It seems as though the cold weather is driving all of the bugs to find warmth in our house. We are currently battling ants, fruit flies, stinkbugs and these little black beetles. Of course, using conventional insecticides is not an answer in our home. Such products are poisonous to both people and house pets. And children are particularly susceptible to the dangerous effects of insecticides since they are more likely to pick up that roach motel or crawl on the floor where you just sprayed ant killer.
Over the years, I have accumulated some tried and true methods for dealing with bugs or pests naturally and without toxic sprays:
Fruit flies are by far the most persistent pest I have encountered. Fortunately, I have a friend to thank for a miraculous fruit fly trap. Get a small cup. Fill it with a small amount of red wine. Add a few drops of dish soap. Set it next to the source of your fruit fly problem. Problem solved! The fruit flies will be gone by the next morning. I set out a new cup every time I start to see them again.
Although ants are usually worse during the summer, we definitely have issues with them during the winter as well, especially when we bring our tropical plants inside as the weather cools. It seems like I have tried every method possible for dealing with them. Until we discovered the detour method. Read more about it here.
As you pull out your winter sweaters, you may discover that they are full of holes. Moths and carpet beetles love to munch on clothes that are packed away in dark areas. The easiest solution is to store your clothing and bedding in airtight containers. You can also used cedar block or chips or lavender to keep moths away and keep your clothes smelling sweet. Visit MarthaStewart.com for instructions on making your own cedar and lavender sachets.
Those little black beetles that are invading my home are called ground beetles. They are most active at night and most likely to come into houses during the fall when temperatures are dropping. You will see them mostly during the evening but during the day they tend to hide under rugs and furniture. While annoying, these pests cannot survive or reproduce indoors. The best way to deal with them is to vacuum or pick them up and throw them back outside. Also, caulking any gaps around doors and windows will help keep them from coming in (and weather-proof your home).
The stink bugs aren’t as bad now as they were in the spring. But they are definitely still around. And unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about them other than to catch and flush them. Even most chemical methods won’t completely get rid of them. Sealing up any gaps will block their entry points. And minimize the use of outdoor lights since they are attracted to light and warmth.