Do you spray toxic chemicals around baseboards, leave poisoned bait in dark corners, bug-bomb your home and office, or douse yourself (and your kids) with DEET to keep pests at bay? Using pesticides might rid your surroundings of pests, but what are you doing to your health in the process? ~ Julia Wasson, Publisher
Studies indicate that a lot of the pesticides that were used even a decade ago can present short-term and long-term poisoning symptoms in both people and animals. Some of the safest pest control products can be made at home in your own kitchen, while at other times you’ll need to use a company that specializes in organic non-toxic pest control solutions. Here are some ideas for approaching pest control in healthier ways.
Prevention is Part of the Cure
There are a lot of things you can do to prevent a pest infestation from occurring or to keep one from becoming worse. By making sure that there are no food particles around for either insects or rodents to eat, you’ll have a running start at prevention.
Take the trash out every night, and wipe down your cupboards and kitchen counters daily to get rid of all the sources of food. Sweep the floor often and go through your kitchen cupboards and pantry to make sure that all food supplies are sealed tightly.
An easy way to deter insects and rodents from entering your home or letting the ones that are already there know that they are not welcome is to use bay leaves. These are readily available at the grocery store, and bugs and small rodents simply hate them! Place these leaves around your kitchen, and you’ll start to see fewer of these pests.
Dried whole nutmeg, chili pepper, mint, cloves, and basil are also effective for natural pest control and will send a message out to insects and small critters that they are not allowed in your home.
Because these are natural food substances, you won’t have to worry about accidental poisonings and can safely position them near any food supplies. (Do be careful to keep them out of reach of toddlers, of course. Bay leaves and chili peppers can cause severe discomfort if ingested.)
Certain essential oils, such as peppermint and citronella, will also help to keep the pest population under control in your home. Dilute these oils with water and spray the areas where the pests are entering your home or where you have seen them lurking.
Ants and fleas hate vinegar. To control fleas in your home, add one teaspoon of vinegar per quart of your pet’s drinking water. This will help keep the fleas off your pet while you are busy vacuuming them up around the house.
For ant control, wash your floor, cabinets, and counter tops with equal parts of water and vinegar.
When You Need the Experts
When an infestation becomes too big to handle, it’s time to call in professionals. Be sure they use only natural, organic pest control products. Most pest-control companies today have these products available and are more than willing to use them to help get your pest problems under complete control.
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