How to DIY Natural Pest Control
If the best offense is a good defense, here are some natural repellents you can try in and around your house to keep pests at bay. Many plants produce oil that can repel insects, so if you have a particular pest that is an issue, your best low-cost method might be potted plants. Just be aware of which types might be harmful if ingested by pets.
- Cedar Oil: This non-toxic natural oil is safe to use around pets. It can help repel insects commonly found in homes like mosquitos, cockroaches, and ants. Dab it around entry points.
- Ground Vibrations: Try a solar-powered ultrasonic pest repeller if you are having problems with small rodents, snakes, or bugs taking up residence in your yard (from there, your house is an easy target). These stakes simply get placed around your house and get to work warding off an invasion.
- Basil: Whether it is a small potted plant or a bit of dried basil in a pouch, placing this fragrant herb around doors or windows you frequently open can help repel nosy flies.
Protecting Your Garden
We pour so much time, effort, and money into keeping up our vegetable and flower gardens. The last thing we want is for pests to destroy all that hard work. We need to pay just as much attention to how we control pests in the garden as we do tending it. Flowers can be delicate, and you don’t want insecticides or pesticides to contaminate your soil or food.
Consider these plant-friendly alternatives:
- Beer Dishes: If you have slugs, try leaving a small dish filled with beer. They are attracted to the sugar and yeast content of the drink. The goal is for them to fall into the container and not be able to get back out. While it won’t catch every slug, it is entirely safe, though you may need a few dishes as it only works over short distances.
- Lemon Balm: This distant cousin of mint has high concentrations of citronella, which can help repel mosquitoes, gnats, and even groundhogs from the area. It thrives in sunny to lightly shaded areas and smells lovely, so you can even use it inside near a window if desired.
Indoor Pest Removal
Dealing with pests once inside is a more delicate matter. You need to actively get rid of a much larger volume of insects or rodents without harming yourself, your family, or your pets. Our best advice for attempting a DIY removal is no matter the method you choose, couple it with the cleaning tips further below.
- Reusable Rat Traps: Instead of using poison which kills rats slowly, and can harm pets or kids if accidentally ingested, spring for metal and reusable wood rat traps that you can bait with peanut butter or cheese.
- Sticky Traps: For smaller insects that fly or crawl, instead of reaching for an insecticide, place a sticky board where you find them moving most often. This might be around doors, windows, or countertops they walk on.
- Boric Acid: You can mix this naturally occurring crystal in water to create a solvent that can help remove insects, spiders, and mites (including termites) from your home. It is the main ingredient in many commercially available solutions and is surprisingly low in toxicity. You should still be careful of using boric acid for more than a few days or in large amounts indoors.
While some pest and insect infestations are out of our control, the best deterrent is to keep our homes as clean as possible. Removing available sources of food is one of the best deterrents. Insects and rodents won’t move into an environment where they can’t find food or water.
Make sure to take care of the following tasks around your home regularly:
- Vacuum or sweep up pet hair, dust, and lint. Check where it tends to accumulate most, like under furniture and baseboards.
- Keep kitchen and dining areas clear of crumbs and open food. Scrub down with soapy water after every meal.
- Store food in sealed airtight containers.
As you clean, keep an eye out for holes in exterior walls or drafts around windows and doors. Sealing up any potential entry points is in itself a great deterrent. Your wallet will also thank you as it reduces the energy needed to heat or cool the space.
Keeping your home clean and well-sealed is the core concept of integrated pest management (IPM). A philosophy many professional services use to treat pest problems.
Eco-Friendly Professional Pest Control
If you can’t get the upper hand against the pest invasion on your own, it may be time to turn to a professional for help before the situation becomes too dire. Remember, pests are more than just an annoyance that gives you creepy crawlies. They can damage homes and belongings or carry allergens and diseases that make us sick.
Many professional services have already switched to a greener, more environmentally friendly approach to pest management. Look for a service that takes a holistic approach via IPM, targeted treatments, and insecticides without harmful chemicals.
Since 1972 Rid-A-Bug Exterminating has offered fast, dependable, and effective pest management services to the Carolinas and Virginia. While we get results, we also take keeping the environment healthy in and around your home seriously. We offer LEED Certified Treatments that focus on IPM and non-chemical solutions to treat the problem.
With weekend and evening services available, we will work to get you seen as quickly as possible to minimize damage to your home or health. If you are facing a pest infestation you can’t seem to get under control, call us at 1-800-682-5901, or fill out our online contact form.