For many people, using a poisonous pesticide is not an option. Some people are allergic to them and others have asthmatic or other breathing problems when they use them. There are alternatives that will help keep pests such as fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, moths, and houseflies from wanting to take up residence at your home.

Keep lavender and rosemary planted outdoors close to doorways to keep fleas at bay. To deter ticks plant rosemary.

To discourage mosquitoes try using the peppermint plant, catnip, lavender, basil, or marigolds. Ants and spiders are also repelled by peppermint. Of course, the more the better. Plant these types of plants around the perimeter of the home for the best results.

Houseflies are drawn to the kitchen and bathroom once they enter the home. A window sill full of basil and lavender, in either room, will repel these unwanted guests. Planted out of doors near entrances will also help keep them away.

Some lavender sachets in the closet sends moths looking for a more pleasing place. Simply cut some fresh lavender from the plant and fill a small fabric square and tie off with ribbon. This will also leave a pleasant aroma in your garments. These sachets can also be placed in dresser drawers. Once the aroma has passed it is time to change them out.

Sprinkling coffee grounds around the exterior of the home in flower beds will actually kill ants, cornmeal is also advertised to work.

To keep deer out of the garden make a solution of 20 percent fresh eggs with 89 percent water. Mix in a blender and place in spray bottle to apply to leaves. The tip of the applicator will clog, so be prepared to clean it during application. Shaking the bottle repeatedly in between spraying it might help keep the formula mixed up enough to prevent clogging.

To keep aphids away from vegetable gardens plant marigolds around them. The placement of chopped up banana peel under the soil line around the stems of your garden plants is touted to do the same.

These natural remedies are perfect for patio or porch living. Place potted plants or plant in the ground these natural plant deterrents.

To keep mice from entering the home through the hole cut out under a sink for the pipes, wedge stainless steel wool into any crevices where a mouse could squeeze through.

Many natural products and household everyday items wear the disguise of having more than one purpose. Products already mixed with the natural oils from plants are readily found online. Non-toxic applications need to be applied more often then their synthetic counterparts they also may take longer to show effectiveness.

— Marla Ballard’s Master of Disguise normally appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday editions.

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