We all like our homes to be friendly, welcoming places where those we care about can relax and make themselves at home… but there are limits. Very often we can find ourselves playing unwitting host to unwelcome guests who can at best be an unwelcome pest that chews through your furniture and wiring, and at worst seriously compromise our health with their bites, spores and droppings. We want them out of our homes but not at the expense of saturating the place with equally harmful pesticidal chemicals.
Why go natural?
Pesticidal compounds often contain chemicals such as imidacloprid, fipronil, permethrin, pyriproxyfen and methoprene. These are known to have carcinogenic (cancer inducing) properties. They can also be extremely damaging to children and household pets, causing a host of health problems from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures, trouble breathing and even death. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural solutions to common pest problems. Indeed, the pest control industry is becoming wise to the dangers of pesticidal chemicals. If you use an exterminator, be sure that they use natural and less damaging products that won’t result in nasty side effects. If you see signs of pests in your home then applying any of these natural remedies will send them packing without harming your loved ones.
Make your own natural bug sprays
Commercial bug repellant sprays contain harmful DEET which can create soreness in the eyes, skin irritation and blistering (as well as being horrible for the environment). Instead, make your own using all natural ingredients and applying it with a spray bottle. A combination of essential oils combined with a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, half a cup of witch hazel and half a cup of vinegar will keep bugs away while smelling great and ensuring the health of your kids and pets. Essential oils you can use include:
- Tea Tree
Natural ant poison
Ants are absurdly persistent pests and they’ll just keep coming unless you can get them to introduce the poison into the hive. A mixture of equal parts Borax powder and corn syrup should be placed on an index card. Ants will be lured in by the sweetness and eat the solution, taking it back to their nests where it poisons them. It takes a few days to get rid of them but it’s an effective long term solution. While Borax has far less toxic properties than most pesticides, it is not without its own risks so ensure that you keep children and pets away from it.
Fresh basil fly deterrent
Basil isn’t just a delicious ingredient in pasta dishes, it’s a really effective fly repellent that’s been used since ancient times. Hang some by your windows or grow it in a pot near your door. The oils and aroma may be pleasant to humans but it’s nausea-inducing for insects and rodents. This is best used in the summer months as basil will wither when deprived of heat and sunlight. So you can enjoy a summer of a house free of flies and lots of caprese salads!
Nobody likes to run a boarding house for unwelcome pests but by keeping them away using natural remedies you can close the door on them without endangering your loved ones.