Did you know that mice turn up their noses at peppermint? Or that ants and roaches hate Tex-Mex? Some easy tricks and common household ingredients can help keep nature’s nuisances at bay, without harming kids, pets or other wildlife.
Peppermint has been an anti-mouse strategy for centuries. Some swear the strong smell keeps mice from being able to find food. Soak cotton balls in pure peppermint oil (found in health-food stores) and place in small cups near their entry points. Planting peppermint in your yard may help too.
Did You Know? Nature’s Houdini: A house mouse can squeeze through a hole the diameter of a dime. No cat? Borrow some cat hair from a friend or a groomer, and place it around the holes. Better yet, block those holes altogether. Stuff them with copper mesh, which won’t rust like steel wool. Cover larger openings and the space behind the air vents with hardware cloth that has a mesh size less than a quarter-inch.
Keep Ants Far Away.
Ants depend on their scent trail: Wipe it out with undiluted white vinegar. They also avoid cayenne pepper. Other pests, including cockroaches and squirrels, avoid it too. Ants can’t digest cornmeal, but they don’t know that. Put piles of it near a problem anthill, and ants will eat it and slowly starve. This solution takes some time, but it’s safe for kids and pets.
Banish Biting Bugs
Mosquitoes track you by the carbon dioxide you exhale. Mask it with citronella. Lemongrass (not the citronella plant) is the source of this oil. Plant this lovely ornamental around your patio or in portable pots.
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