Saturday, April 13, 2013

50 ways to keep Insects out of your home.

Today I have a fantastic article to share with you from EarthEasy.com as they share over 50 natural ways to keep insects out of your home – including mosquitoes, ants, dust mites, cockroaches, fleas, bed bugs, flies, wasps, moths, earwigs, silverfish and more.


 
Insect pests are an intimate part of every home.

In the air, carpet, counter or cupboard, every home shares it's resources with these tiny, often unseen invaders. Pesticides are available for most common household insect pests, but these potent chemical compounds may be more harmful to you and the environment than the pests.

Here are some natural, non-toxic ways to control household insect pests.
 
 

Eartheasy's Natural Pest Control products





The Electric Flea Trap





Ant Eater Ant Killer





Eartheasy's Natural Pest Control products





Eartheasy's Glass Wasp Traps





Eartheasy's Pheromone Mosquito Traps





Garden Pest Control Products






Ants
Ant Control

The first line of defense is to remove the attractants: keep counters free of crumbs and sticky spots. Cover the sugar and put the honey jar in a plastic baggie. Cut off water sources such as drips or dishes left soaking overnight.
If the ant invaders persist, try these simple measures:
 
  • Keep a small spray bottle handy, and spray the ants with a bit of soapy water.
  • Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants' point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to cucumber. Bitter cucumbers work best.
  • Leave a few tea bags of mint tea near areas where the ants seem most active. Dry, crushed mint leaves or cloves also work as ant deterrents.
  • Trace the ant column back to their point of entry. Set any of the following items at the entry area in a small line, which ants will not cross: cayenne pepper, citrus oil (can be soaked into a piece of string), lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds.
  • Mix one liter of water, one teaspoon of Borax and a cup of sugar. Soak cotton balls in the solution and place them in a small yogurt container with holes punched in the lids to allow ants access. Place container in a location where ants are present. Ants will carry the bait back to their colonies where it will eventually kill the colony. Important: use indoors only; must be kept away from pets and children.
  • Leave a small, low wattage night light on for a few nights in the area of most ant activity. The change in light can disrupt and discourage their foraging patterns.
  • Ants on the deck? Slip a few cut up cloves of garlic between the cracks.
  • For long-term nontoxic control of ants, sprinkle diatomaceous earth where ants congregate.
  • Commercial ant killers are available in two forms: AntEater organic ant killer, and BugShooter insect control spray. 
  • Dust Mites
    Non-toxic Mite Control
    Microscopic dust mites are everywhere in the home - in our beds, clothing, furniture, book shelves and stuffed animals. For people with allergies or asthma, dust mites are a problem.

    Here's how to reduce the dust mite population in your home:
     
  • Vacuum mattresses and pillows. For people with sensitivities to dust mite allergens, dust mite bedding is available with zippered, allergen-impermeable encasings designed to block dust mites. 
  • Wash bedding at 55 degrees Celsius (130F) or higher. Detergents and commercial laundry products have no effect on mites unless the water temperature is high.
  • Keep books, stuffed animals, throw rugs and laundry hampers out of the bedroom of allergy sufferers. Wash stuffed animals occasionally in hot water.
  • Tannic acid neutralizes the allergens in dust mite and animal dander. Dust problem areas with tannic acid powder, available at health food stores and pet centers.
  • Cover mattress and pillows with laminated covers which prevent penetration by dust mites. Avoid fabric-covered headboards.
  • Cover heating ducts with a filter which can trap tiny dust particles smaller than 10 microns.
  • Avoid using humidifiers. Dust mites thrive on warmth and humidity.
  • Cockroaches

    The best defense against cockroaches is a clean kitchen and bathroom. If roaches are a problem in your home or apartment, vacuum well and wash the area with a strong soap. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed container.
    Also try:
    Non-Toxic Cockroach Control
     
  • Diatomaceous earth is a safe alternative which can be sprinkled in areas where roaches congregate, especially hidden areas such a cabinet tops and behind appliances. Harmless to people, the tiny particles cut the waxy exoskeleton and kills the insect within 48 hours. For a week or so after the treatment, the dehydrating insects will search more actively for water. Therefore, do not be surprised if you see roaches more often after the treatment. Most roaches should be killed within two weeks of application. Click for more info or to purchase diatomaceous earth

