The weather’s heating up, and that means all sorts of creepy crawlies are about in force. Conventional pesticides are full of nasty chemicals linked to health concerns from ADHD in children to Parkinson’s Disease in adults. Why spray harmful toxins when there are lots of natural solutions to keep those critters at bay?

1. Seal those Leaks
Whether you’re experiencing an ant invasion or encounter an unwanted four-legged guest, one of the best ways to put an end to the problem is to seal off their entry point. For smaller issues, a little silicone caulk should do the trick.

If you’re encountering mice or rats, try stuffing steel wool into the hole, then covering it up with wire mesh. For whatever reason, rodents have an aversion to steel wool!

2. Build a Moat
Are ants attacking your pets’ food bowls? Start by sealing off their point of entry and using a damp cloth to get rid of any ants that remain in your house. Then, clean the floor thoroughly with hot, soapy water to eliminate the ants’ trail.

Once you’ve cleaned things up, keep them from finding the food dish again by placing the food bowl into a shallow pan of soapy water.

3. Keep it Clean
Food is one of the main things that lures those critters into your home. Make sure you clear floors and counter tops of food debris after cooking and eating. Wiping down surfaces can go a long way toward keeping your home pest free!

4. In the Garden
Outside, you’ll want to take care of any standing water, which just begs for mosquitoes. To deter pests from your fruit and veggie plants, try companion planting with beneficial vegetation like marigolds.

If you’re experiencing a pest invasion, you might need to take further action. There’s a great recipe for home made pesticide over at Herban Lifestyle. She uses neem oil, which is a natural, biodegradable pest deterrent along with essential oils to create an all natural spray that’s safe around pets and children. Just be sure to wash your veggies before eating them, since neem oil isn’t recommended for internal use.

5. Get Boozy
Who knew that beer was great at pest control?

Give it a go in your garden to control slugs and snails. You can also use stale beer to control fruit flies in your home and even in your kitchen compost bin.

Trap roaches and fruit flies with a two liter soda bottle and some beer! Cut the bottle in half, put vaseline on the inside of the top, then flip the top half so it forms a funnel and seat it back into the base. Fill with a few inches of beer, and you’re ready to go!

6. The Nitty Gritty
If you’ve got an ant problem, a sure-fire way to get rid of those suckers is to kill the queen. Keep an eye on that weather forecast, and when you’re expecting rain, sprinkle dry grits onto the anthill. The workers will bring the grits to the queen, and when she drinks the rainwater, the grits will expand in her stomach.

7. Keep a Lid On It
Anyone with a kitchen composting setup has probably dealt with fruit flies. The key to keep them out of your house is to use a compost bucket with a lid. Emptying the bucket into an outside bin every couple of days helps, too, if you have that as an option.

The same goes for your trash and recycling bins. Keep those things covered, and empty often!

Do you guys have your own tips for all natural pest control? We’d love to hear them in the comments!

This story was written by Becky Striepe. It originally appeared on Care2.com and is used here with permission. Visit Care2.com to discover more than 5,000 ways to enhance your life — from holistic health and wellness to pets and family life, the experts at Care2.com share great tips for living a healthier, happier and more sustainable lifestyle.

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