To the internets I scurried to find a natural, or at least to-hand, solution to my problem with two missions in mind, kill anything that flies and then make sure they never come back. Through a bit of blog scrolling on my go-to sites I discovered recommendations on ways to employ Hydrogen Peroxide and Cinnamon to clip the wings of these pests.
To start tackling the first task I held off watering anymore for a few days then mixed the suggested 1 part Hydrogen Peroxide to 4 parts water in a spray bottle and went around spraying the now dryer soil of all my plants. The diluted peroxide solution is totally harmless to your floral friends and has no odor but starts plaguing those nasty gnats right away. I did try to keep the spritz concentrated on the dirt as much as possible and was especially careful with my African Violets who get brown spots on their leaves where water has touched. Some plants are just too full to completely avoid the leaves and I'm happy to say it hasn't done anything to their appearance. After about 2-3 weeks of casual misting the gnats have dramatically reduced and are almost gone. Sweet! Step one is working.
Now to make sure they never come back, this is where Cinnamon enters the ring. In conjunction with the spray bottle solution I also started dusting the soil with cinnamon to kill the eggs before they hatch. Where the peroxide emits no odor this home remedy leaves your house smelling like the best parts of autumn baking, win! I just used the regular shaker dispenser that I use in cooking to sprinkle the surface of all the pots in week one and then again in week three to make sure I had hit most areas. I can still see the residual from both rounds sitting on top not harming my beautiful roomies and doing a number on the unwelcome house guests. Step two, accomplished.
Sitting in strategic spots near some of the worst effected plants are little plastic shot glasses full of my favorite fruit fly solution to catch anyone trying to escape to a neighboring plant. The bottoms of these shot glasses look like a liquid-y mass grave and I'm unsurprisingly ecstatic about that. A friend recently joked that this whole scheme sounded like witchcraft when I was describing the methods I was testing. To that I would say, if this be witchcraft, then sign me up cause I'm a convert - Haha!
Thanksgiving happens this week in the U.S. and I'm sure a lot of folks are starting the holiday scramble to clean and ready their homes to welcome guests back in this year! For this month (and next's) post I'm going to share a super easy and quick cleaning tip to make the hustle a little less of a bustle...or..err...you get what I mean.
If you read the first post from this blog, you'll already know I'm a fan of apple cider vinegar for the elimination of some unwanted visitors to your home in the warmer months. White Vinegar, however, is one of my absolute go-to's for a natural way to clean stains without the harsh smell or effects of bleach or other chemicals. With big holiday cooking just days away I'm going to share how I clean the handiest appliance in the modern kitchen, the microwave!
No Scrub Microwave Cleaning
Exposing my true self here and showing actual pictures of my well-used and frequently dirty microwave.
Step 1: Start with a microwave that needs a good scrub
Step 2: Stop! Don't scrub, that's lame and hard work. Instead, fill a glass measuring cup with 1/2 cup Distilled White Vinegar and 1/2 cup tap water.
Step 3: Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes.
Step 3b: Scroll through CityMouseHome while you wait, maybe get a new bowl cozy
Step 4: Using a pot holder, remove the very hot glass mixing cup and set it aside. You may want a few dabs of that sweet cleaning water to loosen a tough build up of gunk.
Step 5: Grab an all natural cleaning sponge and start wiping the evidence of leftovers past from the inside of this hardworking kitchen buddy. If you're using a less than fresh sponge this is where some of that water in the measuring cup comes in handy to soften the material before cleaning. Be careful though, this water is very, very hot!!
5 minutes Later: step back and admire your handy work.
And that's it! It's that simple and fast to clean your microwave. It's so easy that you're probably wondering why I don't clean mine more often? Well, it's because I have better things to do and mind your own business.
Just kidding. :)
See you next month with another natural cleaning tip from my house to yours.
Knick yourself shaving and get it on your shirt?
Lightly saturate the effected area before tossing in the machine and it will wash right out. If it's more than a few spots add some dish soap to the mix for even better results.