Natural Pest Control for Your Home
Unwanted pests of all types find their way into our homes all the time. Most folks just reach for the old spray can full of pesticide without even giving it a second thought. They don’t realize that, when they do this, they are putting very toxic chemicals into their home’s air. In this article, we will investigate all natural pest control for your home and methods you can use to rid your home of these unwanted visitors using all natural products that are non-toxic and safe for you and your family.
Get Rid of Ants
Ants are attracted to food sources inside your home. So, our first suggestion in dealing with ants is to thoroughly clean your home. Something as small as a drop of juice that has long since dried up can attract ants so make sure your home’s surfaces are cleaned regularly. Use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Not only is this a great natural cleaner, the vinegar will destroy the ants scent trails that ants use to navigate to these food sources, deterring more ants from coming.
Try following the trails of ants back to their point of entry into your home. It only takes a small pinhole in caulking around baseboards or other home structures for the ants to enter. If you are able to find one of these tiny little ant doorways, plug it up with fresh caulk or some other method and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon or coffee grounds around the area to keep them from trying to get back into your home from that area.
Coffee grounds and cinnamon are great ant deterrents. Even if you cannot pinpoint exactly where ants are entering your home, you can sprinkle these around where you suspect they are getting in and this should put a halt to your ant problem or, at the very least, slow it way down.
Another great remedy for ants is a solution of sugar and borax in water. Mix up a solution of 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp borax in a half cup of water. Round up a few 1 liter pop bottle lids and fill each one about halfway with this solution. Put these in areas where you are seeing ants. Give it time and this one is a winner. As a plus, this also works great for roaches as well.
As affective as borax and sugar are at controlling ants, I do not recommend using this method to control ants if you have children or pets in the home. While borax is natural ingredient, it can cause health issues if ingested, some of them severe.
Some other natural ant control remedies out there include cucumber peels, mint tea, and cornmeal. All of these are placed in the area of entry and provide a natural barrier that ants will not cross.
Control Cockroaches Naturally
Roaches are drawn to our homes for food, moisture, and protection. They present an unhealthy situation when they have set up residence in your residence. You may only see one or two now and again but the problem with cockroaches is that there are probably many times more that you never see.
Roaches spread bacteria and diseases to your kitchen countertops, your dishes, and even your food items.
The best all-natural pest control for your home when it comes to roaches is borax and sugar. Combine a 50/50 mixture of borax powder and sugar, put it in a small plastic container, such as a pop bottle lid, and place these in dark, quiet, out-of-the-way places in your home. Give it some time to work but you will see fewer and fewer of these nasty pests as time goes by. As always, make sure children and pets do not have access to these containers.
How to Get Rid of Fleas
Believe it or not, fleas are almost impossible to get rid of if you have pets that live indoors. Even if your pets never go outside, these tiny pests can hitch a ride on clothing as people move from outdoors to inside their home. Once inside, fleas have access to your animals, which means they have a food source, and the cycle continues.
It is not recommended to use any type of flea collar on your pets to help control these pests. Most flea collars contain toxic substances that are easily transferred to humans via the animal’s fur. These substances contain neurotoxins and other dangerous chemicals that can cause severe health issues. Flea medications are not recommended either, for basically the same reason.
So, there are some methods that may help control fleas, depending on your dedication to the fight.
First, vacuuming is the number one method to control flea populations. There are recipes circulating online for herbal sprays for your carpets and herbal flea powders for your pets but the efficacy of these concoctions on the resilient flea is questionable.
After an exhaustive vacuuming, be sure to take your vacuum cleaner outside to empty the bag. These critters can jump out of confinement in the vacuum bag or catch container very easily so you want to be outside when you open these up for disposal.
Using baking soda in conjunction with vacuuming enhances the flea removal process as does using salt or diatomaceous earth. With baking soda, sprinkle generously over the infected carpet and scrub it in with a brush. Let it sit for a couple of hours and vacuum thoroughly.
