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Dealing with pests – Know thy enemy, Kill thy enemy

Eco-Friendly Solutions To Debugging Your Home

Summer season means beach, flipflops and holidays. It also means pesky pests that hide from the heat to find shelter in homes and gardens. Whilst effective, chemical solutions harm the environment and are harmful to children and pets. Helpling, the leading platform for booking cleaning services, compiled a list of the common pests that may invade your space and the eco-friendly solutions to rid of them.


Their hangout – Inside and outside your home. Basically anywhere with available source of food.

Their food – With over 12,000 species of ants, they have an appetite for everything. While some species of ants may have a limited diet, collectively their diet is diverse.

Your eco-friendly solution:

  • Prevention: Seal entry points with petroleum jelly to prevent ants from entering the house
  • Repellants: Some effective repellants include: cinnamon, paprika, cloves, coffee grinds and dried peppermint. Just a place a line of the powder where ants are spotted to repel them.
  • Baits: To eliminate ants, use baits. Mix one part borax with 3 parts powdered sugar to attract the ants. They will consume the solution and take it back to their nest. The borax particles will eventually kill the entire colony.


Their hangout –  Warm, humid areas such bathrooms, kitchens, drains, sewers.

Their food  – Pretty much everything from starches and food scraps to paper and boxes. They feed on whatever is available to them.

Your eco-friendly solution:

  • Prevention: Cleaning counters with a solution of water mixed with vinegar repels many crawling insects including roaches. Keep food stored in the fridge,  close any gaps in walls and floors and plug sinks with drains.
  • Baits: Borax works with roaches as well. Sprinkle the powder where they frequent. The powder will collect to their bodies and be licked off and kill them. Another way is to place a small jar of water and oil, drop in a piece of fruit, and place the jar in an area where roaches are active. The creatures will climb in but not out and eventually drown.

jar of water

Fruit flies

Their hangout – Ripened fruits or vegetables, as well as drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles or cleaning rags and mops.

Their food – Fruits, vegetables, leaves, plant secretion and other decaying materials.

Your eco-friendly solution: Apple cider vinegar is a simple yet an effective way to get rid of fruit flies. Cover a shallow bowl of vinegar with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it. This will allow the flies to get in but not out. Vinegar and dish soap is another option. By adding a few drops of dish soap to a bowl of vinegar will drown the flies when it lands on it.


Their hangout – Spiders gather in areas where they can build nests and feed.

Their food – All spiders are carnivorous and eat insects

Your eco-friendly solution:

Ensure that you clean all surfaces and corners regularly, especially areas within corners and ceilings. If you have a garden, trim long grass to eliminate a potential nest. Discourage regular spider populations from getting out of hand by spraying nests with saline solution. A spray made with crushed chestnuts or essential oils can also be effective in getting rid of arachnids.

Bed bugs

Their hangout – Bed bugs hide in a number of places; around the bed, near piping seams and tags of mattresses, in cracks of bed frames and headboards.

Their food – Blood. Bed bugs can survive without food for 80 – 140 days. Older bugs can survive up to a year without a meal.

Your eco-friendly solution

Treatment: While not easy, it is possible to get rid of bed bugs. All surfaces including linens, pillows, curtains, etc.. need to be washed in hot water and dried at the hottest setting for at least 30 minutes. Scrub the affected mattress with a stiff brush, vacuum thoroughly and cover it with a bed bug mattress. If a mattress has already been severely infected, toss it away after sealing it with heavy plastic.

Prevention: Pure essential oils such as cinnamon, lemongrass, clove, peppermint, lavender, thyme, tea tree and eucalyptus can repel bed bugs. Spray a mixture of essential oils and water in your suitcase before heading out on a trip and before coming home again. You can also use the spray on furniture and bed areas as well.


Always remember to keep chemicals and solutions that include borax away from pets and children. For ultimate prevention, ensure regular cleaning of your home, focusing on corners and hidden areas that may provide an environment for pests to thrive. can assist you with this task by offering a thorough cleaning service to avoid the summer pest issues.

About Helpling

The Berlin based startup Helpling is the leading global online platform for on-demand home services. On the website or the mobile app, customers can book a vetted and insured cleaner in a couple of clicks. The innovative online service gives people more time to enjoy the nice things in life: family, friends and leisure activities.

Helpling was founded by Benedikt Franke, Philip Huffmann and Rocket Internet in January 2014. The company currently has more than 400 employees and offers its service in 14 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacifics. This makes Helpling the most widely available online marketplace for household services in the world.

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