Ah, summer. Margaritas by the pool, post-sun exposure application of aloe vera gel, and bugs. Lots and lots of bugs.
Fear not. We've rounded up our articles on ridding your home and yard of these and other pests, to make sure you spend most of this balmy season chilling on the patio and not swatting, spraying, and screaming at uninvited animal and insect guests!
Mosquitos are annoying, and their blood-sucking can cause itchy welts that get infected if you scratch too much. Luckily, there are plenty of methods to send them packing at your next outdoor event or camping trip.
The most obvious way to prevent mosquito bites is to cover up, but hiding your skin isn't always an option, especially when you're at the beach. Natural deterrents like lavender and rosemary can get rid of the nasty little bugs, and of course, there's always citronella, everyone's favorite summer candle scent.
Did you know you can even plant your backyard or garden with mosquito-free entertaining in mind? For some suggestions and other helpful tips for finally being free of these pests, check out our article: Keep Mosquitos Away This Summer.
Tiny fleas can hide out in all the holes and crevices of your home, and the ones you see are just the tip of a creepy crawly iceberg. They send your poor pets into fits of biting and scratching, and can even take a nip out of you while you're cuddling with your kitty.
If you want to take extra steps beyond the obvious vacuuming and washing all your bedding, you can try some sneaky tricks to get the best of these pests. Leaving bowls of dish soap and water around the house can help, as can spritzing a lemon spray on infested spots. Want even more ideas? Read How to get Rid of Fleas.
Gnats won't hurt you, but they're pretty gross. If you want to rid yourself of these uninvited house guests but you're worried about the chemical impact of store-bought products on your kids or pets, there are a few all-natural options out there.
Cover over-ripe fruit with plastic wrap and poke holes in the wrap. The gnats will be drawn to the smell and fly in the holes, but they won't be able to find their way back out. If leaving rotting fruit on your counter just won't work for you, a bowl of warm water, dish soap, and apple cider vinegar will also attract and trap these flying insects. Want more suggestions? See Helpful Tips to Get Rid of Gnats.
From one little guy flying in front of your computer monitor to a horde on your bananas, fruit flies seem to multiple in seconds and hang around long after you've hidden all the fruit. Luckily, there are more tricks than just "put your produce in the fridge."
Do a quick scan for any lingering pop cans around your living room, and avoid the urge to skip doing dishes even one night. If you're all clear in that department, consider setting an apple cider vinegar trap, and reading How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies for more suggestions!
Summer is synonymous with sun, water parks ... and flies. They seem to be experts at finding the tiniest crack in your window screen, and you'd swear they lie in wait til you open the front door.
Get creative in the battle this year with this trick: fill a plastic back about 2/3s full of water and hang it outside the windows that let in the most pests. The glittering sunlight reflecting off the water confuses the thousands of lenses on fly eyes, and they'll leave. Growing mint and basil can also keep them away, as can checking out How to Get Rid of Flies.
Bed bugs can keep you up at night, leave you with little red welts, and infest your home, fast. Once you've figured out where they're hiding, vacuuming and washing everything that might have them or their eggs on it can help control their growth.
Have some items that can't go in the wash? If you've also got a deep freeze, try tossing those pieces in there for a few days to kill off any lingering bugs. For more ideas, give Bug Out: Tips for Getting Rid of Bedbugs a read!
No one wants to discover an icky infestation of maggots in their home. Even though they're just baby flies, we tend to think of them as a whole other species of Ew. The biggest thing to keep in mind about maggots is that flies put them there — so getting rid of flies is really the main goal (see two pages previous)!
For maggots specifically, you have a few options. You can pour boiling water over them — which isn't always possible, of course — steam clean carpets where they've massed, or use waxy camphor, the scent of which repells many pests. For more tips, read Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Maggots and Flies.
Chiggers, little red mites that cause itching, can flock into your home after you've frolicked barefoot through a meadow or have worked in the garden. One of the best ways to keep chiggers at bay is one you probably do anyway: mow your lawn. Keeping these pests out of your home is the best scenario, as infestations can be hard to eradicate.
