Thursday, June 13, 2013

Flies, damn flies, moscas and other irritating insects - deterrents and repellents

OK, so we've spent the past few weeks harping on about the cooler and damp weather but it does have its advantages; lack of flies and other flying or crawling nasties.

The warmer weather is back with a vengeance and with it comes the flies, horse flies, ants and mosquitoes. I love insects of every persuasion but just not in the house or studio. There is nothing worse than trying to eat a meal only to be dive-bombed every two minutes by a fly who thinks it's funny to watch you wave your arms about whilst trying not to fling muesli all around the room.

A procession of ants working their way towards your back door is no laughing matter as you worry just how big that nest is going to be?

Sleeping soundly to be awoken by the high pitched hum of a blood thirsty female mosquito is hardly conducive to wakening feeling refreshed especially when you find the little blighter has feasted on your most intimate or exposed parts...

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Horseflies pursuing you around the vegetable plot that eventually bite you leaving you with as much swelling as a post surgical face lift isn't my idea of trouble free vegetable growing...

Being surrounded by meadows we have an abundance of insects and since a small herd of pygmy goats has taken up residence just up the lane we seem to have more flies than usual. We like to aerate the house on a daily basis so keeping windows and doors shut is not an option.

 Repellents and deterrents:

Over the years we have researched natural deterrents and repellents that we can use in our arsenal against the little blighters. We don't like fly sprays, sticky traps or other chemical based products so here are a few tricks we have learnt over the years that seem to work for us.

Garlic: eat loads as it acts as a repellent for biting insects.

Elderflower placed in a bowl near the open window or door to a room will deter flies from entering.

Eucalyptus leaves and flowers will similarly deter mosquitoes and other evening-time insects. Alternatively Eucalyptus oil will work just as well.

Bicarbonate of soda will rid you of that procession of ants within minutes - so much safer to have around  than ant powder.

Windows and work surfaces wiped down with white vinegar will not only produce a clear non-greasy finish but will also deter flies from landing.

A glass crystal multi-faceted drop hung from a light fitting will repel those flies that insist on flying in a square around light fittings.

When a wasp, fly or bee is buzzing at the window pane trying to seek freedom, open the window and gently blow the little chap towards the opening, this works 80% of the time.

Whatever method you choose, please don't use fly spray or insecticide sprays, they are indiscriminate and will kill spiders, moths, beetles and other beneficial insects. They have even been known to poison fish and kill hamsters and besides, do you really want to inhale all those toxic fumes?

What do you use?

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