Is summer your favorite season? Do you love the warm weather, fresh air and luscious produce that comes with it? Unfortunately, bugs feel the same way.
Banishing bugs and other pests is a year-round challenge for homeowners, but this summer, try some natural methods for keeping the little buggers away. The experts at The Family Handyman  recommend the following earth- and people-friendly remedies for summer pest problems.
Ants: Discourage ants from entering your home by planting a barrier of mint around the foundation. Bay leaves also make great ant repellent: set whole bay leaves around kitchen food canisters, or sprinkle crushed bay leaves along windowsills.
Mosquitoes: Fend off annoying, disease-harboring mosquitoes with lemongrass and basil. Lemongrass contains citronella, so growing clumps of it around your deck or patio creates a mosquito-free zone. You can also mash up the inner leaves of the lemongrass plant and rub the juice on your skin for extra repellency power. Basil has the same effect, so plant it around your outdoor room, too.
Crickets: Bypass bug sprays and control crickets with do-it-yourself sticky traps. All you need to do is set out long strips of duct tape—sticky side up—in the cricket-infested room, and then change the tape as needed. To keep crickets out permanently, seal possible entrances by caulking around windows. And be sure to dehumidify all rooms, including the basement, because crickets like damp areas.
Drain flies: Tiny drain flies are harmless insects that live on the gunky slime in drainpipes, and they can gather in huge numbers in your home. Try pouring a teaspoon of bleach down an infested drainpipe and keep the drain hole blocked for about an hour. If this doesn’t end the infestation, starve the flies by clearing the drain of gunky slime with a long-handled brush.
Rodents: Got a mouse problem? Try propping up a soda bottle at about a 20-degree angle, and bait it with peanut butter. A small amount of vegetable oil around the inside of the lip will prevent the mouse from slipping away.
Bigger backyard visitors: Backyard intruders like raccoons, foxes and skunks can be a nuisance, cause messes and even damage property. Keep them on their toes and out of your yard with motion-activated lights and sprinklers. And don’t forget to bring in any bird feeders before the sun sets—otherwise, you could attract deer, elk, coyotes and even bears looking for a nighttime snack.
Source: The Family Handyman