I'm a pest controller – 13 hacks to banish ALL bugs from spiders to mice & fleas & why Vaseline may be the secret weapon | The Sun

SEPTEMBER is here and spiders are on the prowl for a new mate – and they could be inside your home.

It's mating season for these creepy and unwelcome house guests who – to our horror – sneak inside for a warm place to make their babies

Spiders and ants, bed bugs, beetles and buzzing wasps can cause chaos behind closed doors, but there’s plenty of simple ways to keep them at bay without buying a single thing.

Here, Anna Mollins, a pest control pro at PestFix, reveals the handy hacks to banish bugs using items around your home – and it won’t cost you a penny…

Vaseline for ants 

That pot of petroleum jelly in the bathroom treats burns, soothes dry skin and – surprisingly – stops ants coming into your house. 

“Spread a generous amount across pathways and around entry points to your home,” says Anna. “Ants leave a trail of pheromones behind them, forming a path around your house for others to follow. Vaseline dampens the scent and will help stop them following their friends into your kitchen to cause havoc on your surfaces.”

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Tumble dryer sheets stop mice

Want to keep mice and rats at bay? Buy a box of cheap tumble dryer sheets. 

“Pop a sheet in common hiding places like cupboards, or by windows and doors,” says Anna. “It’s not the smell that repels them, it’s the feel. Dryer sheets have a negative charge and get rid of static on our clothes. If a rodent gives one a sniff, they’ll experience a very funny feeling – and they won’t want to go near it again.” 

Vanilla extract for mosquitoes

That little bottle of sweet stuff in your baking cupboard isn’t just for cakes. Put a few drops on your household surfaces, but remember to regularly clean and top up to keep the scent strong.

“Vanilla extract, like peppermint or tea tree oil, has a very strong scent,” says Anna. “Mosquitoes are attracted to our body odour so by using a stronger smell, it’ll dampen or even totally mask it and you’ll have much fewer itchy bites.”

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Use a hairdryer on bed bugs

Give bed bugs the boot with a blast of hot airCredit: Getty

Bed bugs will nestle into your sheets and suck your blood, but heat is their worst enemy.

“No amount of cleaning will get rid of these critters,” says Anna. “Try putting double-sided sticky tape on your bed frame to catch them in the act. Then turn on your hairdryer and aim it at all the nooks and crannies around the mattress. Have a hoover handy – you’ll need it to suck up all the dead bugs.” 

Cut up tights to curb flies

Dirty flies don’t see the world like we do. They fly towards the strongest source of UV light so to banish them, you have to trick them.

“Use items like mirrors to reflect the sunlight away from your home or, for a quicker fix, cut up a pair of tights, stretch and fix them to your window frame,” says Anna. “That way, you can keep windows open for a cool breeze, but there’s no way flies can creep inside.”

Onions oust spiders

Spiders might rid our homes of flies, but the eight-legged creepies can fill us with fear. Cut up an onion to keep them at bay.

“Onions don’t just make humans cry,” says Anna. “Cut one into slices and place in a bowl of water in a corner of the room. It’ll increase the amount of moisture in the room, make spiders’ webs feel funny and force them to find a more comfortable place to live outside of your home.”

Steam clean fleas

Those miniscule jumping bugs are suckers for our blood, but it’s nothing a little steam can’t fix. 

“Fleas hate heat so whip out your steam cleaner or iron and get to work on your sofas and surfaces,” says Anna. “Or, pop your table lamps on the floor to lure them out before you attack. Make sure that hoover is handy for the clean-up job.” 

Wine fools fruit flies

Fruit flies are the biggest nuisance come summer, but they can’t resist a drop of red wine.

“Leave a few centimetres of wine in the bottom of your open bottle and leave it on the side,” says Anna. “Fruit flies will flock towards the sweet smell, dive in for a taste and get stuck. Wash out the bottle after a few hours to avoid attracting bigger bugs like wasps.”  

Banish beacons 

If you have windows open at night, turn off your lights. They’re a beacon to moths that normally live happily inside, but their whirring wings will keep you up all night. 

No hole goal

Mice can fit through gaps the size of a pencil so don’t just fill in the big holes around your home. Use wire wool or copper scourers to plug tiny spaces – they can’t gnaw through it. 

Wash your booze bottles

Leftover wine, beer and cider are a breeding ground for fruit flies. Give all your bottles a swill before chucking in the recycling and enjoy a buzz-free bin. 

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Stop feeding the birds

Rats, mice and squirrels love the easy pickings of fat and grains from bird tables and bird feeders. Rats are amazing climbers, so even if you put your feeders high in a tree you'll still attract rodents.

Empty your hoover

Vacuuming will suck up pest larvae on carpets and flooring but flea eggs can still hatch in your hoover bag. Empty it into the outside bin after each vacuum to stop the spread in its tracks.

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