Summer is here. I’ve got apricots and nectarines and avocados and tomatoes placed in bowls of all different sizes all over the kitchen. Fresh sage and mint resting in water on the windowsill. Gorgeous grapefruits and bushels of kale squished up against the compost bucket just begging to be used in my next dish. Yes, summer is here and the gardens and farms of the world are overflowing with nature’s harvest. It’s my favorite time of year, by far. Every year. In this moment. I am reminded of this. Nature is giving back to me, and I am so grateful for her gifts.
With this joyous time of excessive produce comes the inevitable – flies. On these hot summer nights, we have no choice but to throw open the windows in every room in hopes that the far off sea breeze will make it up and over the hill to cool our little apartment. The breeze is nice, but the flies comes in too. I mostly don’t mind a little bugginess in the house. I can commune with the little guys to a certain extent. But all the organic fruit and vegetables can make it a bit worse. Enter the genius of Lisa from Fresh Eggs Daily. Lisa has a great post on tips to keep flies out of your chicken coop. While I one day hope to be living the dream of keeping my own chickens, I’ll have to settle for my sweet kittie friends and use her advice to craft my own natural pest repellent. So here it is.
Take a shallow jar and place two cotton balls at the bottom. Cover with vanilla extract (about 4 tbsp). Then place the torn off leaves of fresh mint and sage over the cotton balls. Seal with cheesecloth by screwing the lid over it. Now you have your natural fly repellant. I placed a few of these jars near baskets of ripe fruit (and my compost bucket) and have had excellent results. The reason is flies don’t like strong, aromatic scents and sweetness. So the combination of vanilla, mint, and sage produce the perfect repelling concoction. The jar lasts about a week before going bad, so be sure to replace them weekly.
(Adapted from Fresh Eggs Daily)