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Organic Pest Control for Homes & Gardens – Natural Non-Toxic Solutions

You can limit the amount of pesticides you and your family are exposed to by using organic pest control. The use of pesticides and chemicals to control ants or roaches to the use of chemically controlled lawns all affect us as we walk through these substances and bring them into our living environment. Reduce your exposure by implementing organic pest control in and around your home.

Begin with your lawn

  1. Do a soil test about every three to five years and find out what your lawn needs to keep it healthy. Does it need a fertilizer?
  2. If you find your lawn needs a boost, use an organic fertilizer produced from plant or animal materials. The use of these allows your grass to take in nutrients slowly as the excess nutrients bind to the soil instead of running into the sewer systems, rivers, and lakes.
  3. Lawns should be watered deeply early in the morning so it evaporates and does not encourage the growth of fungus. Experts say a lawn should receive one inch of water a week.
  4. Treat weeds naturally and without chemicals. Corn meal gluten used in the early spring will benefit your lawn and help it to grow strong.
  5. Controlling pests

Block a pest’s access to food, water and shelter will mean you will have fewer pests in your home and need less insecticides.

  • Caulk and seal cracks and holes on the outside of your house. Door sweeps and avoid leaving your doors open will reduce the entry of pests. Check all windows and repair any tears.
  • Do not let food or water sitting around. Clean your food preparation areas well. Do not let crumbs lay on cupboards or floors by sweeping or vacuuming daily. Keep all food in sealed containers and not in boxed or plastic bags. Make sure all containers are air-tight and remove all standing water containers.
  • Do not let clutter lay around. A messy room will give pests a place to take shelter and hide. Seal all holes in the walls including ones for plumbing and electrical cords. Check your baseboards and seal any that have gaps between them and the wall. Many pests are small and these gaps provide the perfect spot for them to hide or set up home.

If after following all these preventive measures you still find there are unwanted pests in your home; use organic pest control rather than chemical ones.

Organic pest control

Insects seem to be a part of every household despite our efforts to maintain an environment uninviting to them. There are a number of pesticides sold for almost every common household pests, but they contain potentially harmful chemical compounds that may be more harmful to you and the environment than to the pests. There are alternatives to use that are non-toxic ways to control insect pests:

Organic Ant Control

The first line of defense against the common house ant is not to let attractive food sources available to them. Keep your counters free of sticky substances and crumbs. If they still insist on sharing your home, fight them off with:

  • A spray bottle filled with soapy water. Spraying the ants with soapy water will eliminate them.
  • Ants do not like cucumbers, especially bitter ones. Set out a few cucumber peelings where you know ants come into the house to keep them away.
  • Ants do not like mint or cloves. Set a few bags of mint leaves or cloves where you see activity in order to deter them from wanting to be in your home.
  • Ants can be discouraged when their patterns are disrupted. By leaving a light on in the area you see them the most may disrupt them enough to leave.

Organic Mosquito Control

  • Mosquitos are most active in the early morning and again in the early evening. Make sure all doors and windows are closed, especially during these times to reduce any that may be trying to gain access to the inside of your home.
  • Standing water attracts mosquitos more than warm blood because they lay their eggs in water and require it for breeding. Do not leave containers siting around for any length of time where the water will become stagnant. If you have bird baths, pet dishes of water or wading pools, change the water often to keep fresh.
  • Herbal Armor is a nontoxic DEET- free repellent recommended by National Geographic and reported by campers to be very effective against mosquitos. Citronella beeswax in candles placed low to the ground around decks and areas with no breeze will work well in chasing mosquitos away from you.

A natural bug repellent that has shown great results is one part garlic juice mixed with five parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well and lightly spray on exposed body parts for a good repellent that will protect you for up to five to six hours. If you do not want to wear the spray; you can dip cotton balls in the mixture and hang around the area you are in outside. You can also purchase a commercially garlic based, all natural mosquito repellent that will keep mosquitoes away for up to four weeks.

  1. If you have a bar-b-que throw some sage or rosemary on the coals to keep mosquitoes away.
  2. If all your efforts to rid your area of mosquitoes fail and you are bit; Ditch the Itch is a non-toxic cream to take the itch out of your bites.

