Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Don't Bug Me

You can also read this month's article in Abode.

Not that I would know from experience (wink, wink) but if you’ve got unwanted guests like ants, mosquitoes, gnats and flies in your kitchen, there are some ways to evacuate the varmints without using hazardous pesticides.

The simple solution: sanitation. You may not want to hear this, but the best way to deter critters is having a cleaner place than your neighbor. Frequent vacuuming or mopping along with regular vinegar wipe-downs work well, along with keeping a tight lid on trash containers, compost pails and stored food items. Also, be sure to take up pet foods at night.

Alternative critter concoctions. First locate the path of entering pests, sealing any cracks or openings. Once you find the source, apply one of these eco-friendly alternatives:

• baby or talcum powder
• lemon/orange rinds
• cayenne or chili powder
• peppermint oil (or Dr. Bonner’s Peppermint Soap)

Feeling less friendly? This ant hotel recipe might do the trick. Combine 1 cup borax and 1 cup sugar water and pour over loose wads of toilet paper in a reusable jar with holes poked in the lid. Place in strategic areas and hope for a sugar-induced overdose. (Don’t use if you have young kids and pets).

Homemade flypaper. Collect unwanted winged creatures by making your own flypaper. Combine 1/4 cup of your favorite syrup with 1 Tbs. of brown sugar and 1 Tbs. of white sugar. Brush 18” strips of a recycled brown bag, dry and hang.

As for mosquitoes, citronella products are great, once you’ve eliminated any areas of standing water.

And remember: Keep your spiders around because they like their steady diet of bugs!

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