PESTS – whether in the house, the garden or just buzzing around the patio – can be a nuisance, an irritant and can cause serious damage to property, plants and persons alike.
But there are a number of natural herbal remedies for all kinds of pests, many growing wild here in Andalucia.
A pest we all get in our houses from time to time is ants.
And while there are any number of chemical products you can buy, ants hate mint!
It interferes with their smelling capabilities.
I have effectively used fresh leaves around the base of my coriander plants, to stop the ants stealing my coriander seed!
I also put a line of mint essential oil across my front door, to stop them entering the house. Cinnamon sticks are also a useful deterrent.
As with all natural remedies, re- application is necessary.
Nothing spoils a summer evening on the terrace more than the annoying whine, followed by the inevitable bite, of mosquitoes.
But several of the commercial products contain chemicals that can cause unpleasant side effects, some such as DEET are believed to cause neurological damage.
Meanwhile some of the most effective herbal remedies are citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lavender (Lavandula spp) and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora).
A body spray can be made mixing together 100ml of lavender water with 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil and 15 drops of citronella oil.
Always spray a test patch first to ensure you don’t react to the spray.
Shake first to mix the lavender water and oils, then re-apply every couple of hours.
The spray will keep for up to six months and the same combination of oils can be used in an oil burner to keep mosquitoes away from your evening terrace enjoyment.
Living in the campo, flies are also a nuisance and while there are natural remedies to keep flies away – such as basil, lavender and rosemary – I have found few to be truly effective.
But another solution is to attract the flies away from the house or terrace, with a sweet irresistible concoction.
Heat 400ml of milk, add 110g of raw sugar (this is not brown sugar, and will have to be bought from a health food shop or online) and 60g of white pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour into bowls and place around the house or patio, flies will flock to the sticky mixture and drown!
Check out www.selfsufficiency4u.com for more natural remedies