Flies are the bane of many Australian homes, constantly getting inside and buzzing around annoying you as you cook, clean or try to relax. Flies are not clever, so generally once they get inside they usually can’t get out again, leaving them with nothing to do but annoy the hell out of you. The good news is there are solutions to get rid of flies, including:
- Mint acts as a fly repellent and small (porous) bags of crushed mint leaves places around your home will discourage flies.
- Strong smelling herbs like bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus can be wrapped in a porous material like cheesecloth and hung close to windows and doors.
- If you have problems with flies in just one area of your house consider putting a few drops of eucalyptus oil on some absorbent cloth and leaving it in the area.
- You can make your own non-toxic flypaper by mixing 1/4 cup syrup, 1 tbsp granulated sugar and 1 tbsp brown sugar in a small bowl and then soaking kraft paper in it. After letting the paper dry overnight, it can be hung up around your home.
- It is also possible to buy safe, non-toxix pheromone-based indoor and outdoor fly traps. Just beware that if you live in a very fly-ridden area, the traps may inadvertently attract more flies to your home.
Everybody knows that mosquitoes are annoying thing to have around your home, but if you’re a parent those mosquito bites are just one more thing you don’t want to have to deal with. That’s why having a few good methods for protecting against, and getting rid of, mosquitoes is a clever idea. A few at-home solutions include:
- Removing all standing water sources, as this is where mosquitoes will breed and increase in numbers. This means changing birdbaths, wading pools and pet bowls at least twice a week. Also keep the troughs in your eves flowing and draining well, and make sure there’s nothing in your backyard that encourages puddles.
- Having a few citronella candles on your deck and outside area is a smart idea, particularly if you’re out having a barbecue. If the mosquitoes continue to bother you after the barbecuing has been finished, throwing some sage or rosemary on the coals should keep them away. If you’re looking for something more long term, planting Thai Lemon Grass around your patio can help repel mosquitoes.
- If you’ve looking for a repellent alternative for sensitive skins, mixing one part garlic juice with 5 parts water is a good one to remember. Shake the mixture well before use and then spray on exposed areas of skin for a repellent that will last a good 5 hours. You can also dip strips of cloth in the mixture and hang them around areas where mosquitoes are a real problem.
- For something that’s commercially available, but still totally non-toxic, check out Neem oil. Neem oil is a kind of vegetable oil that is extracted from the Indian Neem tree. The seeds, leaves and seed oil of the tree all contain a compound called sallanin that is known to repel mosquitos.