If they do get in, however, high heat is one way to get rid of them. Toss everything into the dryer and wash the floors and carpets with hot, soapy water. For more advice, How to Get Rid of Chiggers can help.
Almost everyone has dealt with ants where they don't want them at some point. Ranging from harmless to poisonous — with nasty biters falling in between — these pests are another one that can rapidly increase in population and require some creative attacks.
Spraying neem oil, sprinkling diatomaceous earth, and leaving cinnamon lying around can all help keep ants away. Check out more child- and pet-safe options in Natural Ways to Get Rid of Ants.
Not only are termites pretty yucky, they can be dangerous if they take hold and chew through essential structures in your home. Though poison or a liquid pesticide can keep them out of your walls, these aren't suitable for every household.
Check out Rid Your Home of Termites for Good to learn about cardboard traps, nematodes, and more pet- and kid-friendly fixes.
Stink bugs can infest your home and — no surprise — smell terrible when squashed. Avoid having to wash your hands five times by trying out our tips and tricks.
Once you've sealed up gaps in your doors and floors and vacuumed the place, you still might find stink bugs in your home if you carry them in on your groceries or leave a leaky pipe unrepaired. For tips on how to deal with them, read How to Get Rid of Annoying Stink Bugs.
No one wants to find a roach in their home. Though roaches are connected to unclean spaces, that's actually a misnomer, and they can crop up just about anywhere, if the conditions are right.
As with many pests, blocking up any holes through which the "unkillable" critters can enter is a good first step to preventing an infestation. Cleaning up crumbs and rinsing out sinks is another important step, since cockroaches like to snack. You can also give boric acid a try. For more tips, look at How to Get Rid of Roaches for Good.
You're not going to want to hear this, but the best way to rid your home of spiders is to clean it. Sorry. All those cluttered spaces are home sweet home for webs that keep spiders and their offspring safe from feet and dusters.
But if you've already taken this step and are still dealing with these environmentally useful but unwelcome guests, check out Effective Ways to Get Rid of Spiders For Good. Here's a teaser: sprinkle lavender and peppermint oil around. Spiders smell with their feet, and they don't enjoy a "nose" full of these strong scents.
Need some Innovative Ways to Rid Your Home of Crickets? We've got an article for that.
While sticky mats might have been the go-to in the past, there are many more creative ways to take these noisy insects out of the picture. Have any molasses lying around? How about boric acid? For more tried and true fixes for Jimeny's descendants, check out our post.
You might think groundhogs are cute, especially when they're popping out of the ground on television, but when they start burrowing in your yard, you'll probably sing a different tune.
Redirecting these pests from your landscape without harming them is possible with some kind of weird hacks. You can leave human hair lying around, scatter garlic, or set up a sound system. If you're wondering how that last one works, check out How to Get Rid of Groundhogs for Good.
Making sure your garbage is locked away is an obvious step when you've got a raccoon problem, but there are plenty of other tricks that might help keep these cute-but-destructive brats away.
One strange suggestions: pet urine! If you're not quite ready to acquire this all-natural body fluid, soaking hot peppers in water can work too: raccoons can't abide the smell. For more tricks, read Harmless Ways to Get Rid of Raccoons.
Like raccoons, chipmunks can be pretty darn cute ... until they start destroying your garden and burrowing under your house. Send the fluffy fiends packing with humane options like removing places they like to hide and planting flowers they don't like.
For specifics and more ideas, give Get Rid of Chipmunks With These Humane Repellents a gander!
What do smoke, sulfur, and cinnamon have in common? They're excellent snake repellants!
If you're looking to keep these slithery sneaks out of your garden and basement, our Simple DIY Snake Repellants article can help. You might not need to call an exterminator or go on a reptilian killing spree to prevent those heeby-jeebies that tend to kick in when one of these strange creatures crosses your path.