Summer is my favorite time of year, but it brings out my least favorite nuisance, bugs. Mosquitoes, ants and spiders are at the top of my nuisance list. I’m well aware of the benefits of having spiders around, but I’ve yet to find a good reason to live side by side with the brown reclusive sort.
Reduce Bug Annoyances Naturally
After doing research prior to creating my container gardens, I made sure to plant mosquito repelling plants such as basil, mint, lemongrass, catnip, marigolds and lavender. This gardening array has done much to reduce the number of mosquitoes.
We are now able to spend time on the deck in the evening without the need for citronella candles (except for light or ambiance). Family friendly bugs such as lightening bugs are welcome and freely visit, but the mosquitoes have not broken the plant barrier.
Repelling Ants and Spiders
Now that we’ve got the mosquitoes licked, we had to figure out how to reduce our local spider/ant population. After searching on line and experimenting with quite a few of the recipes, I finally found one that seems to work. The only problem with testing bug repellent recipes is once it starts to work, it gets harder and harder to locate bugs to test the concoction.
The first recipe I tried only stunned the bugs for a while. Additionally, it didn’t do much to repel them. Having scrapped that recipe, I tried another one. This recipe seems to be the winner. Here it is:
5 Tablespoons of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap to one quart of water. I added 1 teaspoon of citronella essential oils, but I’m not so sure it’s really necessary. I happen to like the smell of the essential oil, so it doesn’t hurt, but I think the peppermint is enough of a bug deterrent.
I mixed the bug repellent in an old Windex spray bottle. If you use this method, make sure you find an old bottle that has the “stream” option on the sprayer. The stream is better for targeting specific insects. The wide-angled “spray” option is good for spraying around the house to keep the bugs away.
So far this mixture not only repelled the bugs, but when sprayed directly on ants and spiders they went belly up within seconds. My hubby and I walked all around the house, inside and out, looking for bugs to spray. It became increasingly difficult to find bugs.
Since it is a soap and water mixture, it will have to be reapplied after it rains. Maybe then we’ll find more bugs to test the recipe again.
Multi Task with Bug Spray
My son asked if we could wash the floor with it. After thinking for a quick second, why not? It’s nothing but soap, water and essential oils. Washing the floor with it will definitely keep the bugs away. 😉