Organic Fly Control

  • Mint is great fly repellent. Small bags of crushed mint leaves will discourage flies from invading your area.
  • Other natural ingredients are; bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus which will discourage flies from bothering you. Wrapped one or more these in cheesecloth and hang in areas where the flies are being a nuisance.
  • Make your own flypaper. Mix one quarter cup syrup; one tablespoon granulated sugar and one tablespoon brown sugar in a bowl. Using strips of kraft paper spread this mixture on the paper and let dry overnight. Hang the next day where flies are bothering you with a string or thread.
  • There are pheromone-based outdoor fly traps that are safe and non-toxic.
  • If you have pet food or other containers of food that sit in the open; place a small bowl of sweet basil near them to keep flies away.

Other Home Pest Control

  • Moths : can be chased away with cedar chips in a cheesecloth or cedar oil in a cloth. The cedar should be from the juniper which has the most aromas. Sachets can also be made from; bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, lavender or pepper corns to repel the moth.
  • Stink Bugs: can be found indoors and usually controllable with a vacuum. Diatomaceous earth can be applied to attics where they like to migrate. There are also non-toxic stink bug traps on the market.

Insects and pests are a part of life but toxic pesticides don’t have to be. Protect your family from these annoying and possibly disease carrying pests without further endangering them with toxic poisons. Use these tips to keep your family safe.

 

Organic Garden Pest Control – Natural. Biological. Non-Toxic Tips.

Using pesticides on your garden kills beneficial soil microbes and creates an unhealthy environment. Human contact to pesticides has been linked to fertility issues, childhood cancer and Alzheimer’s as even “safe usage” still puts the chemicals into your blood stream. Pesticides cause a lot of damage to you and to your garden; that is why you need to know how to use organic garden pest control.

Using a natural and organic pest control is less expensive and much more beneficial to your garden. It is safer for you, your family, your garden, natural wildlife and the environment. The best way to prevent pest damage to your garden is to start with preventing the damaging insects from getting into it.

Organic Pest Prevention

Discourage those pests that will come into your garden and cause damage to your crops.

  1. Inspect your crops and pull out any that appear weak. If they are not already infected, they will be targets for predators. Pull them out and dispose of at a distance away from your garden.
  2. If you’ve found a plant infested with pests, clean off any tools you’ve used to remove the plant from your garden. This will prevent the pests from traveling to another part of the garden on your tool.
  3. Water your garden in the morning so that it will be dry for most of the day. When your garden is wet it encourages insects and fungal growth. There is a drip irrigation that works well in watering the roots of the plants while keeping the foliage dry. This makes the plants less inviting to a lot of pest.
  4. Do not let debris or weeds collect in the area of your garden. These are breeding places for insects.
  5. There are several types of smells that you can apply to your garden to keep pests away. They do not like the smell of garlic, rhubarb and substances that have a strong odor. There are also many plants that give off natural scents to scare them away; basil, lavender, lemongrass, mint and rosemary.

Beneficial Insects for Natural Pest Control

A lot of gardeners get so focused on getting rid of pests in their garden they forget there are some that are actually beneficial to their plants. Some of those are:

Ichneumon Wasps, Chalcids, and Brachonids

These insects will eat the leaf destroying caterpillars. You can actually attract them to your garden with carrots, parsley, caraway, and celery. These are easy plants to grow. When you harvest them, leave some in the garden to reach their flowering stage as it is the flower that will attract these beneficial insects.

Hoover Flies

These are great consumers of the aphids and other pests. They like flowers such as; black-eyed susan’s, and asters.

Lacewings

These are another great insect to help reduce your aphids. They too are attracted to flowers like goldenrod, black eyed susan’s and asters.

Ladybugs

This common bug consumes aphids, mites, whiteflies and scale. The ladybug will be attracted to your garden with daisies.

Nematodes

Nematode eggs are so tiny you’d need a microscope to see them. They are available in some garden centers or through the mail and come a million at a time on a sponge. You mix them with water and apply to soil. If some land on the leaves, wash them off. They will hatch and go to work against cutworms, beetles and root weevil larvae.

Homemade Remedies to Conrol Pests Organically

It is less expensive to make homemade remedies for controlling pests in your garden. Many have had successful garden control using sprays made from non-toxic ingredients normally found in your home every day.

DIY Remedies to Get Rid of Soft-Bodied Insects

Soft bodied insects are your; mites, aphids, and mealybugs. Take a tablespoon of canola oil and few drops of ivory soap and mix together in a quart of water. Shake well to mix and pour into a sprayer. Apply to plants from the top working down, making sure to get the underside of the leaves.

