With the days getting longer and the warmer weather approaching, daydreams about spending our evenings and weekends outdoors are going to start setting in. But if anything is going to spoil our summer fun it’s the inevitable invasion of unwelcome creepy crawlies.
So why not craft a pretty, little homemade bug repellent to keep away the wazzies? Below we’ve collaborated with Axatax, a pest control expert based near London, and A2B Crafts to come up with a few great ideas to make your own bug repellents and traps that will not only help ward off those unwanted pests, but will also look great on your patio table!
1. Natural Repellent Jam Jar
What you need: 2 large jam jars or mason jars, 1 lemon, 1 lime, 2 cuttings of mint, 2 cuttings of rosemary, 20-30 drops of citronella oil, floating candle and water
Not only is this super pretty but it’s simple to make too!
Simply slice the lemon and lime and distribute between the two jam jars. Next, place one sprig each of mint and rosemary in the jars and fill up with water. Add the citronella oil, pop a candle in the top and light!
Now you have a beautiful candle holder AND an effective bug repellent.
Other herbs bug repelling herbs you can try are basil, lemon grass and catnip. Try arranging these assorted plants and such in a way that best pleases your eye – get creative!
2. Burning sage
What you need: whole sage cuttings and string
Sage is a little known and natural bug repellent. All you need is a dried bundle which can either be bought readily dried and bundled or easily made at home – bundle fresh sage cuttings at the stem and hang upside down for a few days in a sunny window.
To use you simply light the bundle and then blow out the flames so it is still smouldering – remember to be careful with where you hang the smouldering leaves as they could still set other things on fire!
Alternatively, and especially if you’re having a BBQ or campfire, you can simply put some dried sage into the flames to keep away the mosquitos and flies.
3. Clove studded lemon
What you need: 1 lemon and whole cloves
Another amazingly simple pest repellent for your garden dinner table is a clove studded lemon
Simply cut the lemon in half and pierce the inner flesh liberally with cloves. Put out on the table half an hour before you serve up your summer supper!
4. Hanging wasp catcher
What you need: 1 plastic bottle, sugar jam or honey, water and string
Wasps are notorious for causing a riot during a pleasant summer’s day – but what they seem to like more than pestering you is anything sweet!
Create a pretty hanging wasp trap by taking an old plastic water bottle and cutting the top part off –about a third of the bottle.
In the lower two thirds of the bottle put a syrup solution – you can use water and sugar, honey or jam – anything sweet will do the trick.
Place the top half of the bottle upside down and snuggly in the bottom half and attach some string around the bottle or through the sides so you can hang from a branch!
You’ll soon find the wasps are far more interested in the sugary goodness inside the bottle. You could even add some food colour to make the trap not only more attractive to you but also the wasps!
5. Fruit fly Trap
What you need: Jam jar, apple cider vinegar, water and paper
Whilst harmless – fruit flies are very annoying and can get a little too close to your food for comfort.
Simply take ¼ of a cup of good quality apple cider vinegar and mix with equal parts water in the bottom of a jar. You could even decorate the jar with ribbons as shown in my other DIY post here.
Take some paper – we prefer decorative but any will do– and make a cone shape. Make sure the funnel spout is quite narrow – you don’t want them escaping!
Place the cone in the jam jar and seal with some tape – all you need to do is place the jars around your food to attract the flies away and down the funnel!
There’s no need to let bugs and pests dampen your summer fun – so why not try out some of these pretty bug repellent and trap ideas and let me know how you get on? If you have any own your own inspired bug repellents too, we’d love to hear (or see) some of your ideas too, so feel free to send them in!
More about the cause:
Since pest prevention isn’t usually a pretty sight, Axatax is working with writers such as myself to encourage some alternative means of pest prevention – that way you can keep your home fresh and bright as well as pest free! Meanwhile, A2B Crafts offer all sort of crafty inspiration for projects and helped provide the imagery and design suggestions for these nifty bug repellents.