During the Fall we tend to see an increase of bugs and other insects making their way into our homes and workplaces. Keeping them out becomes a constant battle and often can become a full time job.
If you visit your local supermarket or home improvement store you will see the shelves lined with powerful insect repellents and killers. All of them promise to rid you of those pesky unwanted guest. But are all of them safe to use in your home?
According to the EPA there are approximately 80,000 chemicals used in industry today. Only a small fraction, however, have ever been tested for safety! These chemicals are used in everything from cosmetics to food enhancers and many of them are the main ingredients in most insecticides and pesticides.
The chemicals found in most repellents and bug sprays have been proven toxic. All it takes is a quick look on the packages warning label to understand that there is serious consequences for ingesting or inhaling these compounds. And if you have children or pets, the concern for their safety comes into consideration when using these products.
What if there was a safer way to mange pest? A NATURAL way that didn’t create harm for you are those who you care about.
The reality is that there are great natural and safe ways of dealing with all kinds of pests! Here is some solutions for handling some of the most common.
Available at your local hardware or feed store is the disposable fly trap. It is a plastic bag with a funnel-like top. You put an attractant in the bottom of the bag and hang it up out in the yard. If you have animals, it is a good idea to hang it somewhere close to the barnyard. The flies, attracted by the liquid inside, go into the funnel but cannot fly out. When the bag is full, you throw it away and hang a new one.
We personally used these this summer with great success!
Taking a wide-mouthed jar, wipe the inside with vegetable oil. Then put a blob of peanut butter in the bottom of the jar. The bugs will go into the jar to get to the peanut butter and won’t be able to get out because the sides are slicked with oil. Simply cap the jars, and throw them into your dumpster.
Nothing is more annoying than a trail of ants running through the kitchen or bath. But there are several ways to destroy or repel those unwanted armies.
Keep a spray bottle of half white vinegar/half water in the kitchen. Several times a day spray the counter tops and wipe with this solution. Ants do not like the smell and it will eliminate the scent trails that they leave, thereby confusing those to follow.
Mix borax with something sweet like jelly or honey and put in a bottle cap in a corner where the ants travel. They will eat the borax and die. Do not use this method, however, if you have small children or pets that would find the bottle cap.
Sprinkle baby powder or cinnamon along the trail. Both substances are natural ant repellents and will discourage the ants from coming that way.
Spiders avoid a wide number of natural oils extracted from plants, herbs and fruits, including citrus fruits, lavender, peppermint, citronella, cinnamon, tea trees and cloves. Pure forms of these oils may be purchased at health food stores, and most are inexpensive.
Place a few drops of any of these oils, in any combination, into a spray bottle. Add a squirt of liquid detergent and fill the bottle with water. Spray the mixture on cobwebs, around doors and windows, around the lawn and garden and on any surfaces where spiders lurk. In addition to having a pleasant aroma, this mixture is nontoxic and safe to use around children and pets. The combination of coconut oil and white vinegar also makes an effective spray for repelling spiders. As oils may stain or cause spots, test the mixture on a small, hidden area of carpets, curtains or upholstered furniture before spraying the entire surface.
There you have it. A natural and safe way of dealing with some of nature’s pests. I encourage you to try some of these remedies yourself and enjoy a safer and greener environment.