This Pest Index Gives Real-Time Info About Critters in Your Area

This Pest Index Gives Real-Time Info About Critters in Your Area

Arielle Tschinkel

Contributor

Arielle Tschinkel is a freelance pop culture and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared on Shape.com, WomansWorld.com, FirstforWomen.com, Insider, HelloGiggles, and more. She loves all things Disney and is making her way to every park around the world, and is a die-hard Britney Spears fan for life. She’s also obsessed with her Bernedoodle, Bruce Wayne.

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This Miraculous $5 Amazon Find Completely Solved My Annoying Ant Problem

This Miraculous $5 Amazon Find Completely Solved My Annoying Ant Problem

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There’s nothing that makes you feel quite as powerless as when you have an ant problem. In short, it’s the worst — especially when there’s no viable reason why the ants keep marching one by one right through invisible cracks in the walls and windows. My husband and I live on the 15th floor of a New York City apartment building, and we’re very tidy and don’t keep food out. (My Florida upbringing taught me to keep basically everything in the fridge and how to properly store fruit to avoid fruit flies and other bugs, and I’ll never unlearn those lessons.) Nevertheless, we suddenly had ants coming into nearly every room in our apartment — an issue we’ve never had before. What was the deal? The honest answer: We had no idea. Could it be the summer heat? Something in the walls? They wanted to check out my decorating skills?

We figured the problem would subside after a day or so, but after the unwelcome visitors kept infiltrating our space (and we got tired of squelching them with paper towels and spray), enough was enough. My husband immediately looked up the best ant killer that’s good for small spaces and doesn’t have any kind of odor or tactic that’d make us queasy.

He found the bestselling TERRO T300 Liquid Ant Baits, which were marked as Amazon’s top choice and have over 50,000 five-star reviews, and immediately ordered a few six-packs. (They’re very affordable at just under $7 a pack normally, and on sale now for just under $5 a pack, so scoop some up for yourself ASAP! You truly never know when an ant problem will strike.) When they arrived, we simply tore off the snap tabs and placed them in the areas where we noticed the ants the most. They’re very subtle-looking bait traps, too — unobtrusive and slim to easily put against a wall and forget about. The liquid bait is a sugary substance that attracts the ants, and after consuming and leaving a pheromone trail going back to the colony, it sends them packing for good, thanks to Borax being the active ingredient.

I’m not kidding — after one day of the traps being out and the ants thinking they were in for a treat, the problem visibly lessened, and every subsequent day, it got better and better. It sounds too easy, but we literally just tore the tabs off, placed the bait, and waited. Now, we’re pretty much ant-free, save for a stray one or two that didn’t get the memo… but they will soon!

This $15 Amazon Find Keeps Flying Pests Away from Your Food When Dining Outdoors

This $15 Amazon Find Keeps Flying Pests Away from Your Food When Dining Outdoors

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One of the best things about summer is dining outside. Whether you chow down at a picnic table under a shady tree or dig in on your deck, food somehow tastes better in the great outdoors. But with all of the things we love about open-air meals — warm breezes! Starry skies! — comes a pesky problem: flies, mosquitos, and other bothersome fliers.

Enter: the Treva Bug Repellent Fan, a brilliant “didn’t-know-I-needed-it-until-I-got-it” $15 fan from Amazon. It’s surprisingly sleek (never thought I’d call a fan “pretty,” but this one is undeniably good looking), and unlike other repellers and traps, it won’t put a damper on your dinner.

How does this bug-repelling fan work? The “blades” are actually holographic ribbons designed with a pattern that refracts light and sends a “stay away!” signal to bugs and pests. There’s no need to worry about the fan ribbons near your face and fingers; they’re soft and harmless. One happy customer noted that he actually stuck his hands in the spinning blades to test their safety. All fingers in tact, he reported success. (Thank you, sir, for your brave work.)

The battery-powered Treva fan doesn’t require access to an electrical outlet, making it a great addition to your campsite. (We’ve also spied them at al fresco restaurant tables.) It runs on just two AA batteries, so there’s no need to stock up on specialty sizes. One reviewer positively noted that the fans ran for six hours straight without the need for a battery change. At about 10” tall, these must-haves are unobtrusive and easy to set up. Plus, they’ll last for years, making them an eco-friendly investment for this summer and beyond.

Unlike bug sprays and candles, this scent-free solution won’t interfere with the amazing smells coming from your plate. It’s safer than torches, virtually silent (unlike death-by-zap machines), and more sanitary than sticky bug-catching tape — not to mention, more humane to the insects. In other words, it might just be only repellent that doesn’t make you lose your appetite.

Buy: Treva FD15001 Bug Repellent Fan, $14.99

Rochelle Bilow

Contributor

Rochelle Bilow is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, the former social media manager at Bon Appétit Magazine and Cooking Light Magazine. She has also worked as a cook on a small farm in Central New York, and a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City. Connect with her @rochellebilow.

This $10 Mosquito Repelling Candle Will See You Through Summer

This $10 Mosquito Repelling Candle Will See You Through Summer

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Nothing ruins an outdoor get-together like an uninvited guest. If your summer garden parties and al fresco dinners are frequently interrupted by the arrival of buzzing and biting insects, Urban Outfitters may just have the answer to keep mosquitoes at bay this summer.

For just $10, mosquito magnets can pick up this mosquito-repelling candle to help get rid of those blood-sucking pests. Murphy’s Natural Mosquito Repellent Candle is an an-natural solution to help you enjoy a bite-free environment throughout summer and is free from DEET and petroleum. The candle, which has a 30-hour burn time, is made from a soy and beeswax blend and infused with a high concentration of citronella, the raved about essential oil that is said to help keep bugs out of the immediate area. Other ingredients include lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, and cedarwood, resulting in a super refreshing scent.

Urban Outfitters customers have been loving the candle, heading to the reviews to share their thoughts on the product.

“WOW – I am a big skeptic of citronella candles, but this one is by far the best I have ever used,” one North Carolina customer wrote. “I placed it on my small patio table while grilling out one night. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Plus, it is natural!”

Another customer, who lives in Florida, commented: “Loveee this candle! It really does keep the bugs away and I get bit up pretty badly normally! This company also sells incense sticks too that are amazing.”

So, does this “miracle” essential oil work, or is it all just a fad? According to the National Pesticide Information Center, Citronella is distilled from two grass varieties and is supposed to work by masking the smells that are attractive to insects, meaning it is difficult for the bugs to locate their target (aka, next meal). Although there is no scientific evidence that it actually works, it is said that citronella is one of the most widely used natural repellents on the market, and plants have been used to drive away mosquitoes as far back as the Greeks and Romans.