6 Pest Control Tips Not to Fall for This Summer

Two citronella candles in glass holders

It’s not uncommon to encounter pests over the summer months. Whether these are bugs, rodents, or larger animals, they can be quite a nuisance, and ruin much of your hard work in the garden. While assembling your arsenal to prevent invading critters from causing trouble, keep in mind there are some classic pest control tips that sound good but just don't work. Read below to learn what tips are a waste of your time and resources.

1. Dryer Sheets for Mosquitoes

It’s a commonly held myth that placing dryer sheets outside can ward off those pesky mosquitoes during warm weather months. However, studies have proven that these sheets only repel mosquitoes for a few moments. Luckily, there are plenty of natural approaches to pest control, including some alternative bug sprays.

2. Attracting Mice with Cheese

If you’re experiencing a mouse issue in or outside of your home, you’re likely considering using traps to address the problem. While many believe that using cheese on traps to attract these rodents is foolproof, there’s actually a better way. In fact, peanut butter and its sweet scent is more attractive to mice, luring them to your traps more quickly.

A mousetrap with peanut butter

3. Bug Repelling Machines

Consumers buy endless contraptions that claim to repel bugs via high frequency sounds. Many of these machines, though, have been proven to be ineffective. Although they may briefly reroute bugs, they likely won't keep bugs away for long. Battery powered models are especially susceptible to gradual decline.

4. Boiling Water for Ants

Ant infestations can be quite a pain, and they're fairly common in warmer months. There's an old wives tale that boiling water will kill ants on impact. Even if that were true, though, boiling water is not an effective way to get rid of a serious ant problem. Hot water poured on an ant hill will likely cool too much before reaching the root of the problem to eradicate it. The only way to get rid of ants for good is to destroy the full colony, along with the ant queen. As long as she and some portion of her workers are around, your ant problem is still a going concern.

A hand spray bottle spritzes flowers

5. Pantyhose for Garden Bugs

There’s nothing worse than growing herbs, fruits, or vegetables only to see your fresh food ruined by garden bugs before you have the chance to harvest. Some sources recommend covering plants with nylon pantyhose to keep garden bugs away. This method is a myth, plus it’s a waste of perfectly good clothes! Instead, combine one part seedless hot sauce with three parts water, then spritz this onto your plants. You can feel good about this natural, affordable formula. It's safe to use, and keeps destructive bugs away.

6. Citronella Candles to Ward Off Mosquitoes

If you've tried citronella candles in an area with heavy mosquito activity, you probably know they're essentially useless. Even a slight breeze will dissipate the scent of citronella, which isn’t all that effective in keeping bugs away in the first place.

It’s easy to fall for some of these pest control myths, particularly over the summer, when you’ll try just about anything to keep your yard safe from bugs and rodents. Don’t waste your time and energy on ineffective remedies.