It’s that time of year when new life springs up including a number of unwanted pests that make their way into our homes. Not only are these small creatures annoying but some can cause real damage when left untamed in your living space. Many of us think the first solution is to get out the chemical bug killer or call the pest control specialist. Not only can this get expensive ,but it exposes everyone in the home to harmful chemicals. Here are some green solutions to keep pests from invading your space.
Mix equal parts of dish soap and water in a spray bottle and spray when you see a roach or two roaming about. After you do this don’t be so quick to think you have gotten rid of your roach problem there are probably hundreds more colonizing in the walls. To rid a home of infestation you will need a bait that they can take back to the nest and share with the colony to kill them all. Make a natural bait with Borax or equal parts baking powder and sugar. NOTE: make sure to keep Borax out of reach of children and pets. Sprinkle your homemade bait along floorboards, in the kitchen, and other rooms roaches have been spotted. Other roach repellents include cucumber, bay leaves, garlic, and catnip.
The nematodes themselves are not the pest, rather they are good microscopic worms that eat the larvae of many other pests such as fleas, termites, cutworms, Japanese beetles, sod webworms, and hundreds of others. You can buy these tiny creatures on Amazon or find them in a Home Depot or garden store. Add them to water and apply with a watering can or garden sprayer to your lawn and alleyways around your home. It is recommended to use 10 million nematodes per 600 square feet.
Fruit flys, though harmless, are very annoying. They swarm in herds usually around very ripe fruit. Luckily they are pretty easy to get rid of. Grab a cup, or bowl and put in about an inch of vinegar and a squirt of any hand washing dish detergent. After putting in the vinegar and soap place plastic wrap over the top and secure with a rubber band then poke holes in the plastic wrap. The flys will climb into the bowl and be unable to get back out.
Though spiders are known insect eaters many of us can agree we don’t like them inside our homes.Especially here in the northwest where there are some pretty intimidating (and biting) species. There are a number of plants and essential oils that repel spiders including Eucalyptus, garlic, cilantro, confers, and Osage hedge balls. Chestnuts are also repulsive to spiders many home owners benefit from lining window sills with them. For an immediate spider killer fill a spray bottle with any essential oil, dish soap and water and spray the creepy crawlers.
Ants are another pest that come in large numbers. They are attracted to food in the kitchen so the first thing to do is thoroughly clean up your kitchen and sink area of any and all food, crumbs, sticky spills and debris. Next you want to set a bait trap that will entice the ants to bring the poison back to the colony. In an empty yogurt cup, place cotton balls soaked in 1 liter of water, 1 teaspoon borax, and 1 cup of sugar. Cover the cotton ball filled yogurt cup with plastic wrap and punch holes. Again make sure not to leave borax unattended around pets and children.
There is nary a human sole that likes mosquitos. These blood sucking pests leave us itchy and annoyed. Mosquitos are attracted to light, heat, sweat, body odor, and carbon dioxide drawing them to feed on blood. Steer clear of these pesky biters by keeping windows and doors covered with screens or closed, lighting a citronella, soy or beeswax candle, making a mixture of garlic oil and water or neem oil and water and spraying on skin. Planting marigolds can also ward off mosquitos.
Rats and Mice
A great natural way to control the rodent population is to adopt a mousing cat. The best cat breeds for mousing include American shorthair, Maine coon, Siberian, Siamese, and Chartreux. A brand new kitten should not be adapted for this purpose. You should only consider this route if you already are considering pet ownership and don’t forget to spay or neuter and keep up to date on vaccinations.
The best way to keep pest infestations at bay is to use measures to keep them from beginning. Routine cleanings are essential to preventing bug problems. Take out garbage and recycling on a regular basis, clutter and stacks of papers or boxes become breeding grounds for insects. Pick up pet food overnight and clean eating areas thoroughly so there is nothing to attract critters. Seal cracks and crevices around baseboards with caulking. Ensure all crawl spaces are ventilated, don’t overwater the lawn, and know your area and what pests are most common and likely to invade your home.
For more home care tips check out our blog and feel free to browse our website. All Kleen has been in the home cleaning business for over thirty years. Call or make an appointment online today.