Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Better Ways to Get Rid of Pests

I always get a little excited when my friends tell me how they have been researching eco-friendly alternatives for themselves. Awhile back, my friend Liv mentioned she was looking into environmentally friendly pest control, something especially important for her now that she has a young son. 

Courtesy of Liv, these are some of the better alternatives for controlling pests at home.

http://gardenclub.homedepot.com/5-easy-eco-secrets-for-a-greener-lawn/

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is an off white talc-like powder of the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton, and it kills all bugs with exoskeletons.  When sprinkled on a bug that has an exoskeleton (such as bed bugs, ants or fleas) it compromises their waxy coating so that their innards turn into teeny tiny bug jerky, but it doesn't hurt mammals.  


If you use diatomaceous earth, it's important to remember to keep it dry. Even morning dew can make it ineffective.


Indoor and Outdoor Ants

  • A mixture of cornmeal and boric acid is an environmentally friendly solution to killing ants. Ants are attracted to cornmeal but it's not enough to kill them. Boric acid destroys ants' exoskeletons, similar to the way diatomaceous earth does. Just remember to keep boric acid away from children and pets, because it's not safe for consumption.
"Worker ants only feed on liquids. They take solid food back to the nests, where it is given to larvae. Then, the larvae convert it to liquid and feed it back to the worker ants. Straight boric acid or insecticide will kill ants, but the worker ants will eat it rather than taking it back to the nest because it is in liquid form. Making a paste ensures the poison will get to the nest. You may also lay a trail of straight cornmeal to lure the ants to the poison."
  • If you're dealing with an outdoor mound, try pouring boiling water on them. It kills the ants and destroys the mound.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth all over the mound.
  • Pour water with dish soap on the ants. The soap will suffocate them. 
  • Ants hate vinegar, so a 50/50 water/vinegar solution is a cheap and easy way to take them out. 
  • The citric acid in lemon juice works the same way as vinegar, except that lemon smells better to us. One part lemon juice to two parts water should work well.
WikiHow has more tips on ant alternatives. 
 

Cockroaches

First, gross. While I don't like any insects, these are by far my least favorite.
  • Diatomaceous earth is very effective at killing cockroaches.
  • Mix one part powdered (not granular) boric acid, one part white flour, one part powdered white sugar. The sugar and flour attracts the roaches, and the boric acid kills them. Sprinkle the powder in the backs of drawers and cabinets, under the refrigerator, under the stove, and so on. 
 

