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At Home With Natural Pest Control

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What happens when outside pests decide to take up residency inside your home?

"What happens when outside pests decide to take up residency inside your home?"

Your home is where you should be able to relax in comfort, a place to rejuvenate from daily stresses. What happens when outside pests decide to take up residency inside your home? A strategy of prevention is the first step to keeping your home free from ants, cockroaches, earwigs, fabric pests, fleas, flies, houseplant foliage pests, silverfish, spiders, stored-food pests and ticks. Make your home as inhospitable as possible.

Chemical-Free Pest Control

Since pests can become nuisances and dangerous to your health, you must know when to intervene, naturally and intelligently, so other forms of life are not affected.

The chemical approach to pest control relies on synthetic compounds from petrochemicals that vary in toxicity. Chemical controls offer a "quick hit"on pests and, although they usually require less effort on the part of the homeowner, they also come with potential health hazards to humans, pets, and the environment.

Safe and Effective Treatments

One product that works for ants, mites, spiders and other preying pests is food-quality diatomaceous earth. This very fine powder is made up of sharp-edged skeletal remains of microscopic marine algae. It tears up the innards of pests and causes them to die of dehydration. Make sure it is food-grade diatomaceous earth because there is a non-food grade chlorinated kind used in the swimming pool business. Food-quality diatomaceous earth is nontoxic to people and pets, but can irritate eyes and lungs, so wear goggles and a dust mask when applying.

For plant pest control, use a mild, nondetergent soap in plant sprays, and dilute vegetable oils, herbal oils, and baking soda with water so they don't burn the plants (see chart). Perfumes, fatty acids, and antibacterial agents in home dish soap can be harmful to plants.

Trap insects with sticky traps made of cardboard sheets that fold into a box with a sticky interior.

Try controlling pests using the least harsh, most environmentally friendly method. When in doubt, seek the help of a qualified professional to answer questions about safe, effective pest control. Keeping homes pest-free without the chemical pesticides will help maintain a healthy living environment.

Staying Pest Free

  • Empty garbage cans regularly.
  • Put pet food away overnight.
  • Deter clothes moths and carpet beetles by laundering fabric items regularly and frequently vacuuming carpets, upholstered furniture, and cold-air ducts
  • Fix dripping taps and leaking pipes to remove the water and humidity that cockroaches need to survive.
  • Control indoor humidity by airing your home frequently.
  • Store food in sealed containers on countertops, cupboards, or in the refrigerator to eliminate food odours that attract flies and other insects. Do not store food in paper or plastic bags outside the fridge.
  • Inspect pets for fleas and ticks.
  • Purchase sealed pet food and stay away from bulk bins that are more susceptible to moths and insects.
  • Avoid using shelf paper that provides hiding places for pests.
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