Chemical pest control solutions can end up being more of a hassle than a help in the end. Insecticide, bug repellents, and rodent poison are usually hazardous to the health of humans and pets. Some are so dangerous you don’t even have to get very close to be in trouble since just breathing the air around these products is enough to make you ill. Storing them is an issue for the same reason since they need to be kept securely away from children, pets, and water sources.
Rejecting the dangers of chemical pest products does not mean you have to live a life overrun by annoying, invading creatures. There are countless natural methods for keeping away the common pests that damage your garden or bother you in your house, many of which you can make yourself. Organic does not always equal harmless, but by concocting these pest control solutions yourself you can control which ingredients are used as well as its overall potency.
Organic Pesticides for Your Garden
Neem oil is one of the top organic treatments for home gardens, according to Mother Earth News. When mixed and applied properly, neem can be used to treat most vegetables, flowers, and trees; it wards off or kills a variety of garden pests like aphids, mites, and beetles. You might not find neem oil kicking around your house, but you can easily find it at many home and garden suppliers.
Dawn dish soap and water is one of the most basic pesticides you can mix up at home. The soap is technically toxic, but mildly so, and easily degrades with water, sun, and air. Most friendly insects, like butterflies and bees, are not deterred by dish soap insecticide– this means you can get rid of pests without upsetting the beneficial part of your garden’s ecosystem.
If you want to add a little kick to your pesticide mixture and make your plants even less appealing to pests, make a hot pepper “tea” and add it to your water and dish soap. By steeping and straining hot pepper flakes, you extract the oil that causes their heat. Hot pepper water alone may be used in various concentration to spot-treat vegetables, flowers, and houseplants infested with bugs.
Spiders, Ants, and Other Household Pests
The last thing you want in your home is a toxic chemical used to get rid of pests. Everyone from you to the housecat is at risk if you start laying down chemical pesticides indoors. Here are a few organic, homemade alternatives for taking care of a few common household pests.
Spiders are a nuisance and potentially a hazard when they bite. Organic spider repellents can be made from anything that smells potent. Spiders use their feet to pick up scents and avoid anything too fragrant. You can try making homemade organic pest control solutions for spiders with lemon oil or tobacco. Citronella, either in the form of a candle burning or as oil mixed into a spray, is another effective, natural way to keep spiders away from your home.
When the ants come marching in, turn them right back around with a natural ant repellent made with cinnamon, baking soda, or coffee grounds. You can make an ant trap that will kill them dead with borax powder, sugar, and water. Mix the ingredients in proper proportions, dab a little under a container lid, and prop up the lid ever so slightly. The ants will go in and carry out the certain death as food back to their nest, and you can just wipe up the nontoxic contents under the lid when you’re done.
Stink bugs are a growing problem in the US and while they are not harmful they can be very annoying. To ward off stink bugs naturally, try sprinkling the natural mineral diatomaceous earth where stink bugs congregate. This will dry out the stink bugs, killing them off. If you simply want to repel these pesky insects, make a spray using either garlic or mint. Stink bugs don’t like the odor of either plant, and chances are you have enough of one or the other on hand to make a stink bug spray right away if needed.
Repelling Rodents Naturally
Rat and mouse poisons are among the most toxic pest control substances. They can cause internal bleeding in humans just as easily as they do in rodents; they last so long in the environment they can transfer from the pests who eat them to birds of prey who eat the pests. By avoiding chemical rodent products you are preserving the health of your family and the environment at large.
Finding homemade organic pest control for rodents is a bit trickier than cooking up solutions for bugs in your garden and house. It might be best to think of “organic” solutions in terms of all you can do to get rid of mice, rats, squirrels, etc. that does not involve harmful chemicals. Do whatever you can to make your environment less appealing to animals: seal up food sources like grains and dogfood, keep crates and boxes off the floor so they aren’t tempted to nest, and install an ultrasonic device designed to scare off pests without bothering people.
You can make PETA’s rat and mouse repellent out of salad oil, garlic, horseradish, and cayenne pepper. It is supposed to steep for four days before you strain it and spray the areas you are trying to rat-proof. A natural rodent repellent, along with taking environmental measures like sealing up your house and cutting off foods sources, might be your best bet for dealing with rodents naturally.
This just scratches the surface of your homemade organic pest control options. Even if you haven’t found the natural answer to your pest issues here, know that a little research should yield a homemade, organic alternative to any commercial chemical pest control product you may have been considering. And with a little luck, you may have the ingredients on hand and can start tackling your pest problem with a homemade remedy right away.