Simple Life Hacks, the easy way to get through life without lifting much of a finger. That’s the way life ought to be and these days, one can find thousands upon thousands of ways to make life a little easier. Today, we’ll take a look at 3 simple life hacks regarding those pests that you can do quickly and achieve maximum effects from them. They are great for around the house and I’ll throw in a bonus hack just for the fun of it.
Are you ready to get started? These hacks will require the minimum of tools or materials. That way you won’t go broke and the results will be for you to judge. They have been tried and proven to work with minimal effort on your part and the results have not disappointed so far.
1. Simple Life Hacks For What’s Bugging You – The Black and Yellow
It is spring as I type this post and many things are becoming active, or have already made their way into your surroundings. As usual, not all things in nature are pleasant and when they become a problem, it is time to deal with them and do it efficiently.
In this case, we are looking at wasps. Those ugly little bugs that terrify everyone and makes you swat, run, or go get out that can of spray and kill them. A good broom to knock down those nasty nests can get them a bit excited and start the chase as to pester you to leave the area. You don’t have to put up with that and there are ways of dealing with these critters that are more natural and effective in getting your space back in peace.
Before we go out and start eradicating them, you should understand that they do have a reason for being here. It called natural pest control. Just not the kind we tend to think of. So what exactly do wasps do for us?
- Pollinators: Our bee populations are in decline worldwide and wasps are also capable of pollinating plants, this acts as a back up system.
- Pest control: Efficient in destroying other insects that continuously attack plants and crops (caterpillars, various grubs, weevils).
- Territorial: Wasps are keen at keeping competition out of their established area(s) and will keep infestations under control.
- Environmentally Friendly: What? Yes they are and many farmers and backyard growers welcome them and even import them to take care of the above mentioned positives.
Just Say NO To The Nest
While there are many ways to get rid of these nasty critters that nature has given us, killing them should not be the only means to consider. Getting them to move along and find another area that may be safer, while still being able to use their natural abilities, might just be the right solution. Sounds crazy to many, especially if you are allergic to them but something as simple as getting rid of the nest(s) can make a difference.
By controlling the space around the yard, through natural means, getting them to build a nest where you want them to, as opposed to areas that invade your personal space (patios, faucet areas, etc…) is not as difficult as it seems. We are here to discuss about a hack that can do just that.
Tools you will need:
- Small to medium sprayer bottle, garden sprayer Hudson sprayers work the best and the 1/2 gallon size can be found at your local hardware store which features a pump action to add pressure for spraying and a control nozzle and trigger.
- Peppermint essential oil or spearmint oil (15 to 20 drops of either or each). Adding Eucalyptus essential oil can make it more powerful.
The idea here is to spray the area that you wish to have free of wasps, yellow jackets, or even bees with enough spray to make sure the surfaces are coated well. You will want to do this when all the buzz is quiet so as to not agitate them into a frenzy. Usually in the evening hours or very early in the morning before activity starts.
Your little friends do not like peppermint, spearmint or eucalyptus and will not want to continue coming back to a space where it is not healthy to them.
Contrary to what is mentioned above, there are times during the day when the nest/ nesting areas will be vacant while they are all out keeping busy at their routines. By taking the time and observing their behaviors, you may be able to get away with spraying during this period which will cause them to want to avoid coming back to their nesting sites.
By spraying those areas where you do not want nests to happen, you can literally control where you will allow them to set up residence. Leave an open space or dedicated area and eventually they will begin building a new home there. For best practices method, you may have to re-spray once a month or more (after rain showers) during the busy season.
This method of using this hack is simple, natural, cost effective, and will not be poisonous to pets.
2. March of The Ants – All In Line
These little legged friends get everywhere. Always hanging out together in the same areas and never seeing just one but many, sometimes too many. While most of us think of them as pests and an annoyance, in nature, they are quite beneficial to our existence in many ways.
Songs, movies, poems and even ant farms have been created for us to embrace the little guys. While it may not be a love affair, there certainly is an interest in ants that have caught our attentions. They can be considered one of the most social pests that we know of. Living in colonies and working together cohesively, they are truly on of the most adept species in all life. Humans don’t even come close.
They must have a reason for being here as they outnumber humans with a ration of 1.5 million to 1. Colonies alone can number to as much as 20 million, that’s quite a feat in keeping everything in line and running efficiently. And at the heart, the queen herself. Not only is she the boss, but she is also the one to lay the eggs for the whole colony. Worker ant are all sterile and the queen is needed to continue the life cycle of producing more females otherwise the colony will eventually die out.
Benefits of having ants:
- Considered as eco-engineers, ants take care of the soil by aerating it and building tunnels which redistributes the nutrients. Overall, their work makes for better soil drainage and air circulation. This can make a farmer or large gardeners job easier.
- Soils found near colonies have shown to be richer in nutrients due to the large amount of organic matter produced by the ants. From large amount of food storage, food scraps and excrement, soils tend to be organically pH balanced thereby creating nitrogen and phosphorus enriched soil.
- Being natural farmers are the ants forte. They carry seeds to better protected areas (usually near their nest) which will take root better. This can result in better protection from other seed eating animals and less likely to succumb to nature’s weaker moments in drought years.
