I’m a self-proclaimed bug lover. Although, I have to preface that by admitting that as much as I love them, I’m also afraid of them. I’ve been known to let out a scream or two when I see them (especially a giant spider). However, after the scream I always do my best to compose myself and return the little creatures to their natural habitat without harm.
When they come into my home, uninvited, they officially become pests. I don’t want them around. It’s a simple fix to contact a pest control service, who will gladly use oodles of toxic chemicals to help those pesky guests leave pronto.
But I’m not willing to use pesticides. I don’t use them near my kids or pets. I don’t want them around. Conventional pesticides contain toxic ingredients that can, according to the EPA, affect the nervous system, cause skin and eye irritation, affect hormones and the endocrine system, and cause cancer.
Thankfully there are green alternatives out there for pest control. Here are my top three annoying pests and the non-toxic remedies that will keep them away.
Keep your home clean. Be sure that food is in proper storage containers and crumbs are wiped up after a meal. Make sure your home is sealed properly-although mice can enter through a very small opening.
- Peppermint is a natural mouse deterrent. Place in the area you want to keep mice free and the scent will send them away.
- Dip cotton balls in peppermint oil and spread around effected area. Mice are repelled by the smell.
- There are also plenty of cruelty free mouse traps on the market that capture the mouse and allow you to set it free outside.
Avoid leaving food on the counter at night. Keep counters and tables free from crumbs.
- I’ve used cinnamon in the past and if you can tolerate the mess it works.
- Coffee grounds are another way to combat ants both in and out of the home (your garden).
- Lemon Juice mixed with water in a spray bottle works well against ants. Spray on the surface you are concerned with.
- Vinegar. My all time favorite solution for so many things is also an effective any repellant.
Although these little buggers aren’t usually in the traditional “pest” category, they are my nemesis.
Don’t leave extremely ripe fruit on the counter. Take out your garbage if there are any fruit remains (composting is a better bet for leftover fruit).
- Make a trap. Use a funnel or a piece of paper rolled into a cone shape for the trap (rolled paper worked well for me). Place a small amount of apple cider vinegar or wine in a glass. Place the cone or funnel inside the glass. The fruit flies will fly into the cone and won’t be able to exit.
Healthy Child Healthy World has created a guide for 5 Easy Steps to a Healthier and Safer Home. The first step is to avoid pesticides. Fortunately, there are so many alternatives to pesticides in pest control-they key is to try out a few and find what really works for you.
Do you have any natural pest control solutions that work? Please share.
[Photo used under Creative Commons by Sancho McCann/Flickr]