Cockroaches, mice or termites; try these home-made repellents

Add drops of neem oil in soap water and spray the mixture to drive termites away.

When rains drench everything outdoors, we keep indoors a cosy place. Meanwhile, the warmth offered by a house could be inviting pests like mosquito, ant, fly, lizard, cockroach, spider or mouse as well. When moisture is present, termites too would make their appearance.

Pest control treatment can be employed during the construction stage of the house itself and it would help prevent termites from attacking the walls and basement. However, these techniques are of no use against ants and lizards.

Several chemical pest repellents are available in the market but all of them contain poison, even in small quantities. This toxic content can be harmful to people of all ages. But, there is a safe solution available in the form of some items commonly used in the kitchen which offer eco-friendly pest control measures. Here is a list of such remedies:

• Pests will multiply in houses where sufficient ventilation and sunlight are not available. Remove the curtains, open the windows and allow sunlight and fresh air into the house regularly.

• In case there are hollows or crevices inside or outside the house, close them. Such spaces attract all kinds of pests.

• Cockroaches thrive in the darkness offered by the cupboards or under sinks. When pullouts are present, cleaning may not be easy. Cockroaches and lizards choose these places to nest. To check these pests, keep the cupboards open for at least an entire day once a week. This would drive away all the insects and other creatures that prefer darkness. To block the invasion of ants, mop the floor with water in which baking soda has been dissolved.

• To destroy cockroaches, mix powdered sugar and baking soda. Turn the mixture into small lumps. Keeps these lumps under cupboards.

• When mice nest in the house, things would be difficult. However, mice detest ginger. Find out the paths of the mice inside the house and spread scraped ginger there - mice would no longer trouble you. To check attack of rats in farms, grow ginger between the chief crops.

• Snails make their appearance in large numbers on plants and also inside the house during the rainy season. Salt or brine can drive away snails. Another item that snails hate is coffee powder. Deposit the remains after preparing coffee under the plants to escape from snails.

• The scent of fruits like lemon and orange repel cockroaches. The outer covering of these fruits or cleaning lotions having a similar scent can help counter the pest.

• Mint leaves are very effective against houseflies and ants. Crush some mint leaves slightly and enclose them in a cloth, which can be kept in the corners of the room. Mix equal quantities of vinegar and water. Dip a cloth in this solution and wipe on counter tops and dining table. This would drive away ants.

• Here is another repellent against ants and termites. Dissolve soap in water and add two drops of neem oil. Spray this mixture in farms. Take sour curd, mix it with water. Spray this solution to keep termites away.

• Clean the floor regularly with an ordinary vacuum cleaner or steam vacuum cleaner. This would remove microscopic organisms causing allergies as well as ants and houseflies.

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