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes and flies are the most common. Prevention is always the best cure, so be vigilant about practicing good hygiene and keeping your house as clean as possible to prevent these nasties from entering. If they are still bothering you, here are some environmentally friendly ways of getting rid of them.
Ants are an important part of the ecosystem and are not dangerous to humans, so if you can live with them, great! Of course, they can be annoying. To prevent ants entering the home, cover all your doorway and window cracks with talcum powder or flower – ants don’t like to walk over fine powder. If they’ve already entered your home, citronella or eucalyptus oil (which can be purchased at all major supermarkets) works as a deterrent.
Cockroaches carry all types of bacteria and can increase the risk of asthma in children, so it is important to get rid of them as soon as possible. All major hardware stores, such as Bunnings, sell sticky traps (similar to fly traps) designed specifically to capture cockroaches. Bay leaves also work as a natural deterrent. Geckos are the natural enemy of cockroaches so if your house has a lot of geckos, you may not need to worry about pest control. Australians usually use their thongs to squish them.
There’s nothing worse than the whine of a mosquito in your ear while you’re trying to get to sleep at night. On a more serious note, mosquitoes carry life threatening diseases such as malaria and Ross River fever. These insects lay their eggs in water so don’t leave buckets or containers of water outside the house. Every Aussie household should have a supply of citronella candles for summer – these work a treat as a natural repellent. Installing a mosquito net around your bed will prevent bites during the night.
Flies are attracted to decaying organic matter and the heat of an Australian summer intensifies this smell. Throwing away food scraps straight away should lessen the amount of flies entering your house. Sticky flypaper works well and can be purchased at any hardware store. You can also make your own by smearing any strong, sticky substance (such as honey) on a piece of paper. A fly swat is another alternative.
If you can stand to have them in your home, spiders make a hearty meal of flies.