As fall dawns and the weather cools down, the battle to keep the house free of pests becomes more intense. Creepy crawlies often seek refuge from the cold inside a warm house, and while a bit of bug spray may seem to do the trick for keeping them out, it could be hurting not only the humans in your home but the pets as well.
When using a natural method, keep in mind that some of these things do not actually kill pests, but, instead, repel them. It takes repeated treatments and a bit of creative ingenuity in placement, but they can be just as effective and not cause respiratory diseases, cancer or pet fatality.
Fish are particularly susceptible to pesticide sprays and bug bombs. Bowls and aquariums need to be covered before those methods are applied, but there are better ways to rid the house of common pests.
One tried and true method of organic, safe pest control that actually kills most pests is diatomaceous earth. It’s a powdery substance that actually cuts through a bug’s exoskeleton and kills them in a physical way, not a chemical way. It’s completely safe for mammals, in fact this substance is present in some of the food we eat. It will not harm humans or pets and is effective for almost all types of pests. Diatomaceous earth will kill ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, dust mites, basically anything with an exoskeleton.
Be sure to get the food grade powder instead of the pool grade powder. The pool grade diatomaceous earth contains more crystalline silica and can be harmful if ingested or breathed in by pets or humans.
Depending on the particular pest, there are different methods for safe pest control.
Ants and roaches
Lemongrass and peppermint are two things these pests hate. Fill an empty spray bottle with water and add about ten drops of peppermint or lemon grass essential oil to the bottle. Shake well and apply around windows, cracks and doors.
Cucumber, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and coffee grounds can also work to repel ants. Place these around entry points.
A spray bottle full of soapy water will kill ants and cockroaches.
Fleas and ticks
Some non-toxic substances for flea removal are pennyroyal, eucalyptus, cedar and citronella. For prevention, try sprinkling nutritional yeast or sulfur in your pet’s food once a day. This will cause fleas and ticks to look elsewhere for a bite since these things are unappetizing to these pests.
Eucalyptus, lemon juice and citronella are natural mosquito repellants. Products that contain DEET are effective and relatively safe, but could cause irritation or a rash with prolonged use. For indoor mosquito control try lemon grass and remove any standing water from around the home.
Try these methods for a safer form of pest control. These things not only smell better than harsh chemicals, they are not harmful to humans or pets and can help the home remain bug-free throughout the fall season.