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Five DIY Projects to Keep Bugs Away This Summer

With the warmer weather of summer comes the many unwelcomed pests into our home and outdoor spaces. We can see many types of pests during the summer including mosquitoes, ants, fruit flies, wasps and stink bugs.

"Each [pest] is unique so what attracts them into our homes is different," Orkin's Entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D, said.

Whether they are indoors or outdoors, these pesky pests can prove to be a challenge when it comes to keeping them away.

Here are five DIY projects you can try this summer to keep these pests out of your home.

Mosquitoes

What you will need: a 2-liter bottle, brown sugar, yeast, hot water and scissors.

Mosquito Trap

1. Remove the 2-liter bottle cap and cut the bottle in half with the scissors.

2. Dissolve one-fourth of a cup of brown sugar into 1 cup of hot water.

3. Once cooled, pour the mixture into the bottom half of the bottle.

4. Add 1 teaspoon of yeast to the mixture. You do not need to mix. This will create carbon dioxide.

5. Place the funnel (or top half) of the plastic bottle upside down into the other half of the bottle. You can tape them together if you choose to do so.

6. Wrap the bottle in something black such as black cloth.

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How this works: Mosquitoes are drawn to sources that generate carbon dioxide (such as humans). By producing carbon dioxide at a slow pace, the mosquitoes will be drawn towards the bottle, ending up in the water and not being able to escape.

Harrison said thinning your vegetation will help in reducing the amount of mosquitoes since they get blown away by the wind.

Ants

What you will need: 1 cup of sugar, one-half cup of water and 1 tablespoon of Borax.

Ant Trap

1. Mix 1 cup of sugar, one-half cup of water and 1 tablespoon of Borax together. Keep this mixture away from children and pets.

2. Place mixture in an old plastic container with holes poked in the lid. These holes provide a way for the ants to get into the mixture.

3. Put a small amount of plain sugar outside the container to lure the ants over.

4. Place container with solutions where you have previously seen ants.

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How this works: The ants will find the solution and take it back with them to the nest. They will feast on and die from the mixture.

"Ants are foraging for food all the time," Harrison said. "If they find a source of debris (food) in your home, that is when you will most likely see ants start coming into your home," he added.

Fruit Flies

What you will need: a glass jar, plastic wrap, a toothpick, some very ripe/overripe produce and soapy water.

Fruit Fly Trap

1. Place several pieces of very ripe or almost rotten fruit into the bottom of the glass jar.

2. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band.

3. Use the toothpick to make a few holes in the plastic wrap.

4. Set jar(s) throughout the house where you notice fruit flies. Also set one jar outside the doorway on a warm, sunny day.

5. Once jar is full enough, submerge the jar into a bucket of warm, soapy water. Let the jar sit for about 10 minutes to ensure the fruit flies will not come back.

5. Rinse out the jar and repeat these steps as needed.

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How it works: Fruit flies are drawn to the very ripe/overripe fruit in the trap. Once they are in the trap, the fruit flies are unable to get out. Submerging the jar in soap ensures that the flies die. Doing this DIY project is also a great way to use any produce that has been sitting too long in your home.

"Being conscious of landscaping can help prevent pests [coming in or around your home]," Harrison said.

Wasps

What you will need: a 2-liter soda bottle, a permanent marker, scissors and wire for hanging trap (optional).

Wasp Trap

1. Draw a line around the neck of the bottle with the permanent marker. Then cut the top off the bottle at the drawn line.

2. Unscrew the cap and flip the top half (funnel) upside down. Tuck the top half into the bottom portion of the bottle.

3. Unscrew the cap and flip the top half (funnel) upside down. Tuck the top half into the bottom portion of the bottle.

4. Add a bit of vinegar to keep bees out of the trap.

5. Place the trap outside in an area where you see wasp activity. Keep the trap away from areas where children play.

6. If you want to hang the trap, use a hole punch to make two holes on each side of the bottle. Make sure you punch through both the top and bottom portion of the bottle.

7. Thread a piece of wire through the holes to serve as the handle of the trap.

8. Remove dead wasps and re-bait trap weekly.

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How it works: Wasps are attracted to the scent of the bait and will fly into the open bottle. Once inside the bottle, they cannot figure out how to get back out the narrow opening and eventually die.

"Moving your vegetation farther away with at least 2 feet of dirt can help keep pests away from your house," Harrison said.

Stink Bugs

What you will need: a large aluminum foil pan, water, dish soap and desk lamp.

Stink Bug Trap

1. Take the aluminum pan and place it in a dark room.

2. Add one-half gallon of water and dish soap to the pan.

3. Take the desk lamp and shine light on the pan of water.

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How it works: The light from the desk lamp lures the stink bugs into the aluminum pan. Once they touch the dish soap, they are unable to get out and eventually die.

Harrison advises those who have pests in their home to be conscious of what they bring home is pest-free.

He added that doing monthly inspections of your house can make you aware of places that these pests can get inside.

Standing water, gaps in screens and doors and plumbing are just some of the places Harrison mentioned in which pests can get into your home.