Insects and Fungal Disease

Take a tablespoon of cooking oil, add two tablespoons of baking soda a just a few drops of Ivory soap. Mix together and pour into sprayer. Apply to plants from the top working down, making sure to get under the leaves.

Grub Control Home Remedies

You can use a natural remedy for getting rid of slugs called, “milky spore“. It is sold as a granule and can be sprinkled on your lawn or garden to kill grubs. This will only affect the grub and not harm any beneficial organisms. The product will sit inactive waiting for grubs. It is said just one treatment will last up to 40 years.

Powdery Mildew Home Remedies

Mix together equal parts of milk and water to cover your infected plants. Spray directly onto plants covering them from top to bottom and under the leaves. Applying three treatments a week should keep the disease controlled.

DIY Remedies for Mites and other Insects

Take two tablespoons of hot pepper sauce with just a few drops of Ivory soap and mix with a quart of water. Let the mixture sit overnight, and then pour into a sprayer. Apply to plants as directed in above treatments. Give the mixture a few shakes to keep mixed while applying.

Earwigs, Slugs, and other Soft-Bodied Insect Home Remedies

There is a non-chemical product called diatomaceous earth or DE, that you can purchase in Home and Garden stores and over the internet to sprinkle around the edges of your garden. This is made of tiny particles which are very sharp and will only harm small exoskeletons of insects, and slugs and snails. It is a mechanical killer, not a chemical one.

If you do not want to try and attract other insects or spend the time mixing up different concoctions; there is still another route you can try in organic pest control. There are various traps you can set or barriers you can put up to control pests.

Yellow Flypaper DIY Remedies

For controlling aphids and whiteflies the old-fashioned fly-paper can be hung out in your garden. If you don’t have any of that, you can also use any board or heavy paper coated with a sticky substance the flies cannot get out of once they land on it.

Barrier Paper – DIY

Take the waxed cardboard from milk cartons and cut into two-inch squares, slitting one side into the center. Make another slit crossway at the end of the center slit. Open the slit and place seedling in the center. The cabbage moth will then not be able to lay their eggs at the base of the plant. You can leave this protection on the plant; it will push it apart as it grows.

Row Covers

Row covers are made of lightweight opaque material that you drape over the garden. Water and sunlight can get through, but birds and insects are kept out. The plants will push it up as they grow.

The next time you go to look at your garden; don’t get discouraged if you see insects have been nibbling on your plants. These are a lot of solutions for you to choose from to control them while at the same time not endangering your family or the environment.

Organic Indoor Pest Control – Best Natural Products & Tips

Indoor pests are very annoying, even if the pests themselves are not harmful. No one needs little bugs or rodents running around a pantry or closet, and certainly no one needs to have harsh pesticide sprays stinking up rooms or making their homes temporarily uninhabitable. Using organic indoor pest control methods helps eliminate those problems, but you have to know how to use the methods correctly, and what exactly the methods will do.

Are these methods all I need?

These pest control methods need to be used along with outdoor control and vigilance. For example, an ant invasion inside requires finding and destroying the nest outside. Getting rid of pantry moths means constantly sealing up food containers in the home and also being very careful to isolate new bags and boxes of grains that you bring in.

What are these methods?

Organic indoor pest control involves sprays, baits, and other methods, tailored to the particular pest for the most part. Occasionally you get a method that applies to most or all pests, such as exclusion.

Exclusion can be difficult to achieve sometimes. If you see a crack through which ants are coming in, and you seal the crack, you still might find ants coming in through a different crack later on unless you eliminate the outside source from which the ants are coming. It’s very hard to totally exclude termites from ever getting into your home, which is why in this case you need to have a pest control company helping to inspect and protect the property.

Sometimes exclusion is achieved through quarantines. Take the aforementioned pantry moths. Even if your home has never had them before and is totally clean, you can always bring some in when you bring home another box of rice, for example. Wrapping up the box or transferring the rice to an airtight container keeps it isolated, so any new moths will not move into your kitchen.

Other methods include using mint-oil-based sprays to control ants and roaches, placing lines of chalk (note: regular chalkboard-type chalk, not the neurotoxin you find under the counter at some markets) or cinnamon to limit the reach of a pest, filling in cracks and stuffing steel wool into openings like window weep holes, and mixing boric acid with jam or honey.

How long do these take to work?

This depends on the method and the pest you are dealing with. A boric acid bait can take about a week to start having a visible effect. Exclusion has a mostly immediate effect if you take care of the actual source of the infestation as well. Mint sprays work within a few minutes, and chalk and cinnamon are immediate but have to be refreshed (i.e., redone) every couple of weeks.

