They’re back. The gnats, fruit flies and mosquitoes that plague your kitchen summer after summer. Everyone hates to see these creepy crawlers in their home and having to use harsh pesticides to get rid of them. Luckily, there are some all natural, non-toxic ways to get rid of these annoying bugs and keep your family safe! We rounded up some all-natural remedies that ACTUALLY work to help rid your home of pests:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar:

Ever wonder why pests seem to be more attracted to your food or wine rather than your expensive traps? Flies, mosquitoes and gnats are attracted to very smelly food and liquid. Apple cider vinegar is extremely fragrant, naturally attracting the pests plaguing your home. Pour one third cup of apple cider vinegar into a household glass or bowl and watch the fruit flies swarm! Not only is this remedy effective, but very inexpensive!

2. Check Your Caulk!

Gaps can begin to appear on your windows and doors leaving plenty of space for ants, cockroaches, gnats and fruit flies to enter your home. Bug proof your home by filling any cracks and holes you notice by your windows and doors. Youtube has great resources for DIY caulking!

3. Puddle Free Zone:

Mosquitos love to breed near standing water. If you have puddles – even small ones, they will find them! Investigate your yard to make sure water is draining properly, especially around your downspouts and flower beds!

4. Dish Duty:

Be extra mindful to keep your sink clean, and free of any food particles. These smells attract critters and what’s worse, keep them coming back for more!

5. Essential Oils:

A non-toxic and pleasant-smelling way to protect your home is by diffusing or cleaning with essential oils. Peppermint is an effective ant repellant. You can diffuse it in your kitchen or soak a cotton ball in peppermint oil and clean around the suspected entry of the ants. Citrus based essential oils (think orange, lemongrass, etc!) also help repel gnats and flies. Dab some of these oils on a towel and clean kitchen counter tops and by doors to prevent entry and landing of pests.

5. Put Your Green Thumb to Work!

Consider a mini garden in or outside your home, near your front or back doors! Plants that naturally repel flies, mosquitoes and other bugs include; garlic, mint, citronella, basil, lavender and even bay leaves! These fresh herbs can also elevate your summer cooking!