The home is a place of comfort, a place of safety. In a home filled with children, it revolves around them and when you rearrange the house, you tend to rearrange it with them in mind. “Is this lamppost good in this corner or will the kids knock it down?” “Are they safe in the kitchen where sharp objects surround us?” When it comes to children, their safety around your home is paramount.
So when pests start appearing in your property, the last thing you want to be dealing with are poisonous spiders, mosquitoes filled with disease, termites getting into their clothes or pets covered with fleas. When considering pest control in your home, whether it be done yourself or by professionals, there may be some hesitations in pursuing a solution that is safe for kids. Here are some child-friendly pest control recommendations.
How to Handle Chemicals
If you have younger children, especially toddlers, chemicals should be carefully locked, away from their reach. Chemicals used to clean messy spills on the carpet, brushing the toilet, detergent in the laundry room, and insecticides to keep the annoying bugs out of your home are all chemicals that should be out of reach of the kids. Accidentally consuming chemicals is a real concern and naturally when applying pesticides in the home, you don’t want it to cause potential harm to your family.
Insecticides are a type of pesticide that is used to specifically target and kill insects. Some insecticides that you may be familiar with are aerosols like wasp and hornet killers and ant killers, commonly placed in or around the kitchen. Insecticides designed for control against household bugs are typically formulated at low concentration levels, meaning after spraying a particular area, you can feel comfortable with your kids playing near that area.
Family Friendly Alternatives to Insecticide
If you want to personally take care of the pests invading your home or to prevent it from happening, then follow these steps that a pest control company in Dallas recommends to protect your family from tiny uninvited guests.
Eliminate Any Source of Food, Water, and Shelter
Kids can make a mess when eating, leaving behinds crumbs and spills. These things naturally attract pests. The less obvious attractants you may not have considered are the occasional dirty dishes, sticky counters, and even pet food. Standing water around the house also attracts pests, such as plastic covers, buckets, trash cans, fountains, and gutters. Remove things that may hide pests like piles of building materials, rotting logs, leaves in the gutters and other junk.
Eliminate Entry Points
The most common entry points are doors and windows that have cracks or other kinds of small openings. Check pet doors, baseboards, electrical outlets, foundations and crawl spaces. By sealing these entry points, you can help prevent insects from entering your home in the first place, leaving them to roam outside.
Another great way to get rid of pests and keep the home safe for kids are traps like fly paper, sticky glue, light traps and bait traps. Traps typically use a combination of food, visual lures, chemical attractants and pheromones as bait and are usually created to ensure pets and kids are unable to interact with the baits/traps. Using a chemical or pheromone bait, especially for ants, will usually only target one species, so be sure to find out which species of pest you are dealing with.
Good Bugs vs Bad Bugs
Not all bugs are pests! Luckily for you there are beneficial garden bugs. Good insects control the populations of bad insects that destroy gardens and infest your home. Some examples of good insects are the praying mantis, ladybugs, green lacewings, bumblebees, ground beetles, and even some spiders. These insects can prevent an overflow of pests like aphids, whiteflies, slugs, caterpillars, and grasshoppers, among others.
Birds can be a great pet and kid friendly way to eliminate insects around your home. Get a feeder and a birdbath to gather birds into your property. As they roam around, they will eat bugs, including mosquitoes, near your home. If you have a big enough yard, house some backyard chickens to eat the pests for you. They make great pets for the children and make free eggs for you and yours kids to collect together.
If you have a green thumb, then add some of these beautiful pest repelling plants to your garden. Plants can be used to repel many types of insects such as mosquitoes, aphids and more. Here is a list of some helpful insect-repelling plants that you can grow with your little ones.
- Petunias- repels squash bugs, beetles and aphids.
- Basil- repels with oil in basil that kills mosquito eggs.
- Marigolds- repels mosquitoes and aphids.
- Lemongrass– repels mosquitoes and other biting insects.
- Lavender- repels flies, moths and mosquitoes.
- Rosemary- repels mosquitoes and prevents infestations.
- Mint- repels mosquitoes, ants, flies, fleas and moths.
- Catnip- repels ants, aphids, squash bugs, weevils, the Colorado potato beetle, flea beetles, cabbage loopers, and cockroaches.
- Chrysanthemums- repels mosquitoes, roaches, beetles, ticks and silverfish.
- Alliums- repels slugs, flies and worms.