Eco-Friendly Tips That Will Ensure You A Pest-Free Home
It’s the time of year when insects and critters start to invade homes in search of food and shelter. While there are many commercial pest control products available, they can be expensive and contain harsh chemicals. There are a number of natural methods you can use to control pests without using harsh chemicals. Along with our friends from Pro Pest Control Sydney we have compiled ten different techniques which are surely useful against these pesky creatures. Let’s explore them below together!
Flies And Gnats
Flies hate the smell of basil. Growing basil in small pots in a sunny kitchen window is not only pretty but useful. Make sure the plants are grown in a well-drained pot and not sitting in soggy soil. Soggy soil around any house plant can attract gnats.
If you don’t have a sunny location to grow basil, you can put dried leaves in a plain cotton muslin pouch. Rub the pouch once in a while to keep the basil scent strong. If you have gnats around house plants, you can put dried basil leaves around the soil.
Spiders don’t like citrus, peppermint, or vinegar. Mix water with unsweetened lemon or lime juice. Use this to wipe down your counters, or spray down your windowsills, doorways, and anywhere spiders might find an entry into your home.
You can make a peppermint vinegar spider spray with the following ingredients:
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
Mix in a spray bottle and shake. Spray under sinks, around doorways and windows, closets, and wherever spiders might be lurking.
Ants might be the most annoying to get rid of because they follow their scent. A few tips to get rid of ants include:
- Mix 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water to wipe down everything in the kitchen like countertops, under sinks, and around dog food bowls.
- Cayenne pepper also works to block ants. If you know the path they take, you can make an ant blockade with a line of cayenne pepper.
- Mix the oils of lavender and peppermint with water and spray entry points.
In the garden, they can do some real damage to vegetable plants. They are so small that they can get through any type of mesh. The best way to get rid of whiteflies is to use dual-sided yellow sticky tape. You can find this at any garden shop. Hang the tape on or close to the infected plant and it will trap the whiteflies.
Ladybugs are also a great way to control them since ladybugs are a natural predator of whiteflies. You can buy ladybugs and spread them throughout the garden.
Scientists found that mosquitoes hate catnip, and can repel mosquitoes even better than DEET will. DEET is what you’ll find in most commercial mosquito repellents.
Researchers found that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip, is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. You can grow catnip in your garden or pots around your backyard patio. You can also apply undiluted catnip oil to your skin for two hours of mosquito protection.
Slugs are attracted to the beer and you can build slug traps. It is not the alcohol they are attracted to, but the yeast. You can use small containers like a tuna can. Make a small hole in the ground for the can to fit in so the opening is at ground level, and then fill it about halfway with beer. The slug will be attracted to the yeasty beer and fall in.
A real pest around the yard is the yellow jacket. They can be dangerous, especially if you’re allergic to their sting. And they can find their way into your soft drink or beer cans, stinging you in the mouth.
The best way to way to get rid of yellow jackets is to put up yellow jacket traps. These traps are a tube with an opening for the yellow jackets to fly into. Inside the trap is a piece of meat that attracts them. It is best to hang these in trees away from where people gather like on patios and doorways.
The best way to keep cockroaches away is to keep a clean home, by vacuuming and washing the area with a strong soap. If you still have a problem, there are several natural ways to get rid of cockroaches.
- Diatomaceous earth is safe and can be sprinkled in areas like on top of cabinets and behind appliances
- Catnip is a natural repellent to cockroaches. Put small sachets in areas where cockroaches might be
- Boric acid is toxic to humans and cockroaches. Put a little boric acid on top (not inside) cabinets. Keep it away from children
Diatomaceous earth (DE) does a good job of getting rid of fleas around your home and on your pets. Make sure you only buy food-grade DE, and not the type used in pools or charcoal filters.
Sprinkle it on dog beds, carpets, soft furniture, and other places you suspect there are fleas. Leave it for three days and then vacuum it up. Repeat every week for 30 days.
The best way to keep away mice is to seal any point of entry they have. The second best way to keep them away is to keep food like dog food and grains off the floor or sealed in containers. They can gnaw through about anything and it only takes a little crumb to attract them.
While the use of pesticides may seem to be the most logical solution, it is not always the best option. There are a number of natural pest control methods that can be just as effective, and in some cases, more so. We’ve listed ten of our favorite methods for you here, but keep in mind that each situation is unique and what works for one home may not work for another. Have you tried any of these natural pest control methods?