|Insect pests are an intimate part of every home.
Below are some non-toxic recipes to control insect pests
|In the air, carpet, counter or cupboard, every home shares it’s resources with these tiny, often unseen invaders. Pesticides are available for most common household insect pests, but these potent chemical compounds may be more harmful to you and the environment than the pests.
Here are some natural, non-toxic ways to control household insect pests:
|The first line of defense is to remove what is attracting them. Here are some ideas: keep counters free of crumbs and sticky spots. Cover the sugar and put the honey jar in a plastic baggie. Cut off water sources such as drips or dishes left soaking overnight.
If the ant invaders persist, try these simple measures:
|Fill a plastic spray bottle with water and 10 to 15 drops of peppermint essential oil. Spray this mixture strategically around your house to keep ants away. Ants don’t like the smell of the essential oil of peppermint.
Try this recipe to keep ants running in the other direction. Take 8 ounces of dish soap (or any mild liquid soap) and add 5 – 10 drops of each of the following essential oils: pennyroyal, peppermint, citronella, cinnamon, rose and tea tree essential oils. Spray problem areas with this mixture.Sprinkle a few drops of full-strength peppermint essential oil around trash cans and corners of your bathroom or pantry. Test finishes or paint jobs to make sure the oil does not cause damage.Combine 10 to 15 drops of pennyroyal and peppermint in a spray bottle with water for another version of ant deterrent for the home. Flower gardeners know the power of pennyroyal to diminish ant populations outside.Trace the ant column back to their point of entry. Set any of the following items at the entry area in a small line, which ants will not cross: cayennepepper, Lemon or Cinnamon essential oil (can be soaked into a piece of string), lemon juice, or coffee grounds.
Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants’ point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to cucumber. Bitter cucumbers work best.
Mix one liter of water, one teaspoon of Borax and a cup of sugar. Soak cotton balls in the solution and place them in a small yogurt container with holes punched in the lids to allow ants access. Place container in a location where ants are present. Ants will carry the bait back to their colonies where it will eventually kill the colony. Important: use indoors only; must be kept away from pets and children.
Ants on the deck? Slip a few cut up cloves of garlic between the cracks.
|Lavender Essential Oil
To deter mosquitoes, flies and ticks.
|A safe, natural and efficient alternative to toxic chemical insecticides. The plant contains an essence that deters disease, insects and animal predators that might harm the plant. Although lavender is a scent that is repellent to insects, it is an important ingredient in perfume, lotions, shampoos, soaps and skin care products. Mix 10 to 15 drops of lavender essential oil in 1 ounce of coconut oil. Apply to exposed skin to deter mosquitoes, flies and ticks.|
|Microscopic dust mites are everywhere in the home – in our beds, clothing, furniture, book shelves and stuffed animals. For people with allergies or asthma, dust mites are a problem.
Here’s how to reduce the dust mite population in your home:
|Eucalyptus essential oil has the ability to kill mites in linens and household bedding. Add 25 to 30 drops to the final laundry rinse water. Your laundry will be free of mites and scented with the subtle fragrance of refreshing eucalyptus. Place a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil on a cotton ball and tuck in sleeping bags, sofa cushions and pillows.|
|* Cedar, Lemon, and Fir Essential Oils *
Repels mites, ticks, fleas, spiders, cockroaches, bedbugs, lice and mites.
|Cedar essential oil adds a fresh herbaceous and earthy, natural “green” scent to the air and effectively neutralizes tobacco, cooking and pet odors. Add 10 to 12 drops of cedar essential oil, 4 drops of lemon essential oil and 4 drops of fir essential oil to 2 cups of baking soda and 4 tablespoons of borax. Place ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle on carpets and upholstered furniture. Allow the soda mixture to remain for 30 minutes. Vacuum well to remove all soda residue. The soda and borax absorb soil, oils and odors, leaving your carpets and furniture fresh and clean. The fragrance of the essential oils remains in the carpet or upholstery material and repels mites, ticks, fleas, spiders, cockroaches, bedbugs, lice and mites.|
|Here is a homemade insecticide recipe for Cockroaches:
8 drops Cypress Essential Oil
10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
1/2 cup of salt water
Place in a spray bottle, shake well and spray! Where cockroaches like to hide
|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.