  • Catnip is a natural repellent to cockroaches. The active ingredient is nepetalactone, which is non-toxic to humans and pets. Small sachets of catnip can be left in areas of cockroach activity. Catnip can also be simmered in a small amount of water to make a "catnip tea" which can be used as a spray to apply around baseboards and behind counters. This natural repellent should only be used in homes without cats
  • Keep a spray bottle of soapy water on hand. Spraying roaches directly with soapy water will kill them.
  • In an empty one pound coffee can, place 1 or 2 pieces of bread which have been soaked thoroughly with beer. Place in areas known to have roach infestations. 
  • It is a little known fact that roaches like high places. If you put boric acid on TOP of your kitchen cabinets (not inside), if space allows between ceiling and cabinets, the roaches will take the boric acid to their nests, killing all of them. Boric acid is toxic by mouth - keep away from children and pets. 
  • Leave bay leaves, cucumber slices or garlic in the affected area as deterrents.
  • Non-toxic roach traps are commercially available. Click for more info or to purchase Non-toxic Cockroach Traps 
  • Fleas
    Non-toxic Flea Control
    Fleas usually gain entry to your home through your pet or visitors' pets. For every flea on your pet, there may be as many as 30 more in the pet's environment.
    Before reaching for pesticides, try these safer choices:
     
  • Bathe and comb your pet regularly. Use mild soap, not insecticides. If fleas are found on the comb, dip the comb in a glass of soapy water.
  • Citrus is a natural flea deterrent. Pour a cup of boiling water over a sliced lemon. Include the lemon skin, scored to release more citrus oil. Let this mixture soak overnight, and sponge on your dog to kill fleas instantly. Do not use citrus oil on cats.
  • Add brewer's yeast and garlic, or apple cider vinegar, to your pets' food. However, it is not advisable to use raw garlic as a food supplement for cats. 
  • Cedar shampoo, cedar oil and cedar-filled sleeping mats are commercially available. Cedar repels many insects including fleas. 
  • Fleas in the carpet? The carpet should be thoroughly vacuumed especially in low traffic areas, under furniture, etc. Put flea powder in the vacuum cleaner bag to kill any fleas that you vacuum up, and put the bag in an outdoor garbage bin. 
  • Trap fleas in your home using a wide, shallow pan half-filled with soapy water. Place it on the floor and shine a lamp over the water. Fleas will jump to the heat of the lamp and land in the water. The detergent breaks the surface tension, preventing the flea from bouncing out.
  • In the yard or garden, plant fleabane (Fleabane Daisy Erigeron speciosus) to repel fleas. This is an annual growing 16-24" tall with violet, daisy like flowers.
  • Nontoxic flea traps are available commercially. These traps are inexpensive and very effective.
  • For long-term nontoxic control of fleas, sprinkle diatomaceous earth where fleas may occur. You can also rub diatomaceous earth into the fur of your cat or dog.
  • For more information, read our article: Natural Flea Control

  • Mosquitos ............................................................................................. .. ....... ....... .......

    The first line of defense against mosquitos is to seal their point of entry. Mosquitos are most active in the early morning and early evening. They seek areas of still air because they are hampered by breezes. Close windows and doors on the side of your house which are opposite the breeze. Then try:
    Natural Mosquito Control
     
  • The most important measure you can take is to remove standing water sources. Change birdbaths, wading pools and pet's water bowl twice a week. Keep your eaves-troughs clean and well-draining. Remove yard items that collect water.
  • Campers often report that the very best mosquito repellent is Herbal Armor, a nontoxic DEET-free repellent which is also recommended by National Geographic.
  • If you're using the barbeque, throw a bit of sage or rosemary on the coals to repel mosquitos. 
  • An effective natural bug repellent, mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repellent lasting up to 5 - 6 hours. Strips of cotton cloth can also be dipped in this mixture and hung in areas, such as patios, as a localized deterrent. Commercially available garlic based, all natural mosquito repellent and larvae killerwill repel mosquitoes up to 4 weeks
  • Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil extracted from the Neem tree in India. The leaves, seeds and seed oil of the Neem tree contain sallanin, a compound which has effective mosquito repelling properties. Neem oil is a natural product and is safe to use. 
  • Planting marigolds around your yard works as a natural bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance bugs and flying insects do not like. 
  • Safe, nontoxic pheromone-based mosquito traps are now commercially available.
  • For outdoor mosquito control, bat houses are effective. Some bat species can eat 500 - 1000 mosquitoes each per might.
  • For broad application outdoor mosquito control, electric mosquito traps are commercially available. These traps do not use chemicals or propane gas.
  • If you're stung, Ditch the Itch is a nontoxic cream which takes the itch out of bites.