While ants, insects, termites or moths are unwelcome guests, high-strength industrial poisons aren’t always the best solution – particularly if you have young children or pets in your house. This handy guide gives you a quick introduction to organic pest control, offering a wide range of pest control tips.
Home pest control: prevention
There are several simple preventive measures that can stop most problems before they really begin:
- Removing insects’ or other pests’ food supply and breeding sites is one of the most effective steps in natural pest control.
- Ensuring spilled food and crumbs are quickly removed, and surfaces are wiped using a damp cloth and a household spray such as Cif Power and Shine. Make sure to always test any new product or method before use and read the instructions carefully.
- Cleaning rubbish bins that contain food or other biodegradable items and eliminating damp conditions around the house are also key preventative steps.
Insect control: no entry
Preventing pests from entering your house is another key element of home pest control:
- Repair any broken doors or cracked window panes and plug any openings with cement or a specially-adapted filler. Check floorboards are in reasonable condition – any rotting wood should be replaced, as it provides an ideal nest-space for termites.
- Use window screens and keep them well maintained.
- Don’t leave outside lights on overnight as they collect insects, which often find their way into the house when the door is opened.
Natural pest control: no nasty pesticides
DIY pest control is often thought of as a less effective alternative to powerful pesticides – but this isn’t necessarily the case. Flypaper, for example, is one of the most effective methods of keeping flies at bay – and it doesn’t use any chemical pesticides. To make your own flypaper, mix ¼ cup of corn syrup with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Soak Kraft paper of thin cardboard in the sticky solution, allow to dry, then hang around the house. You can also use mousetraps, flytraps, jar traps and other nontoxic bait to eliminate unwanted pests.
Natural pest control can involve pesticides – but natural pesticides made from natural products! Combine 1 head of garlic, 1 tablespoon of dish soap, 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 2 cups of water into a puree, allow to sit overnight, strain the excess then pour into a spray bottle for a simple pesticide that can be used for insect control!
Organic pest control: choose your poison
Some insects can be eliminated using simple household products. Ants, for example, leave a trail to their food. These trails can be eradicated using vinegar mixed with water and peppermint oil. If you do find ants nests in your house, sprinkle them with red pepper/cayenne/paprika, powdered cinnamon, talcum powder or ground coffee – this will deter the ants, but wouldn’t seriously harm any curious children or pets.
Cockroaches can be caught using glue boards. To make your own, follow the instructions for fly paper above, but use thicker cardboard, and place in areas where cockroaches are often found, such as moist, dark, corners. To repel cockroaches, mix 2 tablespoons of tabasco with 250ml of water, pour into a spray bottle and spray on surfaces which cockroaches might inhabit.
This short guide can help you keep your house pest-free without resorting to powerful pesticides. Natural pest control is a viable and effective alternative to chemical sprays and treatments available in shops – and will often work out cheaper too!