It’s a double-edged sword. You do not want pests around your house, but you do not want to expose your home to the sorts of chemicals that are found in pesticides. Just because you want to get rid of unwanted visitors in your home, does not mean you have to expose your family to toxic chemicals. Here are some natural ways you can deal with those pesky home invaders.
The best way to deter unwanted guests is not to invite them in the first place. When you leave out food and dirty dishes and when there are crumbs on your floors or countertops, you are essentially setting out a welcome mat for pests. Most pests are opportunists– at least in the beginning. They will go where they can find food. If you want to avoid pests, prevent them from coming to your house in the first place. Tidy up. Wash dishes. Put food away.
You should also make sure to caulk gaps in baseboards, corners, around windows and anywhere else you see them. Not only do you want to stop attracting them with a food source, but you want to give them fewer places to get into your house.
Sometimes the way to solve your pest problem is dependent on the types of pests you have. If your pests are furry and members of the rodent family, a cat can be very useful. Cats are natural predators and love to hunt. Show the cat where the rodents usually show up– you might have to do this a couple of times. Then back off. Cats are not always obvious. He may check things out on his own, surreptitiously. It may seem like he isn’t doing anything and then a few days later, you will find a mouse carcass on your doorstep. A cat can be a very effective way of taking care of certain pests.
Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of tiny sea creatures called diatoms. It is also a very effective way to deal with insects and is a highly recommended natural alternative to pesticide. It works by absorbing the oils and fats in the exoskeletons of insects, causing them to dry out and die. Its abrasiveness aids in this process. Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled near doorways, inside cabinets and drawers and anywhere else insects have been spotted.
Pest Resistant Landscaping
There are certain plants that can help repel pests. These plants will act as a barrier, preventing pests from coming through. Pennyroyal is one such plant. It has long been planted around homes to keep fleas and mice away. It’s a member of the mint family. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that mint is also a good plant to grow around your house to create a barrier against pests. Other plants that help repel bugs include lavender, catnip, citronella and bee balm.
Use Herbal Sprays
People turn to natural remedies when they worry about the effects of more mainstream approaches. Often a natural remedy is safer than a chemical one. Here are several natural mixtures that you can spray around your house.
Soap, Orange Oil, and Water – For this spay mix three tablespoons liquid organic Castile soap with one ounce orange essential oil. Add the mixture to one gallon of water. This spray will help with slugs, ants, and roaches.
Chrysanthemum Tea – Boil 100 grams of dried flowers with 1 liter of water for 20 minutes. Strain out the flowers and put tea into a spray bottle. This plant contains a chemical called pyrethrum which invades the nervous system of insects, leaving them unable to move.
Neem – Combine half an ounce of neem oil with half a teaspoon of a mild liquid soap then add them to two quarts warm water. The spray is effective on a variety of insects.
Mineral Oil – Add 20 ml of high-grade mineral oil with one liter of water. This will dry out insects and their eggs.
Citrus Oil and Cayenne Pepper – Mix 10 drops of citrus essential oil with one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and add to one cup of warm water. This spray is especially effective on ants.
Sometimes pests find their way into your home despite your best efforts. That does not mean that you have to compound the problem by bringing in harsh chemical pesticides to get rid of them. Using one of these methods can help you fix your little pest problem naturally.
John Melchior is the founder of Kapture Pest Control. Kapture is the best pest control company for busy families in Bergen County, New Jersey.
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