All of us have them at some time, but we do not like to admit it. With trillions of creepy crawlies inhabiting our planet, sooner or later we will have an invasion of a pest of some kind. We want to get rid of them, but the chemicals out there are not good for us either, so what should we do to get rid of the pests, yet protect our family at time? There are time tested natural alternatives to nasty, toxic chemicals. Here are a few to get you started.
Fleas and Ticks
They bug our pets and they bug us too. They enter our house as unwanted hitchhikers. Flea collars and flea shampoos are highly toxic. Some contain neurotoxins to which some people and animals are sensitive. Besides, many of them work in the way that natural flea and tick control works, by masking your pet’s smell so that they do not recognize them as a food source. Others actually kill those that hitch a ride, but they can also cause skin reactions in your pets.
Citrus is a natural pest repellent for a number of pests. You can purchase citrus commercially, or make your own by pouring boiling water over a lemon, including the lemon skin. Let this soak overnight, then sponge over the animal. This concoction kills fleas instantly. A few drops of lemon oil in water will also work and leave your pet smelling lemony fresh too! Adding brewer’s yeast, garlic, and apple cider vinegar to your pet’s food are also effective repellents. Garlic is controversial in dogs but your dog would have to eat something like 20 cloves at once to be considered harmful. Cedar and Cedar oil can be placed in sleeping mats to repel many types of insects, but be careful, cedar oil can also cause skin reactions in some pets.
Repelling mosquitoes is similar to repelling fleas. The key is to mask your scent so that they don’t know that you are there. First, remove all standing water sources in your yard, that will cut down on the population. Eucalyptus oil and soybean oil have proven effective mosquito deterrents. The effectiveness of citronella has mixed results. Neem oil is another good alternative. Another good one that really works is to mix 1 part garlic juice with 5 parts water, and spray or wipe on the skin. It is good for all types of bloodsuckers. This is said to be effective for up to 5-6 hours, but I haven’t timed it myself. I do know that garlic really works.
The best treatments for cockroaches is boric acid dust applied to the tops of surfaces, but only use this where animals and children cannot get to it. Diatomaceous earth is also effective when used in the same manner. Catnip is a natural cockroach repellent, as are bay leaves, cucumber slices, garlic and hedgeapples. Try placing these in affected areas. Make certain to keep food in containers, but be aware that roaches can eat many strange things such as carpet and drywall. They are not picky.
When ants come marching into your home, the first line of defense to find out what attracted them in the first place. This is easier than with other pests. Just watch them for a while and soon you will be able to see what they are going for. Cucumber slices are deterrents, if placed where they are entering the home. They do not seem to like mint, mint tea, cayenne pepper, coffee grounds, citrus oil, cinnamon or lemon juice. They will not cross a line of any of these things placed at their point of entry. We tried all of these items and found that they all work. The only problem is that ants are smart and simply found another route around them. Cloves of garlic have been said to work too.
Mice and rats are probably the most controversial in terms of humane ways to rid the house of them. There are few ways to rid the house of them, other than some type of trap. All of the modes of demise for mice are pretty gruesome. Poisons are either neurotoxins or blood thinners that cause painful, slow deaths. Glue traps cause them to suffocate to death, another long-suffering method. Traps, well, you know what they do, painful, but at least quickly in most cases. The only really humane way to rid your home of mice and rodents is to live trap them and give them a relocation plan to the country. If you have time to do this, the mice will be most thankful. The best thing to do in the case of mice is to make certain that all holes in the foundation of the building and other entry points are sealed. However, don’t seal the weep holes on a brick house. This can cause mold issues, etc. The weep holes are put there for a reason by your brick mason or home builder. Make certain that anything they would be attracted to is either in a sealed container, or get rid of it altogether.
Now you have a few environmentally friendly alternatives that are reliable defenses against insects and rodents. Most of the remedies involve cutting them off at their source. This is the most sensible alternative for any type of pest, but if this is not possible, the next best alternatives are methods that deter them. Deterrents and barriers are the most common methods of natural pest control. However, for the most part, the absolutely best alternative is to avoid attracting them in the first place. These methods are just a few starters, but there are many other natural alternatives to nasty chemicals just a mouse-click away. Many of them are just as effective, if not more so than their chemical cousins, and we can feel much better about having them around our family too.
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