- Ants get bugged too and to them that means a meal. Cockroaches, ticks, stinkbugs, termites, and even an occasional pile-on to confront a scorpion, are some of their better known targets. Call this natural pest control with the top of the list being fire ants found in many farmers fields.
As great as the many benefits may be when you consider how hard ants work, to many, they are still an annoyance that invades our spaces and need to be dealt with. More people that live in metropolises and urban areas are bothered by ants than those that prefer to live closer to nature in rural settings. When it comes time to deal with them, there are several methods that can be implemented.
Once again, the previous recipe for using peppermint as outlined in #1 above, can be used effectively the same way for deterring ants. This is purely natural and there are many other choice methods you can find here.
Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE)
Works as a deterrent to not only ants, but also known to deter scorpions too. DE comes in a powder form that consists of the fossilized remains of many marine phytoplanktons. Jagged edges are the theme here and this will cause the micro cuts into the ants bodies resulting in the drying out of their bodies until they die out. This is best used for indoor problems and is a simple, inexpensive solution.
For outdoors, here is one of many recommendations:
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tbsp borax
1 1/2 cups warm water
Mix thoroughly to dissolve sugar, then add the borax. Using a small plastic lid, fill with the solution and place in the direct path of the line of ants. You can do this at several locations at the same time when you find other ant trails. Borax is lethal to ants as it disrupts their digestive systems.
Being as they are social insects, they will ingest the solution (attracted by the sugar) and take it back to the colony where they will share with other members of the colony and the Queen. While this is not an immediate kill off, a short stint of time will do the work as many ants will duplicate the action until they all die off.
* Warning… The use of Borax can be lethal to pets. Make sure you use it in an area not accessible to them.
Consider another natural remedy. Purchase, rent, or hire an anteater. Marching on…
3. Creepy Crawlers – Floors, Walls, Ceilings
Cockroaches are probably one of the nastiest bugs around. They are disgusting and ugly, not scary as wasps, yet they still have their place on the uggghh list. They seem to outlive man every step of the way. At least that’s what we are told.
Just as you have weekly or bi-weekly garbage pickup service for your home, consider that cockroaches are natures onsite service providers. Out of 4,600 species of cockroaches, only 30 or so will interact with households. Crawling around on six legs, these thumbnail size, or larger creatures have a history dating back as much as 320 million years. Pretty impressive if you think about species that are still around.
They do have favorite types of foods and these can include any of the following:
- Bread and fruit scraps
- Dead insects
- Dirty clothes
Does the world need cockroaches? Learn more about them here.
In some societies, cockroaches are more useful than previously thought. In China for example, consumption is a realistic part when it comes to health. When in a powdered form, they can be used in creams to treat burns and also used in cosmetics for facial masks. Now before you start cringing, these are not of the species that keep your home under surveillance. Due to the structure of their legs, researchers are also studying the possibility of creating prosthetics that can be useful to humans.
So what would happen if we wiped out this hideous species? Let start with the feeding of birds. While not the mainstay of their diets, they are on the menu. Most likely as a delicacy. Soils would not get the nitrogen levels that are needed to keep vegetation flourishing. The nitrogen comes from their excrements that in the wild, keep the forests growing and without it, more forests would begin to die out.
While most of us can’t stand the sight or thought of these unnerving little creatures, not everyone thinks of them that way. They do have their followers and there are large farming facilities for them that makes their owner rather wealthier. From pharmaceuticals to cosmetics, they do have their place.
Simple Life Hacks for Cockroaches
This is a simple hack and found to be quite effective. Yours truly has used this method and found that it was the best way to eradicate the problem while at the same time keeping safety in mind.
Tools you need:
A child’s pail (quart size will do just fine
Molasses (2 tablespoons worth)
Vanilla (a teaspoon is fine)
Water (fill pail almost 2/3 full)
Mix all ingredients in the pail. The idea here is to place the pail in an area of high activity as to get the most benefits. Make sure that the pail itself is touching a wall so that the critters will crawl up to the top of the pail to investigate. The aroma of the vanilla and the molasses will attract them. Trust me, they will drink the solution and most likely will drown from not being able to crawl back out.
Take your small net/sieve and scoop up all dead insects. Now you can throw them away into your garbage, but I found that finding a location out of the way and away from pets, and depositing all of them there will be beneficial to the ecosystem. Many times, within 24 hours, other insects (especially ants) or birds took care of getting rid of the carcasses. This makes it a win/win solution for both you and nature.
You will want to change the solution once or twice per week, as it will sour faster when the temperatures are quite warm. This is a cost effective and humane way of controlling (or a good attempt at) these creepy crawlers that invade our homes and minds.
If for some reason the above hack does not sound OK to you, might I suggest maybe doing a River Dance and killing them off that way.
Bonus Hack – This One Won’t Bug You
Next time you clean your mini blinds, a simple hack can help keep them cleaner from dust and particles. After cleaning the blinds, just wipe with dryer sheets after they are dry. This will lessen the effects of dirt and dust sticking to them. Dryer sheets contain some kind of slick ingredients and this you can use to your benefits.
Well that’s gonna do it as far as bugging you and if you have some simple life hacks that you would like to share, feel free to comment and let the world know how it can make life easier for all of us.
Little critters are not only found in and around the home, you as a human have many to work with also. Read about your own body and how nature controls your health.
That’s my show.