Pests are a huge problem for every homeowner. They can invade your landscaping and ruin your gardens, or invade your home and make it difficult or even dangerous to live in. Most commercially available pest control options are full of terrible chemicals that are bad for the environment and your health. Luckily, there are a few eco-friendly alternatives.
Catch and Release
Catch and release is the most humane and eco-friendly way of handling pests in both your home and garden. Little is needed for this method except for a pest, a method of collecting it, and some bait. Our local pest expert from Pro Pest Control Brisbane says it’s important to release them if possible and provided these extra tips.
- For large pests, like squirrels and rats, use a spring-loaded cage to catch them in the act.
- Medium pests, like mice, can be caught with traps that look like small houses.
- Much smaller critters, like fruit flies, can easily be caught by placing some ripe fruit, a little bit of water, and some vinegar in a bowl and cover it with cling wrap. Poke holes in the cling wrap with a toothpick so they can get in but can’t get out. Then take the bowl outside and remove the wrap.
Boric acid is completely natural, but it is toxic to kids and pets. As long as it is placed high away from access to pets and kids, it is a lifesaver for pest control. Place boric acid on the tops of your kitchen cabinets and appliances. When properly applied, the boric acid dust is barely visible. If it is over applied, insects will detect it and avoid the deposit. Roaches and ants will carry it back to their nests and kill the entire squad. Note: Make sure that you are using boric acid and not borax and take great care in its use due to the toxicity to pets and children.
Catnip for Roaches
Most roach treatment is not a preventative and does not repel roaches. Instead, they’re designed to kill them on sight. It’s safe to say that most people would prefer to have no roaches at all as opposed to having to kill the roaches already in their house. Luckily, researchers have found that catnip repels roaches. A chemical in the catnip plant called nepetalactone is a natural roach repellent. As a bonus, if you have cats they will be very happy.
Heat Treating Bed Bugs
The natural enemy of the bed bug is heat. Luckily heat treating bed bugs is also natural. Unlike the use of insecticides, heat treatment involves no chemicals. Instead, the temperature of the house is raised to kill off all of the pesky critters in the home.
Bedbugs begin to die off at a temperature of 118 degrees and are immediately killed at 122 degrees. In the heat treatment, the temperature of the house is raised to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and held to that heat for two hours. Any heat sensitive items (and pets of course) should be removed during treatment.
Birds are the natural enemies of many insects and critters. They’re very successful predators, especially during nesting season when they have hungry mouths to feed, mouths that crave bugs. Attracting birds to your yard is probably the most natural way you can deal with problem bugs. Birds help control the population of many different insects including moths, beetles, ants, aphids, and earwigs. Birds need food, water, and a place to nest. So if you have all those things in your yard already, you probably see a lot of birds. If you don’t have those things available, you might want to add them to your landscaping. You can do this by:
- Adding a bird bath and keeping it filled.
- Hanging a variety of bird feeds all around your property.
- Investing in a lot of shrubberies, especially shrubbery that contains a lot of twigs.
Soap and Water
Many insects are susceptible to a combination of your everyday dish soap and water. Bugs breathe through their exoskeletons. The soap and water solution essentially suffocate them. A spray bottle with a soap and water solution is an effective bug killer. Additionally, you can design DIY soap and water traps for particular pests that you are having issues with by utilizing the things that attract them. For example, a bowl of soap and water mixture with a smaller bowl of red-wine vinegar in the center will attract and kill fruit flies. A 2-liter bottle with the top cut off and inverted to create a funnel with a soapy water mixture and a light to attract bugs will work beautifully for any bugs that are attracted to light, particularly those pesky stink bugs.
Solar powered pest repellers are a new invention. They use the power of the sun to operate and nature’s most effective repellent, a shaking ground. Placing a solar-powered repellant into the ground around your house will prevent both large animals and smaller ones from bothering you. The repellent works by sending vibrations through the ground, making it shake and scaring away the pests.