Eco-Friendly Pesticides to Keep Your Home Safe
Whenever the seasons change, we always seem to have a new pest problem. As the temperature drops in the fall, insects search for a warmer place to stay, and your home may be just the thing they’re looking for. Depending on where you live, you may different types of pests, but we all agree that they are indeed pests.
While most home pesticides are considered fairly safe, there is a chance of overexposure. You or your kids may be sensitive to the strong smells brought in by home pesticides. Not to mention these chemicals get in our air. Makers of home bug sprays recommend that you keep these away from children and pets, and clear an area before you use it.
Thankfully, there are some chemical-free pest control methods to help you chase pests away without making your family uncomfortable. In this post, I’ll cover natural and eco-friendly pest control methods. Some are natural pesticides you can purchase, others you can make yourself with items found right around your home.
Natural Homemade Methods
The first thing you should do is keep your home free of crumbs. Also, cover jars of honey, jelly, or any other sweet, sticky substance. Keep food in designated eating areas to prevent finding a swarm of ants. One thing about ants is that they travel in packs. If you see one, there’s bound to be more. Follow some of these tips to keep them away.
- Soapy Water: Fill a spray bottle with soapy water and spray it at ants you see.
- Nightlights: If you leave a nightlight on in areas of high ant activity, they may be discouraged by the change in light and stay away from that area.
- DIY Repellants: If you determine where they’re coming from you can put items like cayenne pepper, lemon juice, or coffee grounds in their path. Set it in a line and they won’t cross.
If you find cockroaches to be an issue, make sure you keep your kitchens and bathrooms clean. Other methods include:
- Natural Repellants: Roaches don’t like things like cucumber, bay leaves, or garlic. Try leaving pieces of these items in high activity areas to keep them away.
- Catnip: If you don’t have cats, try catnip. Make small sachets and leave them in high activity areas. You can also simmer some in water and spray it on your floorboards.
- Soapy Water: Spray soapy water directly at them to kill them.
The dreaded housefly. Growing up, my mother went through every method possible to deter these annoying buzzers, and she was pretty successful. Still, every now and then one of these things would make their way in through an open door or a window, all it took was a second. The first thing you need is to keep your doors and windows closed. You can still enjoy fresh air through a screen. Also, try some of these methods.
- Mint: Make small mint sachets and place them around the house to act as a deterrent.
- Make Your Own Flypaper: Mix 1/2 cup of syrup, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a bowl. Cut strips of brown craft paper and soak in the mixture. Let dry overnight. Poke a small hole in the top and hang with a string. (Thanks Eartheasy for this tip)
It’s best to learn to live with spiders. They serve as natural pest control and they’re an important part of our ecosystem. Creepy as they look, they serve a lot of good. Still, you may not want to be surprised by one running across the floor. The best ways to may areas less welcoming to spiders is to keep your home clean, regularly dusting and clearing webs. You should also keep areas free of clutter. Other ways to deter spiders from nesting (or webbing) include:
- Certain plants keep spiders away. They include eucalyptus, mint,
lemon grass, and lavender, just to name a few.
- Make small sachets of fresh herbs and place them in various nooks and crannies where you think spiders could enter. Some herbs to use include peppermint, tea tree, cinnamon, citrus, and cedar.
- Commonsensehome recommends this homemade spider spray: Mix 5-10 drops of peppermint, 1/4 tsp dish soap, and 12oz of water in a spray bottle. Spray it on all spider areas until you stop seeing them.
Remember you don’t have to make yourself or your family suffer whenever you want to get rid of pests. Teach your kids about our natural environment by using natural methods to deter various pests.
Are there any natural pest control methods you find helpful? Let us know in the comments!
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