Spiders, Stink Bugs and Mice, Oh My! – How to Get Rid of Common Pests

What could be more exciting than summer in your new condo? Well, pests of course! When you were a renter, pest control was your landlord’s problem. Now, as with everything else, it’s you who has to handle the situation. As a new condo owner, it is important to understand how to take care of common pests and insects that try invade your new home.  To rid these unwanted roommates, there are natural or organic solutions, as well as more hardcore methods. Consult this guide to keep your condo clean and free of unwanted guests.


antsWhat’s interesting about ants is that they are somewhat beneficial to your condo. This is because ants kill more dangerous pests like fleas and bedbugs. Nonetheless, you don’t want them overrunning your house. Ants are attracted to your food. One of the natural ways to get rid of them is to apply scents they don’t like to places you commonly find them. For instance, by spreading cinnamon around the perimeter of your condo, the scent will deter them from coming in. This is a nice way to prevent them from coming into your house without using pesticides. If your ants are not deterred by natural remedies, store-bought ant traps work well. Just place them out of reach of pets and babies.

Fruit Flies

No one wants a fruit fly hovering around while they are trying to eat their food. One of the best ways to get rid of them is through this DIY trap: in a shallow dish pour apple cider vinegar (enough to just cover the bottom), add a drop of dish soap, and then will it with a little water. Place plastic wrap over the top of the dish and poke a few holes big enough for the flies to get through. The vinegar will attract the fly but the dish soap won’t let them out!


Rodents ­­are among one of the most common pests that condo-owners face. Of course, we all know that they are attracted to peanut butter. Put a spoonful on a mouse trap and you will nab your pest. Yet, did you know that you can get rid of them naturally? For instance, spray some peppermint oil on a couple cotton balls and place them around possible rodent entry points. The smell of the oil will deter the rats/mice from entering your condo.


Nothing is more frightening than almost getting sprayed by a skunk. In most cases, home remedies like spreading mothballs near skunk habitats have limited success. To rid these pesky critters, it is best to turn to a skunk repellent. There are all-natural repellent options, so be sure to check the ingredients.


Peppermint oil does not just prevent rats and mice from entering your condo; turns out, spiders cannot tolerate the smell, either. Yet, if you’re suffering from a spider infestation, you may need to turn to more hostile measures. Spray a residual insecticide on the corners and cracks of your condo. This poison will stop spiders dead in their tracks.

Stink Bugs

Besides making sure your home’s doors and windows are properly sealed and vents have screens, you can buy or make your own stink bug traps. Check out this video.

Wasps & Hornets

Wasp and hornet stings hurt, but can be deadly to those who are allergic. Most local markets carry wasp and hornet sprays that will kill these pests. Yet, a spray can only reach so far. Thus, consider killing wasp and hornet nests with just dish soap, water and a hose with a sprayer. Fill the hose-end sprayer with about ¼ cup of dish soap and fill the rest of the container with hot water. This method is effective because soapy water drowns wasps, hornets and bees. Do this in the evening when the bugs are back in the nest.

Our contributor, James White, is a freelance construction worker and blogs in his free time at Homey Improvements. He also enjoys hiking, photography, and improving his own home. Follow him on Twitter@DIYfolks.

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Comments (2)

  1. Kathy

    The easy and most effective way to get rid of stink bugs is fabric softener sheets. Place a sheet folded up in between your window screens and the window, rub the sheet on screen first it works like a charm. Fabric softener sheets have a chemical in them that suffocates them.