All homeowners face the battle of the pests. If you don’t see bugs in someone’s home, it’s probably because they spend a lot of money on regular pest control. This type pest control is chemical-based and can be toxic to your health and that of your pets. You may not feel the effects of the pesticide immediately; however, no one knows for certain if regular pest control causes long-term health problems.
The best way to avoid long term health complications from pesticides and save money at the same time is through natural repellents. There are many different ways to keep ants, roaches, fleas, and other pests from invading your home. Choose the ones you want to try and stop poisoning your home.
Ants seem to appear from nowhere. One day you are ant free and the next day your countertop is covered. They were probably attracted by bread crumbs or something sweet. If you have an ant problem, you can use some simple tips to keep these pesky little creatures on the other side of your wall where they belong.
- Cucumber: Ants do not like cucumbers, particularly bitter ones. You can put cucumber peels or slices around the point of entry and stop the ants from coming in your house.
- Cinnamon: Sprinkle a line of cinnamon around window sills and any openings that are entry points for the ants. They will not cross it.
- Line: Follow the ant trail back to the entry point and sprinkle any one of the following: citrus oil on a string, lemon juice, coffee grounds, or cayenne pepper.
Cockroaches are nasty little pests. The best way to prevent them is to keep your house and kitchen clean; however, this does not guarantee that you won’t have cockroaches. If you do see cockroaches, use these tips to help eliminate them.
- Diatomaceous Earth: This is natural sediment that is toxic to creatures with an exoskeleton (like roaches). Sprinkle it anywhere roaches congregate, such as behind appliances and cabinets. This substance is perfectly safe for humans but will kill roaches in forty-eight hours. You may actually see more roach activity for a few days as they scavenge about hunting water. However, you should be roach free in two weeks.
- Soapy Water: Keep a spray bottle of soapy water handy. Spray roaches when you see them. The soapy water will kill them.
- Deterrents: Cockroaches do not like catnip, bay leaves, cucumber, or garlic. Place these in areas known to have cockroach activity or where you know they are entering the house. Make a tea from the catnip and spray it around doorways, baseboards, windowsills, and any other entryways.
These tips should help you keep cockroaches away from your house and family. If you continue to have problems, you can buy boric acid and place it on top of your upper cabinets. Roaches like high places. They will carry the boric acid back to their nests and die.
Mosquitoes are more than pests; they can carry West Nile virus and make you and your family very sick. During mosquito season, keep window and doors closed to prevent easy access to your house. You should also make sure you keep buckets, kiddy pools, and other sources of standing water empty. Standing water is the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Sage and Rosemary: While you are barbecuing, toss rosemary or sage on the coals to keep mosquitoes at bay.
- Neem Oil: This is an all-natural oil from the neem tree found in India. It is highly effective against mosquitoes and completely safe for humans.
- Lemon Grass Oil: This is a totally safe and effective way to repel mosquitoes when you are outside. Buy a Thai lemon grass plat and use it like you would aloe. Break one stalk off and bend it to expose the inside of the plant. Rub this between your fingers until you have a pulpy material. Rub this on your exposed skin or make a spray mixture using the pulp and alcohol.
- Garlic: Mix together one quart of garlic juice with five parts of water and store it in a spray bottle. You can spray your body with this mixture before going outside. You can also use this to keep mosquitoes away from your patio. Dip strips of cloth in the solution and hang them in the area.
- Marigolds: Plant marigolds in the flowerbeds around your house. The scent from the plants keeps mosquitoes and other flying insects away from your house.
- Bats: Bats eat mosquitoes in large quantities. One bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in a night. Keep a bat house in your yard and avoid mosquitoes.
Finally, if you want to keep your yard mosquito free, install electronic mosquito traps. These traps have no chemicals and are not harmful to humans or pets.
Flies are like ants: they seem to appear from nowhere. If you don’t kill them, you will have many flies in a short time. You can keep flies from coming in your house with these easy to follow tips.
- Bay Leaves, Cloves, or Eucalyptus: Place any of these in a piece of cheesecloth. Tie in a knot and hang by doorways and windows. Flies do not like the scent and will avoid them.
- Mint Sachets: Flies don’t like mint. Make small sachets using crushed mint and place these throughout your house.
- Basil and Clover: If you have indoor pets, place sweet basil and clover in a small container. Leave this near open pet food to deter flies.
You can also buy fly paper and hang it; it is non-toxic and won’t harm your family or pets; however, it is unsightly and may not be what you want in your house.
Battling pests using the tips indicated here is easy and inexpensive. Additionally, these tips are completely safe. Many of the tips for one pest will prevent many other pests. For example, diatomaceous earth works to deter earwigs and ants in addition to cockroaches.
If you have pests in your home, put these tips to work for you. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars every year on pest control—simply open your spice cabinet and put nature to work for you.
©2012 Off the Grid News