Silverfish

TheSoftLanding.com provides easy ways to get rid of silverfish:
  • Wrap a tall glass jar with masking tape or twine (this helps create a surface the bugs can crawl on) and then toss in some dry oatmeal or crackers to attract the silverfish.  They can crawl in, but they can’t get back out!  Check for critters in your trap, empty and repeat as needed
  • Try topping a cracker with a 1:1 mix of borax and flour or powdered sugar to lure them out of their hiding places. Borax is low on the toxic-to-humans totem pole, but do keep it out of reach of kiddos.  You could also go the convenient route and try BioCare’s pre-made spider and silverfish traps
  • Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around floor boards and areas you see the silverfish moving around, making sure pets and children can’t get close enough inhale it.  DE is the fossilized remains of micro-organisms and hard-shelled algae.  It works by scratching the bugs exoskeletons using its microscopic shards so the bugs become dehydrated
  • Mix equal parts water, baking soda and honey, then apply it to small pieces of sturdy paper or cardboard.  This mixture will kill silverfish and is handy for tight spots behind the books on your bookshelf
  • Dilute cedar oil with water and apply to cracks and crevices with a sprayer. The oil emits a smell that is noxious to silverfish and other common household pests but pleasant to humans. Silverfish experience cedar the way humans experience ammonia (remember those awesome cedar-lined chests and closets?).  Regular application will create a barrier to re-entry
  • - See more at: http://thesoftlanding.com/5-natural-ways-get-rid-silverfish/#sthash.Q49Qg6AQ.O6GfEWvz.dpuf
  • Wrap a tall glass jar with masking tape or twine (this helps create a surface the bugs can crawl on) and then toss in some dry oatmeal or crackers to attract the silverfish.  They can crawl in, but they can’t get back out!  Check for critters in your trap, empty and repeat as needed
  • Try topping a cracker with a 1:1 mix of borax and flour or powdered sugar to lure them out of their hiding places. Borax is low on the toxic-to-humans totem pole, but do keep it out of reach of kiddos.  You could also go the convenient route and try BioCare’s pre-made spider and silverfish traps
  • Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around floor boards and areas you see the silverfish moving around, making sure pets and children can’t get close enough inhale it.  DE is the fossilized remains of micro-organisms and hard-shelled algae.  It works by scratching the bugs exoskeletons using its microscopic shards so the bugs become dehydrated
  • Mix equal parts water, baking soda and honey, then apply it to small pieces of sturdy paper or cardboard.  This mixture will kill silverfish and is handy for tight spots behind the books on your bookshelf
  • Dilute cedar oil with water and apply to cracks and crevices with a sprayer. The oil emits a smell that is noxious to silverfish and other common household pests but pleasant to humans. Silverfish experience cedar the way humans experience ammonia (remember those awesome cedar-lined chests and closets?).  Regular application will create a barrier to re-entry
  • - See more at: http://thesoftlanding.com/5-natural-ways-get-rid-silverfish/#sthash.Q49Qg6AQ.O6GfEWvz.dpuf
  • Wrap a tall glass jar with masking tape or twine (this helps create a surface the bugs can crawl on) and then toss in some dry oatmeal or crackers to attract the silverfish.  They can crawl in, but they can’t get back out!  Check for critters in your trap, empty and repeat as needed
  • Try topping a cracker with a 1:1 mix of borax and flour or powdered sugar to lure them out of their hiding places. Borax is low on the toxic-to-humans totem pole, but do keep it out of reach of kiddos.  You could also go the convenient route and try BioCare’s pre-made spider and silverfish traps
  • Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth around floor boards and areas you see the silverfish moving around, making sure pets and children can’t get close enough inhale it.  DE is the fossilized remains of micro-organisms and hard-shelled algae.  It works by scratching the bugs exoskeletons using its microscopic shards so the bugs become dehydrated
  • Mix equal parts water, baking soda and honey, then apply it to small pieces of sturdy paper or cardboard.  This mixture will kill silverfish and is handy for tight spots behind the books on your bookshelf
  • Dilute cedar oil with water and apply to cracks and crevices with a sprayer. The oil emits a smell that is noxious to silverfish and other common household pests but pleasant to humans. Silverfish experience cedar the way humans experience ammonia (remember those awesome cedar-lined chests and closets?).  Regular application will create a barrier to re-entry
  • - See more at: http://thesoftlanding.com/5-natural-ways-get-rid-silverfish/#sthash.Q49Qg6AQ.O6GfEWvz.dpuf
    • Try topping a cracker with a 1:1 mix of borax and flour or powdered sugar to lure them out of their hiding places.
    • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around floorboards and areas you see the silverfish moving around, making sure pets and children can’t get close enough inhale i.
    • Mix equal parts water, baking soda and honey, then apply it to small pieces of sturdy paper or cardboard. This mixture will kill silverfish and is handy for tight spots behind the books on your bookshelf.
    • Dilute cedar oil with water and apply to cracks and crevices with a sprayer. The oil emits a smell that is noxious to silverfish and other common household pests but pleasant to humans. Silverfish experience cedar the way humans experience ammonia (remember those awesome cedar-lined chests and closets?). Regular application will create a barrier to reentry.
    • The smell of rosemary and cloves is a huge deterrent for silverfish.

    Pantry Moths

    • Bay leaves keep moths away from your food. 
    • Scrubbing your shelves and walls with a water/vinegar mixture helps to repel moths from coming back.
     
    And now that I have the heebie jeebies, I am going to go take a few showers.
     
    Thanks, Liv, for the awesome research!
     
    Have you tried any of these eco-friendly methods when it comes to household pests?

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