A good rule of thumb is to give methods a few days to a week to start reducing numbers visibly. If the problem gets worse or stays the same, switching out the method for another tactic is a good idea.

Are these methods food-safe, kid-safe, and pet-safe?

Many are, but some are decidedly not. Even though they may be organic or “natural,” you still have to take precautions when using them around kids, pets, or food. For example, a mint oil spray for ants, while generally safe, really isn’t something you want to spray near your pet’s eyes or near your dinner plate. Chalk, if you’re not careful and you place it near a fan, can spread over the room and cause respiratory problems (just like chalk dust in a classroom can). Boric acid, often used in homemade ant baits, is decidedly not kid, pet, or food-safe even though it’s less of a problem than what you’d find in many pesticide sprays. But sprinkling cinnamon in a line to contain invading ants is very safe as long as you don’t let it blow all over the place — it’s food, but it is a powder and can get in people’s eyes if you’re not careful.

Do these have to be homemade?

No, there are several organic, natural, or non-toxic indoor pest control methods that are commercially available. Pheromone traps are one such example. If you have moths or similar pests, you can get these traps that have pheromones, or hormones that attract the pests, embedded in a small section of the trap. The section is surrounded by super-sticky adhesive that grabs the pests when they try to crawl toward the pheromone section.

Mint-oil sprays and pre-packaged baits are also available commercially, as are humane traps for rodents. Pest companies know that customers want these less-dangerous methods and have adjusted their manufacturing to accommodate this. However, many methods can be homemade. One of the simplest, for example, is placing a mint tea bag near areas where ants have been coming in. Depending on the species of ant, the mint tea can be a handy repellent.

Organic Pest Control Tips for Home & Garden – Safe & Natural Methods

No one wants termites eating away at the wooden structures in their house. They can destroy large portions of your house, particularly in areas like the basement where wooden structures are essential for holding your house in place. Yet a lot of homeowners are not fond of the extermination process, either. Termite control involves spraying chemicals into the soil around a house, treating the area the termites are eating, and perhaps even a whole house fumigation. A complete termite treatment means a lot of potentially hazardous chemicals are being pumped into and around your house.

Organic termite control is an option somewhere between letting the termites digest your house to pieces and hiring an exterminator to perform a full, chemical treatment. “Organic” officially means derived from natural sources. Many people think of organic pesticides as treatments that are safe to use around people and pets or products that naturally degrade back into the environment. Organic termite control, by this definition, would be a pesticidal treatment taken from natural sources that is environmentally friendly as it dissipates.

Organic Termite Control Products

There are very few truly organic termiticides on the market. Some products feature borates as their primary ingredients. Borates are supposed to ward off insects, including termites, in the same way synthetic insecticides do. The problem with borates is they may not stay in the soil as long as the chemical compounds used by exterminators to treat the soil around your house. They are often not as potent as synthetic options.

Neem oil and orange oil are used as deterrents for termites. Both are natural insecticides useful for keeping pests out of the garden and may work for a small termite infestation or one that is just beginning. Neem or orange oil are probably not strong enough to handle a full infestation.

According to Orkin, the best “green” solution to a termite problem may be bait. Termites take the bait, usually cardboard or paper loaded with a mild poison, back to their colony. The other termites eat the bait as food and then die. This is a slower means of extermination than spray but may help you avoid spraying your house or yard at all. Another option is nematodes, a small organism that infects and kills termites. Nematodes can be applied to the opening of a colony with water.

Mother Earth News, which advocates natural prevention methods like keeping wooden house structures out of the soil, looks into the benefits of permethrin over other termite-killing insecticides. It is milder than other chemicals used to defeat a termite colony but seems to work just as well. Permethrin, however, is not organic since it is made from synthetic materials. It may be the next best things for homeowners who want a natural solution since it is safe enough to wash away with water in the case of spills.

The Most Organic Termite Control is Prevention

If you want a truly organic termite control treatment, the best thing you can do is prevent a termite infestation before is begins or deters. This might be difficult in areas with high levels of termite problems, like the southern US, but prevention may at least control a termite issue enough that a product like neem oil is then sufficient to deter the termites.

