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5 Things To Repel Household Pests

Looking to repel or prevent pesky pests from making their way into your home this summer? We have 5 ways to naturally rid your home of pests, all made with ingredients you have in your cupboard.

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Ant Traps

Here’s an easy, inexpensive way to round up the ants that begin to invade your house each summer.

What You’ll Need:
3 cups (750 ml) water
1 cup (220 g) sugar
4 teaspoons borax
3 clean 250 g screw-top jars
Cotton balls
Old-style beer-can opener (that cuts V-notches)

What To Do:
1. In a jug, mix the water, sugar and borax together. Loosely pack the jars half-full of cotton balls and saturate the balls with the solution.
2. Pierce jar lids with the can opener, making 2 or 3 holes just large enough to admit ants.
3. Place the baited jars where ants are active, but make sure jars are out of the reach of pets and children. Attracted by the lethal sugar and boric acid mixture, ants will crawl into the traps.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

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Moth-Repellent Cedar Sachets

You can have the benefits of a moth-repellent cedar wardrobe or cedar-lined drawers at a fraction of the cost of the real thing with these fragrant cedar sachets.

What You’ll Need:
2 pairs colourful adult or baby socks
1 bag cedar shavings (often sold at pet shops as bedding)
Satin or grosgrain ribbon
Clothes hanger

What To Do:
1. Fill the socks with cedar shavings – adult-sized for wardrobes and baby-sized for drawers.
2. Tie the tops of the socks closed with coordinating ribbon.
3. Tie large sachets to clothes hangers and hang in wardrobes to freshen air and repel moths. Tuck the little ones into lingerie and woollens drawers.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

3 / 5

Homemade Flypaper

Why buy flypaper when you can make your own? All you need is a brown paper bag, a little bit of sugar and some corn or glucose syrup.

What You’ll Need:
½ cup (110 g) corn syrup or glucose syrup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons white sugar
6 strips brown paper (cut from a paper bag)

What To Do:
1. Combine the syrup and sugars in a shallow bowl.
2. Poke a hole at the top of each strip of brown paper. Soak the paper in the syrup mixture overnight.
3. Scrape the paper strips across the edge of the saucer to remove excess syrup and hang the finished flypaper strips near windows and doors.
4. Replace when the strips are covered with insects.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

4 / 5

Citronella Mosquito Candles

Citronella is a natural mosquito repellent that you can use indoors or out. Mould the candles in containers that you already have, such as soup cans, or use terracotta flower pots and leave them in the mould. Buy wicking, paraffin and mould seal at craft shops.

What You’ll Need:
1 packet wicking
One 4.5 kg block paraffin
Crayons (colours of your choice), roughly chopped
Citronella essential oil
Cooking spray
1 packet mould seal

What To Do:
1. Cut wicking 10 cm longer than the mould’s height. Melt some of the wax in a double boiler over very low heat and soak the wicks until saturated. Lay out straight on baking paper to cool.
2. Lightly spray the inside of each mould with non-stick cooking spray, and seal with mould seal if it doesn’t have its own.
3. Stick the wick to the bottom of the mould with a bit of mould seal. Tie the other end to a small stick or skewer, pull the wick taut and lay the stick across the mouth of the mould.
4. Melt the remaining wax in a double boiler, never letting it exceed 90°C (use a sugar thermometer to check). Use oven mitts to handle hot wax to prevent burns. Lower heat, add the crayons and a few drops of citronella oil and stir to distribute evenly.
5. Pour the wax into the moulds, stopping 1.5 cm from the top. Place the moulds in a pan of cold water (use pot holders), taking care not to splash water into the mould. Let cool for 1 hour.
6. When the mould is cool, remove the candle. Trim the wick and smooth the bottom of the candle by standing it in a pot of warm water. If you used a 2 part mould, trim any ragged seams with a paring knife.

(Photo: Thinkstock)

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Carpet Flea Remover

If fleas hitchhiked indoors on your pet, try this simple, effective and cheap fix for freshening and debugging your carpets, using your vacuum. Wear rubber gloves when handling mothballs and be sure to keep pets and children away while you work.

What You’ll Need:
3 mothballs
Duct tape

What To Do:
1. Cut a small slit into the disposable vacuum bag liner and drop in mothballs. Seal the slit with a piece of duct tape. If you have a bagless vacuum, simply drop the balls on the floor and vacuum them up, or open the canister and drop them in.
2. Vacuum as usual. Fleas that are vacuumed up will be killed by the mothballs in the bag or canister. Drop in new mothballs when you change the disposable bag or empty the canister.

(Photo: Thinkstock)