Ants avoid chili pepper, pure cinnamon, cloves, coffee grounds, garlic, paprika, and dried peppermint. Sprinkle one or more of these spices or essential oils around the entry points and watch those ants scurry away! If you prefer to use a commercial brand, Orange Guard is non-toxic, and harmless to humans and other animals.
To get rid of occasional roaches, use adhesive based traps. The roaches will step on them and get stuck, and they’re not treated with chemicals, so your pets will be safe. Unfortunately, this only helps with occasional onesie-twosie roaches. If you’ve got an infestation, take your animals, move out for a few days, and have an exterminator come in.
Fleas are no fun. Try to avoid them by vacuuming floors and furniture, and washing pets frequently. If you do get fleas, wash everything that is washable, and vacuum very carefully. Don’t forget the corners! Then mix in a big bucket as follows: 1 gallon vinegar, ½ gallon water, 16 oz lemon juice, 8 oz witch hazel. Get a gallon sized garden spray bottle, and spray carpets, bedding, furniture and every nook and cranny of your house. Cover the bucket and then repeat spraying daily for a week. After that, once or twice a week should keep your home and your pets flea-free.
Fruit flies are the one downside of delicious summer fruit. Sometimes they just come in with the groceries. If you see even one, give the kitchen a good cleaning, and check your fruit. Get rid of anything that looks super-ripe immediately. Keep a spray bottle of water handy, and just spray them when you see them. The water will make their wings too heavy to fly. Keep the spray up, and they will drown. If you have a lot of fruit flies, pour half a glass of red wine or apple cider vinegar, and cover the glass with plastic wrap. Poke some holes in the plastic wrap so that the fruit flies can easily dive into the glass. They won’t be able to get out of the glass once they’re in, and they will eventually drown. If you don’t want to kill them, take a piece of ripe fruit and put it into a bowl that has a cover, but leave the cover off. Wait until the fruit is covered with fruit flies, put the cover on, and then take the fruit out and leave it somewhere far from your house!
Spiders are among the easiest pests to get rid of. Just spray your home with a mixture of essential peppermint oil and water, or vinegar and water. Spiders hate the smell of both. If you have nests, spray them with saline, and say “bye-bye spiders”.