Thrifty Ways to Keep Summer Bugs Away

Photo (cc) by edans

Every summer, they descend like the proverbial unwanted guests at a party. Bothersome bugs can wreak havoc on the sunniest, most relaxing days of the year.

Sure, you can buy repellents to ward off these irksome interlopers, but bug spray can be bad for the environment, and tough on your wallet. Fortunately, we have rounded up some frugal, effective and earth-friendly solutions.

Read on for economical and environmentally responsible ways to ward off some of summer’s peskiest pests.

Mosquitoes

This biting pest is perhaps summer’s greatest scourge, and the rise of the Zika virus has turned some species of mosquitoes into a potentially deadly threat.

Since differentiating an Aedes aegypti mosquito from other species can be impossible for the average mosquito victim, there’s no sense in fooling around — if the virus truly becomes a threat this summer, make sure you apply EPA-registered repellents that contain at least 20 percent DEET.

However, there are other ways to keep mosquitoes at bay. One is no further away than your laundry room. According to AARP:

Hang a fabric softener sheet adjacent to — but not touching — outdoor light fixtures to keep flying insects like mosquitoes and moths away. They hate the scents generated when the softener sheets are heated.

Ants

4487685929_6c665af140_b

Ants follow closely behind mosquitoes on summer’s “least invited guest” list. Drop a bit of sugar on the floor or some maple syrup on the counter, and ants will beat a path to the mess like animals to a watering hole on the Serengeti.

EcoWatch suggests spraying lemon juice and vinegar along pathways into the house, saying it works as well as poisons. Another suggestion:

Mint and tansy are two herbs that are especially effective in keeping ants away. Crumble some leaves around trouble spots, place a few plants on a windowsill or even plant some just outside your door. Both are carefree hardy perennials that will come back year after year.

Perhaps you should pack some in your picnic basket as well!

Moths

4654461798_dbc35175be_b

Moths can be a bit…well, unnerving when they appear in your home. They also can destroy your clothes. Natural Living Ideas offers one simple fix:

Since moths have a natural aversion to cedar, you can buy cedar blocks…or shavings and place them in your closet or dresser in order to keep those pesky little bugs from chewing through all your clothes and other fabrics.

You can find cedar blocks at Amazon and other retailers.

Flies

5989682522_685de32ba5_b

Sadly, flies are seemingly everywhere during summer months. Some are merely pesky, while others cause painful bites. Bob Vila has a suggestion for keeping flies out of your home:

Flies hate the smell of basil. To discourage them, place pots of basil at doorways and windowsills and on the kitchen counter. Don’t have enough sun for potted basil? Put dried basil in a small muslin pouch, rubbing it occasionally to keep the scent strong.

You can purchase a generous pot of fresh basil for around $4 at Trader Joe’s. An added bonus? A few of the fresh leaves can enhance the flavor of many dishes!

Bees

6317801247_bcb3088497_b

A painful bee sting is one of summer’s most unpleasant experiences. Recycle Nation says there are many ways to keep bees from entering your home. For example, they hate sprinkled cinnamon and crushed garlic.

But maybe the best way to keep bees at bay is by planting peppermint in your yard. According to Recycle Nation:

If you put peppermint plants outside or around your house, they will avoid the plants and, by default, your house. It’s a win-win situation – you won’t have to deal with buzzing around your head and you’ll have delicious peppermint for yourself when the plants are done growing!

Spiders

9734283368_ef49d88e48_k

This arachnid is more of a year-round threat than a strictly summer pest. But either way, you probably want to send spiders packing – or at the very least, would prefer that they stay out of sight.

Bob Vila also has a solution for this problem:

Spiders are not fond of citrus. In a spray bottle, mix water and unsweetened lemon or lime juice. Wipe your countertops with the mixture or spray down doorways and windowsills. You can deter spiders in your garden by spreading around lemon, orange, or lime peels.

Do you have techniques for naturally — and inexpensively — keeping bugs at bay? Share them in our Forums. It’s a place where you can swap questions and answers on money-related matters, life hacks and ingenious ways to save.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
3 Easy Ways to Get Laundry Soap for Nearly Nothing
3 Easy Ways to Get Laundry Soap for Nearly Nothing

Not using any of these methods for saving on laundry detergent? Then, you are washing money down the drain.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone
3 Reasons You Can’t Rely on Medicare Alone

Counting on Medicare to cover health care costs can jeopardize your retirement plans.

33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100
33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100

A little money goes a long way with these imaginative projects. You can do most of them yourself.

5 Home Improvements That Help You ‘Age in Place’
5 Home Improvements That Help You ‘Age in Place’

These safety-conscious home upgrades can help retirees stay in their home.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic
11 Products Now in Short Supply Due to the Pandemic

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.