Hello summer! As the mercury rises, so do those swarms of pests playing havoc with our picnics, outdoor entertaining – and ultimately zeroing into our homes.
Whether they’re targeting our drinks or food, flying insects top our list of unwanted household guests at this time of year.
“The heatwave has brought some glorious sunshine – and the scorching temperatures mean windows and doors are likely to be wide open to draw in some fresh air,” says Rachael Kiss, marketing manager for Alliance Online. “Unfortunately, flying insects such as ies, mosquitoes, wasps and hornets all seek refuge indoors to escape the heat, which can be incredibly frustrating.”
To help reduce the numbers, check out these handy hacks and recommendations...
Set DIY traps
“A great hack to remove insects from the home is making DIY traps using what’s already in your cupboards” says Kiss.
Fill a small bowl or jar with apple cider vinegar or a combination of dish soap and red wine. Cover the container with plastic wrap and strategically poke small holes into the plastic wrap that will be large enough for flies and other insects to get into.”
Kiss says the scent will attract insects, and they’ll get trapped when they try to reach the liquid.
Use essential oils to deter wasps
Wasps are notoriously a little trickier to deal with than ies, notes Kiss, but essential oils can do the trick.
“Peppermint oil has been shown to be a natural repellent for wasps – mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle and apply it to entry points, such as doors and windows, where wasps are active,” says Kiss.
In the same vein, clove oil, lemon essential oil and eucalyptus oil work too – and you can go one step further by utilising them in your cleaning routine.
“Add lemon and peppermint essential oils to your homemade cleaners as many flying insects hate these scents,” says Robert Collins, pest control expert for Myjobquote.co.uk.
“Wiping around kitchen surfaces and windowsills regularly with your fragrant cleaner not only keeps your home clean and smelling fresh, but also repels ies, wasps and hornets.” Strategically place plants and cut owers Suzie Woolley, head of product for Serenata Flowers, suggests extending your scented trail by using owers and greenery to deter flying insects.
“Cut stems you can use to repel bugs include chrysanthemums – favourites of florists because of the variety of bold colours and longevity of life – they contain high levels of pyrethrum which is often used in insecticides,” she explains.
“You can also use types of eucalyptus, including lemon eucalyptus, which contain high levels of citronella, known and widely used for its bug- repellent abilities.”
Woolley goes on to say potted lavender, peppermint, thyme, etc are also great options as they can easily be moved to open doors and windows in the summer months.
Invest in window treatments
Collins suggests screening open windows and doors, so you can bring in sunlight and ventilate your home without letting flies, wasps and other insects in.
“You can buy mesh screens and chain curtains, but they are not everyone’s cup of tea,” notes Collins. “Voile curtains over the doors, and night and day blinds on the windows, can work just as well – and look more attractive.”
Keep food covered
“A simple, but often forgotten, hack in reducing flying insects in the home is to keep food covered!” explains Kiss.
“During a heatwave, insects are more attracted to food sources. Ensure all food is covered, sealed, or stored in insect-proof containers to prevent attracting them in the first place.”