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How To Get Rid Of Water Bugs

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How To Get Rid Of Water Bugs July 18, 2018

With the arrival of the monsoons, you sure would have noticed insects in and around your house. These insects are most probably water bugs that are attracted to stagnant water or leakages. Even leaving food and other organic matter open can bring these tiny creatures into your home. But worry not! If you are wondering how to get these pests out of your house, this post can help. Read on to know more.

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What Attracts Water Bugs In The House?

The term “water bug” is generically used for different species of bugs, like cockroaches. It is also known as the American cockroach. Although these creatures have wings, you will hardly find them flying.

Following are the factors that can attract water bugs:

  • Water

Water bugs, as their name suggests, are easily attracted to water. They can be found in moist places, including the puddles of stagnant water around your home. They can also appear near leakages in your washroom, kitchen, or garage.

  • Sweet And Starchy Food

Water bugs are also attracted to sweet foods like sweet syrups. Since they mostly feed on starch, you can find them near starchy foods or substances like the back of wallpapers, paper, some types of clothing, and even fermented drinks like wine and beer.

  • Decaying Organic Matter

Water bugs may also be found near decaying organic matter like food. These bugs can, in fact, be found close to any food source. At your home, you must look out for these pests in your trash bins and around decaying plants.

Let us find out how harmful these creatures can be to us humans.

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Are Water Bugs Harmful To Humans?

The appearance of water bugs in your home is a nuisance in itself. And to add to it, they can even bite humans (referred to as toe-biters). However, they don’t bite unless they feel threatened.

In very rare circumstances, an individual bitten by a water bug may develop an allergic reaction.

If you wish to get these menacing creatures out of your house, here is a list of simple home remedies that can help.

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Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Water Bugs

  1. Boric Acid
  2. Essential Oils
  3. Garlic Spray
  4. Onion
  5. Pepper Spray
  6. White Vinegar
  7. Alcohol
  8. Cooking Oil
  9. Hot Water

1. Boric Acid

Boric Acid Pinit

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You Will Need

Boric acid (as required)

What You Have To Do

Sprinkle some boric acid on all the infested areas around your home.

How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Boric acid is toxic for water bugs and can help kill them. The acid disrupts the functioning of their stomach and nervous systems, leading to their death (1).

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2. Essential Oils

a. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 10 drops of peppermint oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of vinegar
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix 10 drops of peppermint oil with a cup of water and half a cup of vinegar.
  2. Transfer this solution to a spray bottle.
  3. Spray it on all the nicks and corners of your house.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Peppermint oil exhibits insecticidal and repellent properties, which can help kill the water bugs (2).

b. Basil Oil

Basil Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 10 drops of basil essential oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • ½ cup of vinegar
What You Have To Do
  1. Add 10 drops of basil oil to a cup of water.
  2. Add half a cup of vinegar to it and mix well.
  3. Transfer this solution to a spray bottle and spray every corner of your house that could be sheltering the water bugs.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily until you get rid of all the bugs.

Why This Works

The linalool in basil oil exhibits powerful antimicrobial and insecticidal properties, which can help get rid of water bugs (3).

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3. Garlic Spray

Garlic Spray Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid soap
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Bring a cup of water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Peel the garlic cloves and add them to the boiling water.
  3. Strain the cloves out in a few minutes and add the liquid soap to the remaining water.
  4. When the solution cools down, pour it into a spray bottle.
  5. Mix well and spray on the areas infested with water bugs.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this at least once daily.

Why This Works

The essential oil extracted from garlic exhibits insecticidal activity that is also effective against water bugs. Also, the strong aroma of garlic acts as an insect repellent (4).

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4. Onion

Onion Pinit

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You Will Need

Cut onion slices

What You Have To Do

Place onion slices in every corner of your house.

How Often You Should Do This

Replace the cut onions every 2 or 3 days.

Why This Works

Onions contain sulfur, whose strong aroma helps repel insects (5).

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5. Cayenne Pepper Spray

Cayenne Pepper Spray Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 950 mL of water
  • ½ cup of powdered cayenne pepper
What You Have To Do
  1. Add half a cup of powdered cayenne pepper to 950 mL of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan and turn off the heat.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool and strain it.
  4. Transfer the strained solution to a spray bottle.
  5. You can also add some liquid soap to it.
  6. Spray the solution on all the infestation-prone areas of your home.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least once daily.

Why This Works

Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, a compound most insects are sensitive to. This is why cayenne pepper spray can help you get rid of all the water bugs easily (6).

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6. White Vinegar

White Vinegar Pinit

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You Will Need
  • ½ cup of white vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add half a cup of white vinegar to one and a half cups of water.
  2. Mix well and transfer it to a spray bottle.
  3. Spray it around your surroundings as per requirement.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this 2 to 3 times in a week.

Why This Works

The acidic nature of vinegar makes it act as a natural insect repellent.

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7. Alcohol

Alcohol Pinit

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You Will Need
  • ½ cup of rubbing alcohol
  • ½ cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix half a cup of rubbing alcohol with half a cup of water.
  2. Transfer this solution to a spray bottle.
  3. Spray it on all the infested corners of your house and surroundings.
  4. You can also add any essential oil to this for added benefits.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once every 3 days.

Why This Works

Just like vinegar, alcohol is toxic and acts as a repellent to insects like water bugs. It dehydrates the bugs, thus killing them (7).

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8. Cooking Oil

Cooking Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 2-3 cups of cooking oil
  • An insect trapping net
What You Have To Do
  1. Pour a little oil in all the areas of your house that may be infested with water bugs.
  2. Upon doing this, all the insects will begin rushing out of their hiding into the open, and you can catch them with a net.
  3. Drop these insects into a jar filled with the remaining oil.
  4. Cover the jar and leave it still for a night.
  5. The heat, oil build-up, and a lack of oxygen will kill the pests.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once every 2 weeks.

Why This Works

Oil has a smothering effect on insects and is capable of suffocating and killing them. It also acts as a trap from which the water bugs cannot escape (8).

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9. Hot Water

Hot Water Pinit

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You Will Need

3-4 cups of water

What You Have To Do
  1. Bring three to four cups of water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Transfer it to a spray bottle and spray it directly on the insects and their nests.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this as and when required.

Why This Works

Water bugs cannot stand high temperatures. Therefore, exposing them and their nests to hot water can help kill them (9).

You must also take a few extra precautions to avoid the infestation of water bugs in your surroundings.

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Prevention Tips

  • Keep your surroundings clean.
  • Clean all the nicks and corners of your house that may be potential breeding grounds for water bugs.
  • Do not leave your food lying around for long.
  • Empty your dustbins regularly.
  • Clean and rearrange your furniture every once in a while.
  • Keep your house dry and fix any leaking areas.
  • Seal all the cracks and pipes.

Water bugs can also spread diseases. Hence, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible.

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Hope you found this article helpful. Do you know any other methods to get rid of water bugs? Share them with us in the comments box below.

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