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How Can You Do Natural Pest Control?

Avoiding chemicals where we can is not only better for the environment but it is safer and healthier for us too. Home pest control can involve chemicals that are dangerous if not handled by a professional, but there are some simple ways to prevent pests before they enter your home including a surprising amount of natural alternatives that will safely do the job. You might even have some of the ingredients lying around in your cupboards!

Ants

Prevent: Ants love entering our homes to find food for their colony. To prevent them visiting your kitchen, don’t leave food scraps around and clean up spills quickly. Sealing food away in airtight containers will also stop them from chowing down on your cupboard goods.

Treat: Deter ants with a spray of soapy water or leave cucumber slices around their entry points. You can also try to stop ants from entering your home by sealing cracks and deterring them with cinnamon, mint or cloves. And if you see ants around the place, wipe the surfaces they’ve been on to remove the trails they leave for their friends to follow.

If you’ve tried all of the above to no avail, you can create your own mixture to kill the problem. Mix a teaspoon of boric acid with a teaspoon of honey and a small amount of water to make a paste. Leave it in a jar where you’ve spotted the ants and after they’ve found it they’ll carry it back to the colony. Boric acid is relatively safe for humans but it’s best to be safe so keep it away from children and animals.

Cockroaches

Prevent: Once again, the best way to prevent this persistent pest is to keep a clean bathroom and kitchen. Be sure to vacuum and wash affected areas with strong soap.

Treat: You can deter these bugs by sprinkling a bit of diatomaceous earth wherever you think the cockroaches like to hide. While this is safe for humans to be around it’s a nightmare for cockroaches as the particles damage their exoskeleton and dehydrate them. You can also leave catnip, bay leaves, cucumber slices or garlic around too. To kill them, spray cockroaches with soapy water or buy non-toxic cockroach traps.

shutterstock_136846244Bed bugs

Prevent: Once you have bed bugs they can be difficult to get rid of so prevention is definitely better than cure here! Travellers need to look for bed bugs in their accommodation and then check their clothes and luggage for any signs of them on their return.

Treat: If you’ve spotted bed bugs or been bitten by them it’s time to thoroughly clean and vacuum all linen and bed surfaces. Wash your linen in very hot water. You can also kill the critters with food-grade diatomaceous earth. If you’ve found bed bugs during your travels then you can spray a non-toxic bed bug spray on to mattresses, bedding, clothing and luggage.

Fleas

Prevent: Pets are the regular flea vectors so make sure you regularly brush your animal with a flea comb and bathe them.

Treat: Fleas hate cedar so you can wash your pet in cedar shampoo or let them sleep on a cedar-filled mat. You can add brewer’s yeast, garlic or apple cider vinegar to your pet’s food to help a flea problem, although raw garlic is not good for cats. Once again, diatomaceous earth is a winner here so sprinkle it around or rub it into you cat or dog’s fur.