If you live in the city, or the country, or anywhere, really, chances are that you’ve been at the receiving end of an unfortunate, highly annoying, and hopefully not too hazardous to your health, common household pest infestation; that’s why they’re called common after all. The premise of this article is simple: we’re going to show you a number of common household pests and some natural, pesticide-free, chemical-free organic items that you can use to repel or eliminate them. Let’s get started.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You can never really get rid of ants; you just need to make sure you don’t leave out things that attract them. Keep your kitchen counter clean of sticky spots as well as food crumbs. They can smell sugar; keep it covered and seal the honey jar in a plastic bag (yes this is necessary). An uncommon tip: make sure you shut off your drippy faucets; while ants drown easily, these drops of water can also be used as a vital water source for their nests. Some simple ways to kill or repel them:
- Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of dishwashing liquid and water and keep it handy. Spray them upon sight.
- Put out slices of cucumber at the ants’ suspected entry points. Bitter cucumbers work the best; for some weird reason, ants are naturally repelled by cucumbers (perhaps their taste is simply too fresh?).
- Get a few bags of mint tea or dry crushed mint leaves for the same purpose as the cucumber; they are also a natural ant repellent.
- Make a boric acid trap: Mix two teaspoons of Borax with one liter of water and throw in one cup of sugar as well. Then, soak some cotton balls with this solution and place them in an empty container, covered, but with holes punched in the lid. Borax is a slow acting poison to insects, so the ants will bring the poison bait back to their colony where it will gradually make its way up the food chain to the queen. This process may take a few weeks, however. While boric acid is quite harmless to humans, appropriate caution should still be used.
- If you feel the source of your ant infestation is a colony somewhere in your yard, sprinkle diatomaceous earth (completely non-toxic, kills ants and other insects via dehydration and physical abrasion of the exoskeleton) over your yard.
The best prevention against roaches? A clean bathroom and kitchen. That said, if you already have a problem, try the following:
- Diatomaceous earth, mentioned above, is equally as effective against roaches. Roach death typically occurs within 48 hours after the insect’s physical contact with the silica substance. Do note that as diatomaceous earth kills insects via dehydration, affected (aka soon to be dead) roaches will be actively seeking water; therefore you may see an increase in visible roach numbers immediately after the treatment. This is perfectly normal and is to be expected.
- Use boric acid, which is probably even more effective against roaches due to the tendency of roaches to eat their dead, creating a force multiplier effect of the poison. In this case, it is better to spread the boric acid (which comes in powder form) in a thin layer in affected areas. Pro-tip: Roaches like high places, so sprinkle some boric acid on top of your cabinets as well. If both these natural methods doesn’t work, check out this article on getting rid of roaches fast as it recommends a roach bait that is hands down the best roach killer in the market.
While we do love our furry family friends, they do bring with them some problems, with fleas being one of them. Did you know that for each flea you find on your pet, there may be up to 30 fleas in the environment? Again the best preventions is regular washing of your pet’s bedding as well as bathing and combing it regularly. Anti-flea collars are also a good option. For removal, try the following:
- Create a citrus mixture (a natural flea deterrent) by adding a sliced lemon (with the skin) to some boiling water. Let the mixture sit overnight and sponge on your dog (don’t use on cats) to immediately repel the fleas. You can also add the mixture to soap and use it to mop the floors around your pet’s area.
- Fleas can be outdoors as well; in fact that’s how most pets catch fleas in the first place. Just like ants, a good sprinkling of diatomaceous earth throughout your yard or wherever your pet likes to roam will significantly reduce your chances of flea infestation.
- Try this homemade indoor flea trap: place a pan or plate of soapy water in the middle of each room, then place a lamp over it (you can also use a lighted candle). Fleas will jump toward the light and land in the soapy water, drowning them.