PESTS in the home or nature are a perennial summer problem. Here are some tips for dealing with some of them:
Ants: To keep them away, put down pieces of lemon, coffee grounds, sage leaves or camphor crystals (from a pharmacy). If these remedies fail, you can put down drops of gel appât anti-fourmis (anti-ant bait) from garden centres.
Cockroaches: To avoid toxic insecticides, keep everywhere as clean as possible and put down balls made from boric acid (from a pharmacy) mixed with condensed milk.
Wasps: Make a trap by cutting off the top third of a plastic drink bottle, then putting it, top first, into the other part and gluing it. Put beer or syrup and water in the bottom. Purpose-built traps and products such as repellent sprays can be found in garden centres. Do not put a trap too close to your home and call the fire brigade if you find a nest.
Ticks: Watch out of you are walking in long grass, especially in the east of France, as blood-sucking ticks can attach to your legs. Buy a tire-tiques from a pharmacy - a plastic fork used to pull it off with a lifting and twisting motion.
Sea urchins: If you step on one, pull out broken off spines. If bits are left, put on vinegar or lime juice, which will help dissolve them, then an anti-inflammatory cream. Then see a doctor.
Rascasse (scorpionfish): Stepping on one of these spiny fish also requires a doctor’s visit. For first-aid (the stings are lessened by heat), walk on hot sand or place a cigarette or cigarette lighted near the area, then put on an anti-inflammatory cream.
Jellyfish: Clean a sting with seawater and carefully remove debris with a firm item like a credit card. Scatter with sand if you are on the beach to absorb venom. Do not rub. Use an antiseptic liquid such as Eau de Dakin, and then an anti-inflammatory gel.