There are commercial products on the market to take care of almost any household concern today, but our forefathers were not so advanced and had to use home-spun wisdom to overcome the obstacles.
Among the biggest problems they faced was pest control. Pests entered the home and spread disease, ate or contaminated food supplies, and ruined home goods.
Trial and error, over time, proved what worked and what did not.
Better Than A Mouse Trap
Mice converse through their urine. If they get into your home, you will find their conversation in the dark corners of your pantry, tracked across cabinet contents, and on items you frequently touch. As if this were not bad enough, they often carry diseases in that chatty liquid.
Mice are short ranging, family oriented animals. If they are removed from familiar territory they will become disoriented and most likely die. Catching and releasing them away from your home may be as effective as killing them on the premises.
Blocking any and all places they can get into your home is the best way to keep them from becoming a problem in the first place. There are some natural deterrents that will keep them at bay, such as peppermint oil or hot pepper spray.
When Ants Go Marching
Ants live everywhere. Their two priorities in life are to dig underground mansions for the queen and her offspring and to gather food for the tribe. It doesn't matter where you live, the ants are already there.
Ants follow their own trail of pheromones in a constant food transport chain. If the trails are blocked or eradicated, they will become lost. Chalk interrupts their pheromone trails, so a simple line drawn around your house will keep them from finding their way back.
There are a number of common household items that naturally repel ants. Chances are that you have at least one of them on hand. These include citrus or cucumber peels, cinnamon, cloves, and red chili powder.
Grounding The Fly
Flies are a huge nuisance. They seem to come out of nowhere and multiply by the hundreds. Their random flight patterns let them land on some pretty disgusting things before they drop into your food. They don't need to bite to transmit diseases like cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, or dysentery. Their disgusting habits make it easy to take a swat with anything that might knock them out of existence.
Good housekeeping is a fly's worst nightmare. A clean house provides no food. If the flies find a sugary spill, a forgotten morsel of meat, or a crumb upon which to feast, they become houseguests for life.
Repelling flies is fairly easy. There are a lot of herbs they don't like, including basil, mint, lavender, and marigolds. Keeping live pots, cut flowers, or applying herbally infused mists to areas where flies enter or gather will shoo them away. A few lemons studded with cloves can be used as a centerpiece or hung by decorative ribbons near doors and windows to keep them at bay.
When Termites Come Knocking
Termites are colonial pests whose diet consists of cellulose from wood. They can invade your home at any time of year. The best defense against termites is a good offense. Blocking potential entry ways and using naturally repellent materials will deter them from seeking asylum in your home. A trail of diatomaceous earth or borax around your perimeter will keep them at antennae length. Orange oil, neem oil, or direct sunlight will kill them.
Termites can not resist cardboard. Placing a damp corrugated cardboard box near the infestation will draw them out. Once they have moved into their fast-food environment, the box can be removed and burned.
When All Else Fails
Keeping your home and environment safe from potential disaster is the primary concern. Prevention should always be the first step. Not all home remedies are foolproof. Try a few. If they don't work, don't wait until it's too late to call in professional help.