Natural, organic pest control solutions for the summer - Our Daily Green

Friday, June 12, 2015

Natural, organic pest control solutions for the summer

As the weather heats up, the bugs come out, and many homeowners find themselves searching for ways to keep insects out of their homes. There are countless forms of chemical treatment out there, but if you're looking for something that's more environmentally friendly, you may have to get a little creative. Here are a few ways that you can control some of the most common summer pests without using chemicals that are harmful to the environment.

Mosquito Control

Photo courtesy of: FreshGreenKim
Mosquitoes are a common pest during the summer, especially when you want to sit outside and have a nice evening barbecue. If you want to keep the mosquitoes away, try a few of these natural methods for repelling them:
  • Rosemary and sage: If you're using your barbecue, try putting some rosemary or sage on the hot coals. The smoke will repel mosquitoes.
  • Garlic juice: You can make your own mosquito-repelling spray by mixing 1 part garlic juice with 5 parts water. Put it in a spray bottle and apply to exposed skin to repel mosquitoes for up to 6 hours. You can also soak strips of cotton in this mixture and hang them up to repel mosquitoes in a certain area.
  • Flowers: Planting certain flowers in your garden can repel mosquitoes while beautifying your yard. Catnip, marigolds, rosemary, lemon balm, and citronella grass will all repel mosquitoes.

Ant Control

Cucumis sativus Blanco2.299
Illustration courtesy of:
 Wikimedia Commons
Ants can be bothersome at a picnic, but they're a nightmare when they start making their way into your home. If you have an ant problem in your home, try some of these environmentally friendly forms of ant control:
  • Cucumber: Many species of ants are repelled by cucumber. Place some slices or peels near points of entry or in areas where ants are most active.
  • Mint: Mint is another plant that naturally repels ants. You can plant this herb near points of entry, place a few sprigs around your kitchen, or even use bags of mint tea to repel these insects.
  • Cornmeal: Ants' digestive systems can't process cornmeal, but they're still attracted to it. Place small piles of cornmeal where you see ants, and they will take it back to the nest; it can take about a week, but eventually the colony should die off from eating the cornmeal.

Fly Control

Another common pest in the summer is the house fly. Though they're harmless insects, they're a major irritant, and they can leave germs everywhere they go. Try some of these natural fly repellents to keep them at bay:
  • Herbal bags: Create bags from small pieces of cheesecloth and fill them with crushed bay leaves, mint, eucalyptus, or cloves. Hang or place them around the house to repel flies.
  • Basil: You can plant this herb near your doors or keep it in small pots inside to help repel flies as well as mosquitoes.
  • Eucalyptus oil: Apply a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a cloth or rag, and leave it somewhere flies tend to congregate; the scent will drive them off and leave you with a fly-free zone.

These forms of natural pest control are quick, simple ways to handle some of the most common pests you'll see this summer without damaging the environment or exposing your family to potentially harmful chemicals. For more long-term solutions, many pest control companies now offer environmentally friendly pest control treatments.

We'd like to thank today's sponsors at Critter Control of Florida for these helpful hints. 

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