Home & Family

How to Get Rid of Common Bugs

Swat, swoosh, smack and then those pesky bugs of summer are back again and again and again! But, with some simple tricks you can beat the summer’s bite of the most annoying and plentiful bugs!


Before I begin, I thought I’d share a fly swatting strategy particularly for those whom think their newspaper is the key: Contrary to what we might think, using a newspaper or a towel is less effective then using a ventilated fly swatter or in my case, my grease splatter guard which collects more dust than grease.  The reason is these crafty little bugs can detect the air pressure coming towards them if you use a newspaper or towel. Vented tools fool them since it reduces the air they feel. . . But then we also have to deal with the fact that they have almost 360 degree peripheral vision so they see you coming from all sides. Thus, we must swat fast and about 6 inches ahead of them!


Bees love food, floral designs and bright colors, which is not good for us since so many of our summer fun and fashion involve both. The good news is they also don’t sting you quickly unless you bother them which often happens just out of our panic at seeing them. Here’s how to bite back:

1. Blue skies:Paint your patio or porch ceiling sky blue.  Bees will thing it’s the sky and not build a nest.  Painting clouds is optional!

2. Soda pop:Leave a couple inches of cola or any other sweet sugary soda in the bottle.  Bees are a sucker for the sweet stuff and will fly in to take a sip but are too dumb to figure their way out!

3.Bounce:Put a Bounce dryer sheet in your back pocket since the smell repels (how poetic!)  You can also place one in the back of chairs and under your outdoor cushions.  Some people rub them on their skin but I prefer not taking the chance if someone has an allergic reaction to ‘em.


Mosquitos and summer go hand in hand or rather, bite in bite. And though you can’t hope to annihilate them all, you can keep them at bay. Here’s how:

1. Blow: Mosquitos can only fly in still air so if you keep a fan on it will keep them at bay.

2. Flowers: Create a pretty border with Marigolds around your patio, windows and doorways, patio table and in your bedroom to keep those suckers away. Mosquitos hate their smell because they have natural insect repellant called Pyrethrum. Marigold’s are also edible in case you’re looking for a new food group to try!

3. Garlic:  Garlic Powder or cloves have a built in natural repellent, sulfur. So place garlic around your patio to keep them away. Fyi:  smashed garlic applied to a bite will help take the sting and itch away

4. Bounce: Keep a Bounce sheet in your back pocket!

5. Drain: Don’t leave still water around

6. Frogs ‘n lizards


I try to imagine ants as entertaining like in Woody Allen’s 1998 movie ANTZ but alas that doesn’t stop them from annoying the heck out of me when I’m eating on my patio.  So here are ways to stop them from invading your table and food:

1. Line ’em up:  Sprinkle the following around points of entry, like doors and windows: Talcum powder, chalk and salt. These will make them so thirsty they’ll keep drinking ‘til they explode!

2. Sink or swim: Fill plastic containers with water and put one under each patio/picnic table leg and chairs and they’ll be doing the backstroke vs dining back at the ole ant-stead!

Fruit flies

Remember the song, “fruit fly don’t bother me’?” That’s easier said than done! Particularly when one fruit fly can lay up to 400 eggs during their roughly 30 day life. Here’s a simple way to cut those babymakers’ lives and offspring short!

1. Wine ’em and dine ’em: Give ‘em a lil Red wine or tequila-like fruit. They’re attracted to the scent and will fly into the bowl leading them to a happy never after swan song. Cheers!

Julie Edelman aka The Accidental Housewife is the go-to gal for easy; real life time, money, and energy saving tips that maintain our home, family and manicure. She appears regularly on the Today Show with Kathie Lee ‘n Hoda, Rachael Ray, and The Doctors.  Julie has penned a New York Times best-selling book as well as The Ultimate Accidental Housewife: Your Guide to a Clean Enough House; contributes weekly for RachaelRay.com; is the sanity saving editor for Beautiful Design Made Simple Magazine; has a webisode series for Fox News Magazine, and hosts Julie’s Tips.

Image courtesy of Dwight Sipler, Flickr.

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