When using salt, use as fine a salt as possible and layer it into the carpet. Let it sit for a couple of days and then vacuum up. The salt will tend to dehydrate the insects, killing them.
Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from the microscopic remains of fossilized algae and diatoms. It’s another dehydrating substance that is basically non-toxic to humans. Sprinkle it lightly, layering it into your carpets where there is a large concentration of fleas. Leave it in for a couple of days and then vacuum it up. Use a food grade product and it is recommended that you use a dust mask because it is a fine powder and can irritate your eyes and throat.
Controlling Flies in Your Home
Natural pest control methods to remove flies in your home run the gamut from handing plastic bags full of water to do-it-yourself flypaper. Some of these methods work, some are just old myths.
Flies are attracted by some smells and repelled by others. You can create a fruit fly trap of sorts by putting some apple cider vinegar in a narrow-throated jar. The idea is that the flies can easily find their way in but cannot get back out of the bottle. Cut up some small pieces of apples to add that extra punch to the fly attracting concoction.
In lieu of the proper jar or bottle, you can add some fruit scented dish soap to the apple cider vinegar and put it in a shallow dish. The flies will be attracted to the apple cider vinegar and will become trapped due to the high surface tension of the soap.
Some smells that flies hate include basil and clove. Put some basil plants about your kitchen and watch the flies disappear.
There are many essential oil solutions that are recommended by others but we do not recommend putting essential oils into the air for any purpose. They can be used in certain situations where the essential oils are heavily diluted with water or other liquids to be used on surfaces but diffusing into the air is not healthy. Please take a look at this article about essential oil use in the home.
A better idea is to create a sort of herbal sachet from cheesecloth. Cut the material into squares, fill with crushed herbs like basil, clove, mint, bay leaf, or eucalyptus, and then tie it up into a bag. Hang in area that are prone to attracting flies.
Getting Rid of Spiders
Spiders are very sensitive to the citrus scent. Mix a 50/50 mixture of unsweetened lemon or lime juice with water and spray countertops, behind the fridge or stove, in dark corners of your pantry, basically anywhere you have seen spiders. The citrus will not kill them but it will repel them.
Spray in and around items in your garage and porches as well. For outside applications, a citrus essential oil mixed with water in a less diluted mixture would be acceptable for use. Citrus essential oil is not recommended for inside use unless extremely diluted.
First off, mosquitos are most active in the early morning and early evening hours. Keep windows and doors closed during these times, if possible, unless screened. Be sure to check for tears in the screens. It does not take much of a hole in your window screen for a tiny mosquito to get in.
Also, take care of any standing water around your home. Old toys, tires, and the like can trap water and harbor mosquito larvae. Routinely clean pet water bowls and birdbaths to avoid mosquito infestations.
If mosquitoes are finding their way into your home because of heavy traffic through doors, there are some things you can do to combat them once they are inside your home. Fans are great at keeping these pests grounded. They cannot fly very well in a breeze.
Plant mosquito repelling plants like catnip, rosemary, and citronella grass around your home. Mix one part garlic to 4 parts water to create a garlicky mosquito repelling spray that can be used on clothing and even applied directly to the skin. It can be sprayed on surfaces or hang strips of cloth sprayed with this mixture to stay mosquito free for hours in localized areas such as a patio or gazebo.
Neem oil is a naturally occurring vegetable oil that can be added to lotions and even applied directly to the skin. Make sure to use pure neem oil. There are neem oil insecticides on the market that have additives in them.
One last thing on mosquitos, for patios and backyards, try using a UV light bug zapper. These things can be really inexpensive and they really do work pretty good.
Key to Natural Pest Control in Your Home
No matter what particular pest problem you are facing in your home, keeping your home’s surfaces clean is key. Bugs are coming into your home looking for food, water, and shelter. Take as many of those things away and these unwanted guests will seek out other accommodations.
When insects do find their way into your home, don’t reach for the bug spray. The risk to your family’s health is just too great. Try the all-natural route instead and see if you can’t achieve the same results while keeping poisons out of your home.