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How To Get Rid Of Household Bugs

By David Bakke

how to kill indoor bugsAbout the only thing that I hate more than common household bugs is the money that I have to spend to rid my house of them. The house that I live in is getting up there in age (it’s about 15 years old), so there are plenty of cracks and crevices throughout. I already do my best to go green with natural household cleaners which can help with the cause, but getting rid of these household bugs can get expensive.

I also want to let you know that I live in a pretty clean house (well about as clean as it can be kept with a three year old running around). Still, I have fallen victim to a few of these bugs of late. Therefore, I have recently made it my mission to find the cheapest, most economical ways to deal with what I think are some of the more common household nuisances. I hope you find these ideas helpful:

1. Indoor Ants

Recently, after losing my battle with city hall, I was forced to pay for garbage pickup from my home. I used to simply take what little garbage my household generated (after all recycling was done) to a local dump. Paying for trash pickup meant having one of those stinky, festering 500 gallon garbage cans parked outside my house. Well, guess what? The first fallout from this was an infestation of ants in the room of the house next to the outside area where I stored my garbage can. I moved the can, but the ants stayed. I battled those suckers forever. And it wasn’t because the can was dirty. It was because of this garbage that just sat there for several days till it got dragged to the curb.

Then, I found two different solutions, both virtually free, that seemed to do the trick. The first one was black pepper, and the second one was baby powder. I actually found the baby powder to be a little more effective and a little less dangerous for the pets in my home. Just sprinkle over the infested area and it should clear up pretty fast. Voila!

2. Fruit Flies

Especially in the warmer summer months, fruit flies can be an issue. It’s a particular problem in houses where fresh fruit is a mainstay of the kitchen. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned, and yet they still appeared. Well, that all came to an end with the “fruit fly cocktail” I learned. Mix a couple of ounces of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish detergent and place in a little cup near where your fruit is kept. They are gone in short order.

3. Stinky Sink Disposal

This one is a little off-topic from the bugs, but it’s still a common household nuisance that really drove me nuts. I had odors coming out of my disposal that simply wouldn’t go away. After spending a good bit of money on liquid cleaners, the light bulb finally went off in my head. I realized that I was just dumping that stuff down the drain. It wasn’t clinging to anything and therefore it wasn’t working.

So my first success was with lemon rinds. After I squeezed out a lemon for whatever recipe I used it for, I cut it down into a few smaller pieces and dropped it in there. I turned the disposal on and off intermittently to break up the rind and let it sit for a while, killing the odor. It worked pretty well. I then tried white vinegar ice cubes which I slowly crushed. The ice cubes were made from equal parts vinegar and water, or pure vinegar if you’d prefer. The results were even better!

4. Crickets

Oh, the hours of sleep I lost over the summer because of those horrid crickets. I’m sure they’re nice enough insects, but they were out in full force this summer, worse than any summer I could remember. They would literally keep me up all night.

Then, I found the solution: molasses. Place a little bit of molasses placed in the bottom of a cup near their hideout. They can get in there but can’t get out. After a few days the “music” ended and I finally got some sleep!

5. Those Dreaded Roaches

And finally, those dreaded roaches. For those of you still questioning my cleaning abilities, let me tell you something. Anybody living in any kind of house in Georgia or Florida will tell you that unless you make it your mission in life, you are going to see a roach or two from time to time no matter how clean your house is. Typically, I see a few right around this time of year as the temperature begins to drop and they want to get inside to get warm.

A very effective, homemade roach killer can be created with equal parts baking soda and sugar. The roach is attracted to the sugar and killed by the baking soda. End of story. If this were a different post, I could go on forever about the numerous baking soda uses!

I’d imagine that there is some household nuisance that I did not mention, probably because my home has not yet been afflicted with it.

Do you have any cheap remedies for other common household nuisances? Feel free to share them below!

(photo credit: k790i)

David Bakke
David started his own personal finance blog, YourFinances101, in June of 2009 and published his first book on ways to save more and spend less called "Don't Be A Mule..." Since then he has been a regular contributor for Money Crashers. He lives just outside Atlanta, GA and most all of his free time is taken up by his amazing three year old son, Nicholas.

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  • http://www.howisavemoney.net Lulu

    Thanks for the tip about the crickets, I never knew that. I already knew about the chalk with ants….but my grief comes from those little lizards/geckos. How do we get rid of those?

    • not given

      Lizards eat bugs, keep ‘em. How much greener can you get?

  • not given

    Our roaches don’t go for sugar but borax and cornmeal does the trick.

    • David Bakke

      Hey there,

      Right on point on both.

      I’d be a little leery of having Borax in my house (is that stuff safe?) but I hear ya on the “lizzies”!

      • not given

        Well, boric acid, anyway. You can get it at a pharmacy, it’s used as an eye wash. Put the stuff in a can with a plastic lid that you can cut a slot in so the bugs can get in.

        • David Bakke

          Gotcha, Thanks!

  • Tiffani

    Hey David, great info you have here. I’m always looking for ways to save money and living in south florida, bugs are pretty common. I’ve learned that with little tips such as the ones you have above and using a smaller family owned pest control company saves so much more money than calling in the big boys for damage control once the bugs do their wear and tear. So thanks again for the advice and I’ll let you know how some of those tips work when I try them at home :)

    • David Bakke

      Tanks for commenting Tiffani!

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