Diatomaceous earth is a safe alternative which can be sprinkled in areas where roaches congregate, especially hidden areas such a cabinet tops and behind appliances. Harmless to people, the tiny particles cut the waxy exoskeleton and kills the insect within 48 hours. For a week or so after the treatment, the dehydrating insects will search more actively for water. Therefore, do not be surprised if you see roaches more often after the treatment. Most roaches should be killed within two weeks of application.
|Catnip is a natural repellent to cockroaches. The active ingredient is nepetalactone, which is non-toxic to humans and pets. Small cotton balls ofcatnip essential oil, can be left in areas of cockroach activity. A few drops of Catnip can also be added to 1/2 cup of water which can be used as a spray around baseboards and behind counters.|
|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.It is a little known fact that roaches like high places. 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.
Leave bay essential oil soaked, cucumber slices or garlic in the affected area as deterrents.
|Fleas usually gain entry to your home through your pet or visitors’ pets. For every flea on your pet, there may be as many as 30 more in the pet’s environment.
Before reaching for pesticides, try these safer choices:
Add 10 to 12 drops of cedar essential oil, 4 drops of lemon essential oil and 4 drops of fir essential oil to 2 cups of baking soda and 4 tablespoons of borax. Place ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Sprinkle on carpets and upholstered furniture. Allow the soda mixture to remain for 30 minutes. Vacuum well to remove all soda residue. The soda and borax absorb soil, oils and odors, leaving your carpets and furniture fresh and clean. The fragrance of the essential oils remains in the carpet or upholstery material and repels the fleas, spiders, lice and mites.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. Do not use citrus oil on catsAdd brewer’s yeast and garlic, or apple cider vinegar, to your pets’ food. However, it is not advisable to use raw garlic as a food supplement for cats.
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.
For long-term nontoxic control of fleas, sprinkle diatomaceous earth where fleas may occur. You can also rub diatomaceous earth into the fur of your cat or dog.
|The first line of defense against mosquitos is to seal their point of entry. Mosquitos are most active in the early morning and early evening. They seek areas of still air because they are hampered by breezes. Close windows and doors on the side of your house which are opposite the breeze. Then try: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 eaves-troughs clean and well-draining. Remove yard items that collect water.Campers often report that the very best mosquito repellent is Pest-Away, a nontoxic DEET-free repellent.
It is easy to make a completely natural, safe and powerful mosquito repellent using essential oils.
Citronella essential oil is a common natural oil used to repel mosquitoes. The smell of citronella is offensive to mosquitoes and they will avoid it. Citronella essential oil must be reapplied about every 45 to 60 minutes, since this oil looses a lot of its effectiveness after an hour.Citronella essential oil should be applied in a spray. To apply as a spray it must be mixed with water, 50/50, and poured into a spray bottle.
Lavender essential oil has been used as a mosquito repellent for centuries. Along with its repellent qualities, it is also useful to medicate the symptoms from a mosquito bite. It alleviates the inflammation and the itching. Lavender essential oil can be applied like perfume, a dab of pure oil on the wrists and neck. It can also be mixed 50/50 with water and put into a spray bottle. Then it can be sprayed over your body, mixed with Eucalyptus essential oil, to make a very powerful mosquito repellent.
Eucalyptus essential oil is a great natural mosquito repellent. It works well, has a pleasant smell and is easy on your skin. A solution made from 30 percent Eucalyptus essential oil and 70 percent water provides about two hours of protection. It can be applied like a perfume, dabbing pure Eucalyptus essential oil to the wrists and neck. Pure Eucalyptus essential oil is not as greasy as other essential oils making it a good choice.
Mixing cedarwood oil with other essential oils, such as citronella or eucalyptus essential oil, creates a powerful mosquito repellent. Thecedarwood will add about an hour to the life of other essential oil mosquito repellents. Cedarwood oil can safely be used on pets, children and around the house. In higher concentrations it can be used to keep mosquitoes away from certain areas for hours at a time — it can be applied to chairs or tables for an evening sitting outside. Cedarwood oil doesn’t just repel mosquitoes — it kills them. If they touch or inhale the cedarwood mixture, they die immediately.
An effective natural bug repellent, mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repellent lasting up to 5 – 6 hours. Strips of cotton cloth can also be dipped in this mixture and hung in areas, such as patios, as a localized deterrent.
Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil extracted from the Neem tree in India. The leaves, seeds and seed oil of the Neem tree contain sallanin, a compound which has effective mosquito repelling properties. Neem oil is a natural product and is safe to use.
