Many of us have cockroaches, ants, or some other pests that enter their home and the first thing we tend to resort to is pesticides. What we do not think about is how pesticides can not only kill bugs, but also harm us in the future, including leading to neurological problems and respiratory issues! Here are some non-toxic ways to control pests including common materials for home pest control and some organic home remedies you can make.
In order to prevent and eliminate pests from your home, we’ve come up with a few basic supplies that are helpful in case you have pest problems. Some of these are also used for common home remedies for pest control:
- Food processor/Blender
- Hot Pepper
- Dish Soap/Detergent
- Honey or something sticky/sweet e.g. Nutella, sugar
- Boric Acid
- Herbs- bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, peppermint, spearmint
- Vegetable Oil
- Double Sided Tape
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Some optional materials:
- Neem Oil
- Baking Soda
- Mineral Oil
- Liquid soap, such as solid castile soap
- Essential oils- lavender, lemon balm, rose germanium
- Pyrethrum powder
- Petroleum jelly
- Fly Paper
Having these supplies at home can help you create mixtures that are effective in killing pests. Here are some recipes to solve common bug problems such as ants, cockroaches, and fruit flies:
1) Cockroach elimination from Extremely Green:
- 1 tsp Neem Oil per quart of water
- ¼ tsp liquid dish soap per quart of water
- Mix the neem oil and liquid dish soap. The liquid dish soap acts as an "emulsifier" or "sticker-spreader".
- Shake well.
- Spray on cockroaches.
2) Ant Removal from National Geographic:
- ¾ tsp Boric Acid
- 4 tbsp peanut butter
- 6 tbsp honey
- Masking tape/cardboard
- Mix the boric acid with the peanut butter and honey.
- Spread it on masking tape or small pieces of cardboard and place them where you see ants.
3) Our way to make your own fly paper:
- ¼ cup syrup
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- Brown craft paper
- Mix the syrup, granulated sugar, and 1 tbsp. brown sugar in a small bowl
- Soak strips of brown craft paper in the mixture and let the paper dry overnight
- After the paper has dried, poke a small hole at the top of each strip
- Hang the strips over doors and window to attract and catch the flies
Please be careful when making these solutions:
- Always wear protective clothing including masks and rubber gloves when making these mixtures and keep the mixture away from your face
- Always label the mixture to make sure you or someone else does not accidentally use it
- Get a separate food processor/blender for pest sprays when blending materials
For larger pests, such as mice and rats, traps with bait such as peanut butter or glue boards are usually recommended.
Besides these mixtures, you can also take some other precautious steps/pest control steps for common house pests without using pesticides. For instance drinking 1-2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar is a good pest repellent. Here are some other ideas:
- Seal all access points to house with steel or copper mesh, any cracks, crevices or holes
- Repair any loose tiles/screens
- Inspect foundations esp. window and basement & repair loose mortar
- Store food, especially fruits, in the refrigerator and place all other food in tightly sealed containers
- Keep garbage cans covered and not letting garbage accumulate
- Clean up food areas and any standing water
- Wash dishes thoroughly with soap and water.
- Put tape over openings under sinks and keep items in sink dry (water attracts cockroaches and other insects)
- Replace leaking pipes and dripping faucets
- Clean up brush, keep mulch and firewood piles away from house
These remedies are to help you with small populations of pests, but if you end up with an infestation, please hire an exterminator. Come back for more great tips on pest prevention and control!