Fleas, ants and roaches are common household pests. There are many products that claim to kill these annoying critters, but most of them are full of harsh chemicals, require you to leave your house for a few days or leave a toxic residue in the carpet that you wouldn’t want your children or pets to be playing on.
Instead, a number of safer home remedies can get rid of fleas, ants and roaches using common household products and good hygiene practices. Keep reading for 12 awesome methods:
1. Use dishwashing detergent against fleas. It’s like liquid poison to fleas. Try washing your pet with detergent, which will clean its fur and kill any fleas. It’s best to use a natural formula and test a small area first, as some animals have sensitive skin.
Second, make a flea trap by pouring dishwashing liquid into a very shallow bowl or plate. Fleas are drawn to light, so place a candle in the middle or keep it under a lamp; over a week or so, you should see fleas becoming trapped in the viscous liquid.
2. Wash and vacuum … everything. To get rid of fleas, you need to get rid of their eggs and larvae, so spend a day washing everything in the house where they might live. Throw all your bedding, bathroom mats, clothes and soft rugs into the washing machine, paying special attention to your pet’s favorite blankets or cushions.
If you have a pet and the flea problem has been bad, it might be worth throwing out its bed and getting a new one, since fleas lay their eggs in the stuffing as well as the cover. Next, vacuum your house thoroughly and be sure to get into all those dark spots; fleas love to live in areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight.
3. Salt your carpet. A layer of salt will dehydrate and kill the fleas living in your carpet. Use finely ground salt, and sprinkle a generous layer over your entire carpet. Leave it for one to two days or as long as you can, and then thoroughly vacuum.
4. Make a natural flea spray.Once you’ve controlled the initial flea population using the steps above, make your own natural products to keep the fleas away. Neither of these contain any harsh chemicals and are safe to use around the home, but be careful not to use rosemary oil or powder on your cat; it might have an adverse reaction.
5. Deter ants with household products. If you can see where ants are coming into your kitchen, spread a line of petroleum jelly, duct tape or talcum powder across the entry point. You can also wipe the trails clean with diluted cinnamon oil, or place ground cinnamon or whole cloves near the entry points.
Spraying white vinegar, fresh lemon juice or diluted peppermint oil across old ant trails also works to remove their chemical scent so that the colony doesn’t continue to use the same path. Try drawing a line with chalk around the entry points, because ants are repelled by calcium carbonate. If you’re having a picnic, place a water-filled container under each table leg; the ants won’t be able to get onto the table at all. For a step-by-step guide to get rid of ants, be sure to check out these 4 easy ways to keep away ants.
6. Bait or trap the ants. Try making a homemade bait by mixing 1 part borax with 3 parts powdered sugar. The sugar attracts the ants, and the borax poisons them. The ants will carry the poison back home and exterminate the colony. You can also make an ant trap by pouring a little honey into a shallow dish. The ants are attracted to the sugar but become stuck and can’t get back out.