Natural Pest Control
- Keep a small spray bottle handy, and spray the ants with a bit of soapy water.
- Ants have a natural aversion to: bitter cucumbers, mint, cayenne pepper, citrus oil, lemon juice, cinnamon, garlic and coffee grounds.
- 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.
- 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 centigrade 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.
- Avoid using humidifiers. Dust mites thrive on warmth and humidity.
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.
- 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(more info about boric acid).
- 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.
- 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.
- Leave bay leaves, cucumber slices or garlic in the affected area as deterrents.
- 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.
- Cedar shampoo, cedar oil and cedar-filled sleeping mats are commercially available. Cedar repells 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.
- 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 eavestroughs clean and well-draining. Remove yard items that collect water.
- In a New England Journal of Medicine study, oil of eucalyptus at 30% concentration prevented mosquito bites for 120.1 minutes, while Bite Blocker with 2% soybean oil kept bites away for 96.4 minutes. (the eucalyptus oil must have a minimum of 70% cineole content, the active therapeutic ingredient.) Citronella, a common alternative to DEET, performed poorly, warding off bugs for only 20 minutes.
- If you're using the barbeque, throw a bit of sage or rosemary on the coals to repel mosquitos.
- Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil extracted from the Neem tree in India. Neem oil is a natural product and is safe to use. Look for new Neem Oil-based commercial products on the market.
- 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.
- Campers often report that the very best mosquito repellent is Avon Skin-So-Soft® bath oil mixed half and half with rubbing alcohol.
- Use mint as a fly repellent. Small sachets of crushed mint can be placed around the home to discourage flies.
- Bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus wrapped in small cheesecloth squares can be hung by open windows or doors.
- A few drops of eucalyptus oil on a scrap of absorbent cloth will deter flies. Leave in areas where flies are a problem.
- You can make your own flypaper with this simple recipe: Mix 1/4 cup syrup, 1 tbsp. granulated sugar and 1 tbsp. brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut strips of brown Kraft paper and soak in this mixture. Let dry overnight. To hang, poke a small hole at the top of each strip and hang with string or thread.