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.
|Use mint as a fly repellent. Small cotton balls with peppermint essential oil, can be placed around the home to discourage flies.Bay, cloves, and eucalyptus essential oils can be soaked in cotton balls and can be placed by open windows or doors.Place a small, open container of sweet basil and clover near pet food or any open food in the house.
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.
|The best defense against bed bugs is prevention, and this is easily achieved in rooms which have not yet been infected. If there is presence of bed bugs in a room, then a thorough cleaning and vacuuming is required, followed by preventive measures. Frequent travelers should be especially alert to early signs of bed bugs in the home.The best preventive measure against bed bugs is to apply non-toxic diatomaceous earth in the vicinity of bed bug activity. Be sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth. Do not use pool-grade diatomaceous earth.Wash all bedding in hot water (120 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter), adding 10 drops of Tea Tree essential oil. This will kill any bedbugs in the bedding.
The most likely hiding places for bed bugs will be small cracks and crevices closest to where you sleep. The mattress and box spring should be lifted from the frame, and after vacuuming, sprinkle diatomaceous earth along the edges of the frame which holds the box spring. Personal items such as stuffed animals, blankets, etc. should be vacuumed and placed in plastic bags for several weeks.
|Cedarwood oil is a great choice for getting rid of bed bugs. Dilute several drops with distilled water in a spray bottle and generously mist the mattress with the spray after removing all bedding. Wash all linens with a few drops of X-Plague and several drops of Cleansing oil. When changing linens, you can also mist the mattress with a spray made from distilled water and several drops of X-Plague.For extra umph, make the following Bed Bug Spray Recipe:– 10 drops of Frankincense oil
– 6 drops of Eucalyptus oil
-5 drops of Cedarwood oil
Combine with 4 oz. Distilled Water in a dark glass Spritzer bottle.
|PreventionSeal entry points. Solitary wasps in the home can be a nuisance; daily sightings of wasps in the home may indicate inside nest building, and more attention to the problem is required. Searching for and sealing off their point of entry is the best line of defense. Check your house for unsealed vents, torn screens, cracks around windows and door frames and open dampers. Observe the flight path of a wasp, especially in the morning, which may reveal the entry/exit point.Remove food sources. In spring and early summer, wasps are attracted to protein foods. Any food left outdoors, such as pet food, picnic scraps, open garbage containers or uncovered compost piles should be removed or covered. Wasps imprint food sources, and will continue to search an area for some time after the food has been removed.
In late summer and early fall, the wasp food preference turns to the sweet. Their behavior is also more aggressive. Open cans of pop, fruit juice, fallen apples beneath fruit trees and other sweet food sources will attract wasps. Be sure to cover drinks and open food containers, keep a lid on the compost and avoid walking barefoot near fruit trees. Remove any fallen fruit rotting on the ground.
Avoid swatting. Swatting and squashing wasps is counterproductive. When a wasp is squashed, a chemical (pheromone) is released which attracts and incites other nearby wasps. It’s best to walk away from a hovering wasp.
Avoid wearing bright colours or floral patterns. If you look like a big flower, you may be attracting the curious wasp looking for nectar.
Minimize use of perfumes and other strong scents. In the later part of the summer, wasps are attracted to sweet smells.
Wasps building nests in your bird house? This common problem can be minimized by lining the under-roof area with aluminum foil. Use a staple gun to attach. Another option is to rub the under-roof area liberally with bar soap – ordinary soap like Ivory soap will do. One application can last through an annual wasp season.
Make your own Trap:
Use a razor knife to cut the top from a 2-liter plastic pop bottle. Cut just above the shoulder of the bottle. Discard the screw top. Fill with water about halfway. Coat the neck with jam, invert it and set back on the bottle. Use two small pieces
Wasps will go down the funnel to get the jam, but will find it difficult to get out. Most will drop into the water and drown.
A few drops of dish soap in the water will make it hard for the wasps to tread water, and will hasten their demise. (You can also add a 1/4 cup of vinegar to the water to discourage honeybees from entering the trap in search of water.)
Empty the trap daily! As more wasps are caught, they create a raft on which other wasps can survive for a considerable time. Some of these wasps then find purchase on the plastic of the bottle and eventually crawl out. The longer the trap is untended, the more wasps will manage to escape, which may result in swarming.