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Warm weather potentially invites many unwelcome pests into our homes and outdoor spaces. The types of pests that invade during the summer include mosquitoes, ants, fruit flies, wasps and stink bugs.
"Each [pest] is unique, so what attracts them into our homes is different," said Dr. Ron Harrison, Orkin's entomologist and technical services director.
Whether indoors or outdoors, these pesky pests can prove challenging to keep away. Here are five DIY projects you can try this summer to keep these bugs out of your home.
What you’ll need: a bucket, a small amount of water and liquid detergent.
How this works: Mosquitoes like to lay eggs in stagnant water, but the added detergent will take away the water’s surface tension, making it impossible for them to stand. That means the pests will drown instead of laying eggs.
Harrison said thinning your vegetation will also help in reducing the number of mosquitoes since they get blown away by the wind.
What you’ll need: a one-half cup of sugar, 1.5 tablespoons of Borax, 1.5 cups of warm water and cotton balls (or a paper towel).
How this works: Ants are generally attracted to sweet foods. Also, while Borax won’t cause much harm to humans, the mineral disrupts an ant’s digestive system and slowly kills it. For a quicker effect, try placing the bait directly in areas where you’ve seen ants.
"Ants are foraging for food all the time," Harrison said. "If they find a source of debris (food) in your home, that is when you will most likely see ants start coming into your home," he added.
What you’ll need: a mason jar or something similar, a one-half cup of apple cider vinegar, a funnel, a drop of dish soap and an optional piece of ripe or overripe fruit.
How this works: Fruit flies are drawn to the smell of fermentation, making apple cider vinegar a great choice for a homemade trap. Heating the vinegar creates a fragrance that flies won’t be able to resist.
According to Everyday Roots, the dish soap helps prevent the flies from simply flying away after they’ve had a sip. The flies won’t be able to escape and will eventually drown. If they don’t, you can freeze the fruit-fly-infested jar for about 20 minutes.
What you’ll need: a 2-liter soda bottle, a permanent marker, a knife or sharp scissors and an optional piece of wire for hanging the trap.
How this works: The bait’s scent will lure wasps to the bottle. Since they’ll have a hard time escaping the narrow opening, the wasps will eventually die. Place the trap in outdoor areas where you’ve seen wasp activity.
"Moving your vegetation farther away with at least 2 feet of dirt can help keep pests away from your house," Harrison said.
What you’ll need: a large aluminum foil pan, water, dish soap and a light to attract stink bugs.
How this works: The light lures the stink bugs into the aluminum pan. Once they touch the dish soap, they are unable to escape.
A team at Virginia Tech found that the effects of this inexpensive and homemade stink bug trap outweighs those of pricier, store-bought options. The DIY trap was shown to be 14 times more useful at eliminating stink bugs than traps that cost up to $50, according to the study.
Harrison noted that doing monthly home inspections can alert you to pests’ entry points. He also mentioned that standing water, plumbing and gaps in screens and doors are just some of the places of which to be mindful.
For more safety and preparedness tips, visit AccuWeather.com/Ready.
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