We are well into spring and summer is just around the corner! Now is the time when unwanted multi-legged squatters start invading your home. You want to get rid of them, but you don't want to use Chem-o-kill to do it. Here are some easy ways to prevent and evict insects with environmentally friendly means.
The first way to keep bugs out of your home is the simplest - clean. A clean home provides less of a haven for unwanted insects to set up shop. Regular sweeping, vacuuming, wiping and dusting can stop infestations from starting or address small numbers of unwanted guests. Try to minimize clutter by having plenty of storage off the floor.
Invest in reusable, waterproof and airtight containers to store foodstuffs in. The more secure the container, the less likely pests will be attracted to it or be able to start munching away. This is also useful for non-food items that may be targets of different insects, such as clothing. Some waterproof tubs for out-of-season wear can help prevent unpleasant discoveries when it comes time to break out the summer or winter clothes.
For ants, try baby powder or cinnamon sprinkled on entryways. You can also poison ants with a mixture of equal parts of honey, sugar and borax. Heat the honey and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Then add the borax. Put a spoonful on ant pathways and on hills. Watch pets and children while you have the bait out; as little 5 grams of borax can be deadly! It can help if you put the mixture in a small dish or large bottle cap, which can help you dispose of the remainder more easily.
Try soil-free potting mix for plants infested by insects or larvae. Soil can contain larvae of pest insects, while the soil-free mediums tend not to support them. Ask your local nursery for more information about ways to cut down on plant parasites.
Essential oils are another method that some people find keeps the bugs away. Cedarwood, citronella, peppermint oil and rosemary oil tend to have a repellant effect on insects. These tend to have a pleasant scent; citronella in particular is a popular anti-bug strategy.
Garlic, ginger, hot peppers and onions are unpalatable for many bugs and tend to keep them away. While none of these are harmful to humans, in some venues the pungent smell might be off-putting, so be circumspect in the usage. Boiling some sliced hot peppers for 10 minutes can produce a good outdoor bug spray - just make sure you've got a lot of ventilation while making and using it! It is recommended that this be used solely outdoors - in the garden, workshop area, etc.
While environmentally friendly solutions to insect pest problems often don't work as immediately as the standard poisons, they are a lot healthier for you and your family to use. Exploring the green alternative means that you will worry less about your health while still keeping the bugs outside where they belong!
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