While most of us enjoy spending quality time in the great outdoors, having the great outdoors come visit us inside our homes can be quite unnerving. Although there are many products on the market that will help get rid of pests, those of us looking to reduce our chemical exposure have to look to good old fashioned remedies to keep those little pests at bay.
Before we get into the details, let’s talk about Borax (the laundry additive that is a salt based mineral). Borax is one of the most effective weapons against insects because insects cannot properly digest it when they consume and thus will die. There are some conflicting accounts as to the toxicity of Borax, but most studies refer to Boric Acid and not Borax, so you will have to make up your own mind as to its toxicity.
When the weather turns hot, just like us, they want to escape to more comfortable environments, like our homes. Obviously, the best way to keep ants out of your home is to eliminate all food sources, but we all need to eat and those little soldiers will find our food whether we like it or not. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make your home less appealing and encourage them to look for another cool home to get their food.
- Sprinkle Borax in your trash can and trash bags
- Make an ant trap using Borax. By making a trap you can effectively keep it away from children and pets
- Sprinkle a trail of baby powder or cornstarch where the ants get into the home
- Use eucalyptus, clove, mint, and citrus essential oils to repel ants. Put essential oils in a spray bottle with water and spray. A quick Google search for repelling ants with essential oils will give you several recipes.
Many people swear by the same Borax traps that are used to kill ants. But many people find that they aren’t strong enough or just don’t have an effect. If you have a cockroach problem that doesn’t seem to go away, then Diatomaceous earth is probably your best bet. Diatomaceous earth is made from tiny fossilized remains of aquatic organisms called Diatoms. It is EXTREMELY toxic to insects and arachnids. It can be found in food grade form that is safe around children and pets. To repel cockroaches with Diatomaceous earth, sprinkle it behind appliances and on top of cabinets (cockroaches love to hang out on top of cabinets).
Fungus, Gnats, and Fruit Flies
Ever been to the farmer’s market and bought the most delicious looking fruit only to come home to be invaded by fruit flies? Those little buggers multiply so quickly that within a couple of days you can end up with a full on infestation. Luckily, there is a tried and true natural remedy to get rid of fruit flies that is simple to make and very effective.
Place a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a white cup or bowl, fill with a ½ cup of water, then squirt in some dishwashing liquid, such as Dawn. Set it out on your counter or next to your fruit bowl. Check back the next day and you’ll be amazed at how many fruit flies will be floating in the concoction.