Discourage flies by filling sachets, made out of handkerchiefs or fabric scraps, with bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus, then hanging them near windows and doors. You can also drizzle a few drops of eucalyptus oil on absorbent strips of cloth and leave them in areas where flies are a problem.
Keep mosquitoes away by putting fresh rosemary or sage on the barbecue coals. Or spray yourself with garlic water! Mix one part garlic juice to five parts water in a spray bottle and spray it lightly on exposed skin. Also, dip cotton strips into the mixture and hang them in the area.
Kill fleas on your dog with lemon skin. Slice the skin, put it in a bowl and pour over a cup of boiling water. Leave overnight to release the citrus oil, then sponge it onto your dog. Don’t use it on your cat.
Deter ants by leaving dried, crushed mint leaves or mint tea bags in areas where they’re active. Or, if you find the point of entry, set out a line of cayenne pepper, citrus oil (soaked into a piece of string), lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds. Ants won’t cross over the line.
Set and then forget control
For 24-hour protection from pests, try an Ecomist Automatic Insect Control System. Ecomist uses natural pyrethrins (which are safe for humans and animals), continuously dispensed in small bursts at regular intervals. Natural airflow circulates it around the house to deter flying and crawling insects. Pyrethrins break down in sunlight so there is no insecticide residue left in the house. For more information or to buy online, visit ecomist.com.au