There’s nothing creepier than finding bugs in your house. Whether ants are marching across the kitchen floor or a centipede is scurrying under the sink, many people are inclined to reach for a can of insecticide. Before you resort to poisonous measures, remember there are safer methods that will help you regain control of your abode and your composure.
What’s Wrong With Pesticides?
Pesticides have become part of our environment and our lives. Since World War II, these harmful chemicals have managed to find their way into 90 percent of our streams and rivers. According to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, our citizens have an average of 43 different pesticides in their bloodstreams. They can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, and more serious problems, such as cancer and reproductive issues.
Pesticides Don’t Always Work
Pesticides don’t guarantee success, because they aren’t effective during each stage of an insect’s life cycle. For instance, it takes one month for a flea to hatch and develop into an adult. Many of the chemicals in flea treatments target only full-grown fleas, which makes them partially effective.
In some cases, pesticides can make things worse. For example, ant sprays can cause colonies to divide and multiply. Over time, some bugs will become resistant to the chemicals that are formulated to attack them. Subsequently, nothing works.
Fortify Your Home
The best way to fight unwanted critters is to implement pest prevention measures. If you have torn window or door screens, repair them. Use silicone caulk to seal any cracks in your kitchen or bathroom. Mice are adept at squeezing through holes that are less than an inch wide, so plug them with cement, metal, or steel wool.
Next, maintain a clean house. Keep your countertops and other kitchen surfaces free of food and crumbs. To remove odors, wipe down surfaces with a solution of one part vinegar and one part water. Store food in sealed containers. Also, repair leaky faucets, since critters need water to survive.
When you discard items, rinse containers before you put them in the recycle bin. Make sure all of your indoor and outdoor trash receptacles have a lid and are kept closed.
Here are some solutions that will help you keep the critters at bay:
- All-Purpose Spray– Combine two tablespoons of liquid peppermint castile soap with one gallon of water. Spray the mixture on baseboards and countertops. Your house will smell great!
- Essential Oils– Mix two and one-half teaspoons of oil with one cup of grain alcohol, such as vodka. Here are some popular remedies:
o Geranium – Mosquitoes, flies.
o Lavender – Mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, fleas, flies.
o Peppermint – Spiders, ants.
o Rosemary – Fleas, ticks.
- Coffee Grounds– Sprinkle coffee grounds outside doors and windows to keep ants out.
- Beer– Repel cockroaches by placing a saucer with one-half cup of beer near their point of entry.
If you have tried everything and you are still bugged out, it may be time to call a professional exterminator. Make sure the service you use is licensed and has been certified by a green pest management program.
Implementing a pest prevention approach will keep your home free of unwanted intruders and harmful chemicals. When you adopt an environmentally friendly solution, it’s a win for your health and your piece of mind.