Home Remedies For Bugs: Do They Work?

9:01 AM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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Triad --  Finding home remedies for pests can be quite satisfying.  They can save you money and be better for the environment. Plus, let's face it, it's pretty fun to tell the neighbors about your "new find."

The fun stops when your clever potion doesn't work - or harms your yard. So we checked some out.

Flies- There's nothing worse than having a cook-out or dining outside at a restaurant with a swarm of flies. They carry diseases! Have you ever seen plastic bags full of water hanging outside at your neighbor's house or at restaurants? Those are supposed to get rid of flies. 

Does it work? It can't really be proven either way. According to howstuffworks.com, flies have two complex eyes made of 3,000 to 6,000 simple eyes.  They let the fly see in many directions at once. The theory is that when light is refracted through the bag of water, it confuses the fly and it goes the other way. There's no proof that it does or does not work. However, many swear by it. So that's hard to deny. Either way, it doesn't hurt to try it. Even if it doesn't work, no harm is done by hanging a bag of water from a tree!

Ants- There is a theory that they won't cross a line made of cinnamon, onions or sidewalk chalk. According to Mark Danieley, Alamance County Extension Agent, this isn't going to help your ant problem. However, if you line your sidewalk with onions, it may keep your neighbors away!

Slugs- One theory says that you can keep them away with cornmeal. Danieley says this one doesn't work either. 

How about luring them in with beer? This one works! Turns out slugs like beer! If you have a problem with slugs, put some beer in a dish. Dig a hole where you have seen slugs and place the dish in it. Make the top of the dish level with the ground. Slugs will crawl in- but they won't crawl out!

The moral of the story is that home remedies are great, but only if they work!  Do your research! 

Mark Danieley, Alamance County Extension Agent

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