Spiders, and termites, and roaches oh my! These pesky critters find their way into the dark recesses of our homes to feed on our leftovers and make their nests. Sometimes it is necessary to find a professional exterminatorto remove these unwanted guests, but there are several ways you can manage your own pest controlwhile saving money in the process.
Finding the Right Products
Most local home improvement, hardware, and bulk goods stores have a section dedicated to do it yourself pest control. The items are often arranged by the type of pest you want to get rid of. However, make sure to read the labels carefully. Some products can only be used outdoors, while some are meant for indoor extermination.
Earth Friendly Products
For homes with small children or pets, it is especially important to use organic pest control products to get rid of bugs. You dont even have to spend a lot of money buying green pest control products although there are several effective varieties available. You probably have most of the items you need around your house toget rid of bugs as effectively as the costly alternatives.
For example, salt kills fleas. For a flea infestation, sprinkle salt on your carpet. Let it set for ten to fifteen minutes, and then vacuum. The salt acts as a drying agent, essentially dehydrating the fleas and their eggs. Salt also works as an effective pest control for other garden-based nuisances. By mixing Epsom salt with water, then spraying it on the leaves of your plants, aphids, caterpillars, and beetles will steer clear of your flowers and veggies.
Mixing peppermint oil and run-of-the-mill laundry powder (5-10 tablespoons) with water is one remedy for destroying wasp nests. Just make sure to take care when spraying the nest, as you dont want to start a swarm. Try spraying at night, when the insects are sleeping, to avoid needless stings. (And, of course, if youre allergic, get a professional to take care of them for you!)
What about ants? Chili powder! The chili powder acts as a barrier, so sprinkling it around the outside walls of your house will keep the ants out. (This is also true for several other bugs.) But if you want to destroy the ants at the source, try steeping tobacco in water for several hours. Strain out the tobacco and pour the liquid over the anthill, instantly killing the ants.
If youre having a cookout but want to avoid mosquitoes, soak some basil in water and leave them in a bowl on the table. While aromatically pleasant for the party goers (and a unique table decoration), the smell of basil deflects mosquitoes. This wont kill the pests, but it will keep them away during the festivities.
And for everyones least favorite pest, the cockroach! Clearing up a roach infestation is as easy as purchasing catnip at your local pet supply store. Boil the catnip in water and then pour the solution into a spray bottle. Liberally spray the areas where youve noticed the bugs, and they will soon leave the area. However, you may find the roaches replaced by the neighborhood cats
When to Call in the Troops
Sometimes, do it yourself pest control isnt the answer. When things get out of hand, its time to find a professional exterminator. However, many exterminators now offer organic pest control services, which will keep your children and pets safe while the bugs fade away. Shop around for pricing, and, if you have a current infestation, make sure the exterminator specializes in that insect.
The key to solid professional pest control is consistency. Set up a standing appointment for every three months. This will help ensure your home is pest-free year round. And remember that regular cleaning will help reduce most infestations. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!