It’s Spring, so you know what that means – it’s bug season.
Depending on where you live, you may already be seeing flies, cockroaches, ants, and other bugs moving back into your house and yard. I spent an hour in the garden this weekend and didn’t go 38 seconds without some kind of buzzing creature circling my head – talk about annoying! And while I know bugs and insects are a necessary part of the ecosystem – and some of them do a lot of good for my garden – there are some that I don’t want visting nor flying around inside my house.
I could go the route of spraying everything I see with toxic chemicals, but that’s not something I am really interested in doing. The bugs may disappear but my lungs and skin will be filled and coated with chemicals; what good would that do? Thankfully there are plenty of natural pesticides that you can try which may help to keep those bugs away from where they aren’t wanted without the risk of giving yourself cancer while doing so. Let’s take a look a few…
- Peppermint, Clove, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Citrus, or Lemongrass Oil – Mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle, works great as a sprayable pesticide.
- Canola and Vegetable Oils – Sprays made from these oils suffocate small insects and their eggs. Mix a small amount with water but don’t spray on sensitive or weak plants!
- Neem Oil – From the nut of the neem tree (native to India), the active ingredient is a chemical called azadirachtin. A mixture of 4 percent azadirachtin in water makes an effective insecticide. Use on aphids, root weevils, flies, and leaf-eating worms.
- Silica Dust – Sprinkled near cracks and crevices, silica dust is great for getting rid of cockroaches, carpet beetles and carpenter ants.
- Boric Acid – Boric acid is a natural mineral which is highly toxic to insects. Be careful, though, as it can also be toxic for some plants. Sprinkle boric acid around problem areas to get rid of termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, and cockroaches.
- Diatomaceous Earth – A natural powder that dehydrates bugs and thus kills them off. Lasts a long time. Don’t spray on or at bees, can kill them dead, and that’s not good! Works great on cockroaches.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a gallon of water makes for a decent pesticide.
- Basil Tea – Combine 4 cups of water, 1 cup of natural dish soap, and 1 cup of crushed basil. Spray away at garden pests.
- Cucumber Peels – Sliced cucumbers keep ants away as they hate this vegetable.
- Catnip – Safe for pets, but cockroaches do not like catnip. Put some bags of catnip around trouble areas or better yet, make a catnip and water spray to use around the edges of your home. If you have a cat, this may not be a good idea as it may be overwhelming for them!
- Plant Marigolds and Lemongrass – These plants work as a natural mosquito repellent because the bugs don’t like the way they smell.
Natural pesticides may not work as effectively nor as long as the toxic stuff, but at least you can rest easy knowing you aren’t risking the health of you, your children, or your pets in the pursuit of pest control. What do you use around your house instead of the toxic products? Give a few of these a try this Spring and Summer and let me know how they work for you!
Cockroach Invasion image from BigStock.