Today’s post is a request from Deb, who is looking for natural ways to control pests. She wants to keep ants & bugs out her house along with stopping her outdoor plants from being munched on. Thanks for the question and email Deb and I hope you find the information helpful.
Dear Readers...please report back if any of these ideas do or don’t work. If you know of any ideas or tips that have worked for you please let us know.
-First way to rid yourself of ants is to remove what is luring them into your house. Keep counters free of sticky spots & crumbs. Put covers on sugar & store honey bear/jar in a plastic bag. Remove sources of water by fixing that dripping faucet or don’t let dishes soak overnight.
-Fill a small spray bottle with soap water to spray the ants with.
-Set out bitter cucumber peels and slices in the kitchen or their point of entry. A lot of ants of a natural dislike of cucumber.
-Put mint tea bags, crushed dry mint leaves or cloves in areas where the ants seem most active.
-Slip sliced up garlic cloves between the cracks on your wooden deck.
-If you are able to find where the ants are coming in you can place a line of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds and the ants will not cross over it.
-Mix one teaspoon of Borax (another use for Borax), one liter of water and 1 cup of sugar. Soak cotton balls in the mixture and place them in small yogurt containers with holes punched in the lids to allow the ants access. Set the containers in a location where you have seen the ants. They will bring this ‘food’ back to their colony and they will eventually kill the entire colony. Please use indoors only and keep away from children and pets.
A really annoying pest here in Wisconsin during the summer!
-Place small sachets of mint around your house to discourage flies.
-Wrap bay leaves, eucalyptus and cloves into cheesecloth squares and hang by open windows and doors.
-Place a small open container of clover and sweet basil next to pet food dishes in your house.
Homemade Fly Strips:
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
strips of brown kraft paper
Combine the sugars and syrup and soak the strips of kraft paper. Let them dry overnight. To hang them put a hole in the top of each strip and hang with a thread or string.
-Vacuum the area to remove food particles and insect eggs. Fill a glass container 1/4 full of soapy water. Wrap the container with tape so they can climb up and fall in. The silverfish will drown because they will be unable to climb up the slippery sides of the glass.
-Lightly spray a newspaper with water and roll it up loosely securing it with a rubber band or string. Place on the ground where you have seen earwig activity and let it sit overnight. In the morning pick it up, discard in a seal container.
-Fill a tuna fish can half full with vegetable oil and clean it out daily.
-Despite popular belief citronella doesn’t work well for deterring mosquitoes. The New England Journal of Medicine found that 30% concentration of oil of eucalyptus was more efficient at deterring mosquitoes. The eucalyptus oil must have a minimum of 70% cineole content which is an active therapeutic ingredient.
-When you are grilling throw some rosemary or sage onto the coals.
-Mix 5 parts of water with 1 part garlic juice in a spray bottle. Shake well before using and spray lightly onto exposed skin. This repellent will last 5-6 hours. You can also dip strips of cloth into the mixture and hang around decks, patios and camping areas. Eat lots of garlic in the summer it seems to help people avoid getting bitten.
-Plant marigolds around your patio, deck and yard.
-Mosquitoes are attracted to colors that remind them of mammal flesh and nectar. Don’t wear bright floral colors and dark colored clothing. Light colored clothes like khaki, beige and olive are colors mosquitoes find boring.
-They are attracted to body odors so avoid fragrances in shampoos, lotions perfumes and soaps.
-Where loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
-Look for Neem oil based repellents when shopping for bug spray. The leaves, seeds and seed oil of the Neem tree contain sallanin which has been effective for repelling mosquitoes.
Rabbits......Puggy takes great offense to this
Bunnies are cute but they can be very naughty by eating your garden.
Natural Rabbit Deterrent
1 tablespoon baby shampoo
1 tablespoon ammonia
1 quart of water
Pour ingredients into a NEW squirt bottle or garden sprayer and shake well to make sure it’s mixed together. Spray your plants every third evening until you are sure the bunnies have found something else to nibble on. Store the unused mixture for when they return.
Another one to keep the bunnies from sampling your garden is to not put weed killer on your yard. We have a yard full of white and purple clover and this keeps the bunnies satisfied. Container gardening is another great idea to avoid critters from eating your crops. If they can’t reach it they can’t eat it. This works well if you are only growing a few plants. If you have a large scale garden I would use the spray to keep the bunnies from enjoying a nightly buffet. If you dislike the smell of ammonia you can purchase Havahart DeFense Rabbit/Deer Repellent. It’s a natural deterrent that mimics the smell of decaying protein which makes the bunnies thick a predator is nearby. It also dries odorless to humans.