Some woods are more resistant to termites than others, like some types of walnut and cypress. Using these woods in the construction of your home may deter termites. The very way your house is built can either attract or repel termites; above ground foundation barriers and securing all wood in concrete so it does not touch soil are very helpful to keeping termites at bay. Termites can make the most of even the smallest spaces to jump from the soil to the wood of your house, so proper sealing is essential if you want to avoid an infestation.

When organic or natural solutions are just as or even more effective than chemical pest control solutions, the choice to go organic is rather obvious. In the case of termites, considering the feedback on organic pest control, you need to carefully consider the risks of using a less than effective means of extermination. A severe enough infestation can leave your home significantly damaged– in the interest of protecting your investment, you might need to guard your home with chemicals that are toxic enough to kill of termite though not harmful to people and animals.

The best, natural step you can take toward protecting your house from termites is implementing the prevention methods mentioned above. This can save you a ton of time and money hiring an exterminator and addressing any damage caused by the termites. It may even reduce the severity of an infestation to the point where organic termite control products are sufficient for killing off these stubborn pests.

Apple Tree Organic Pest Control

Sweet and sometimes with a bit of tart flavor, apples seem to be the fruit of choice all over the world to snack on and make satisfyingly delicious apple dishes from sauces to pies. For this reasons, gardeners and farmers grow apple trees so people like you and I can go apple picking each year for some fresh crisp apples that come in all different varieties.

Sadly, though, most apple orchards use unnatural chemicals and pesticides to keep their apples growing to perfection and the pest away such as insects and rodents. Instead, organic methods should be used to help keep an apple orchard thriving with grow fruits. This is because chemicals and pesticides contain ingredients in them that are harmful to human health that can actually cause illness ranging from inflammatory diseases to cancer.

What are the different apple varieties?

  • Alice
  • Ananasrenette
  • Aroma
  • Discovery
  • Bramley
  • Arkansas Blacks
  • Fuji
  • Golden Delicious
  • Goldrenette
  • Gala
  • Jonagold
  • McIntosh
  • Granny Smith
  • Yellow Transparent
  • Pacific Rose
  • Lobo
  • Sampion
  • Pink Lady
  • Summered
  • Belle De Boskoop
  • Red Delicious
  • Cox Pomona

What types of chemical pesticides should not be used in orchards?

Some of the types of chemical pesticides that should not be used on orchard fruits such as apples when trying to keep pest away are organophosphate insecticides. These pesticides cause high health risks from children and adults since they can cause cancer, inflammatory diseases, autoimmune disorders and digestive issues. These pesticides are used mainly in apple orchards to keep coddling moths under control since they are the main reason why fruits and trees are destroyed in orchards. However, other useful methods work just as well as the pesticides, but are a lot safer.

What natural methods are useful for keeping coddling moths away in orchards?

There are many natural methods useful for not only keeping coddling moths away, but also diseases too. Some of those organic methods are:

  • Planting herbs throughout the orchard along with the apple trees such as garlic, mints, queen lace, yarrow, marigolds, tansy plants, mustard plants, chives, coriander plants and henbit herbs can keep pest away too.
  • Stop cultivating the soil around the apple trees since it disrupts the root system, shocks the trees and prevents them from receiving the nutrients necessary to make juicy crisp apples. In addition, it also increases the fruit trees risk for diseases.
  • Never prune the apple trees in the winter since this opens up wounds that can make an entryway for diseases to get into it. It is better too prune the fruit trees in the summer, but only when necessary to remove dead branches and limbs.
  • Spray a combination of liquid manure mixed with nettles, compost, comfrey and seaweed to help condition the soil and keep pest and disease infestations away naturally.
  • Mulching around each tree in your orchard yearly in spring and autumn is an outstanding way to add nutrients back into the ground for the trees to eat up to produce the fruit necessary for apple picking season. Some of the best mulching ingredients to use are seaweed, wool, pea hay and straw.
  • Sprinkling kaolin clay around the orchard all over the trees and apples is a perfectly safe method for ridding insect infestations away. The clay powder sticks to the insects and kills them off, but does not cause illness to humans. In fact, kaolin clay contains minerals and nutrients that are nourishing too humans and can be washed off apples with ease without effecting the taste and texture of the apples.

An Organic Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Using natural methods as the ones you have just learned about here will not only help keep your fruit trees and apples growing successfully without being bothered by pest and disease, but they will also keep the fruit’s the trees produce healthy to eat for your apple loving pickers. After all, an apple a day is supposed to keep the doctor away, but only if there organic and in their purest form containing all the nutrients necessary for maintaining the body’s health.