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Even the most vigilant individuals experience pest infestations. There are many over-the-counter products available to control and prevent pests. However, they contain harsh chemicals that are unsafe to use around children and pets and may negatively impact the environment. So, here are eight eco-friendly, pet, and child-safe pest control tips.
1. Airtight Containers are Deterrents to All Types of Pests
To prevent a rodent or insect infestation from occurring, keep all food items, such as bread, flour, sugar, rice, and dried beans in re-sealable, airtight containers. Also, regularly check any unrefrigerated fruits and vegetables for bad spots or damage to avoid attracting fruit flies and other pests.
2. Use Aluminum Foil to Deter Rodents
To prevent rodent infestations, identify any areas where rodents are likely to enter your home and fill them with wadded up aluminum foil. Mice and rats are unable, or unwilling, to chew through metal. (1)
3. Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Control Fleas
Over-the-counter flea medicines come with a long list of warnings, so use apple cider vinegar as a safe alternative. Mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in your four-legged friend’s food each time you feed them. Then, after each bath, spray your furry companion down with apple cider vinegar and let it dry. Finally, comb her fur to remove any dead fleas.
4. Baking Soda Is Not Only Useful for Cooking and Cleaning but, also, Pest Control
The EPA recognizes baking soda as a bio-pesticide.(2) To rid your home of ants, roaches, and termites, mix equal parts of baking soda and sugar. Then, spread the mixture around baseboards, doors, furniture, and appliances. The sugar entices the insects and then once in their digestive systems, the baking soda creates carbon dioxide bubbles that kill the pests. (3)
5. Citrus Oil Is a Natural Pesticide that Can Be Made at Home.
Simmer equal parts orange peels and water, and remove the peels from the mixture. To control ants and fleas, spray it around doors and windows, and on furniture and clothing. For controlling pests on indoor plants, dilute with a quarter cup of water per teaspoon of homemade citrus oil.
6. Pyrethrum, or Chrysanthemum(4), is a Powerful DIY Insecticide
Crush two tablespoons of chrysanthemum heads and let them soak in a half-gallon of water. Then, spray the mixture wherever pests, such as ants, roaches, aphids, moths, or bedbugs, are present. This is most effective when mixed with other natural pesticides, such as baking soda or citrus oil.(5)
7. Use Mint Oil to Humanely Solve Rodent Infestations
Dab a few drops of peppermint oil, not extract, onto cotton balls. Then, place them in areas where there is evidence of rodent activity. Rodents will go elsewhere, because the oil temporarily overpowers their sense of smell, which stops them from smelling food and important pheromones.(6)
8. Use Garlic as a Pesticide
Put five crushed garlic cloves into two cups of water, use more garlic for a more potent mixture.(7) Next, mix in two tablespoons of peppermint oil or citrus oil, and let it sit for a day. Spray it on plants to rid them of pests, including aphids and slugs, or use it to ward off mosquitoes and other insects by spraying it around windows, doors, or directly in insect breeding areas.
Preventing and treating pest infestations doesn’t need to involve harsh, industrial strength chemicals. Eco-friendly, pet-safe, and child-safe pest prevention and control is simple to do yourself with common, household items.
Derek is blogging for Fox Pest Control, a Virginia Beach Exterminator. He enjoys blogging about natural pest control and family safe DIY projects.
Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net