Natural pest control is better for your home and family, as well as soil and air quality. Here are some eco-friendly and budget friendly ways to keep your home and garden virtually pest free.
Ants: Inside the house, set a shallow bowl or lid out with 2 tablespoons of peanut butter in it as bait. Once you see a steady stream of ants, sprinkle boric acid over the peanut butter. Once the worker ants take the bait back to the queen ant, the nest will die as the queen dies. Boric acid powder is available at most home and garden stores. Keep pets and children away from the bait. Outside the home, you can protect your patio and porch from ant invasions by placing powdered chalk or used coffee grounds around the foundation.
Aphids: Aphids will become dehydrated if sprayed with a soapy water mixture. Try mixing one tablespoon of liquid Castile soap with one gallon warm water. Use a spray bottle to saturate infected areas. The soapy mixture will remove their natural waxy protective layer.
Planting a vegetable or herb garden? Consider adding a few of these aphid-repellant plants: Chives, onions, garlic, cilantro or radish.
Gnats: Fungus gnats love houseplants and can be quite a nuisance. To keep your potted plants gnat-free, combine the following ingredients in a quart size spray bottle: 1/4 cup Isopropyl alcohol, 2 cups warm water and 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid. Spray the mixture on the plants.
Roaches: There are some species of roaches that seem to be resistant to any number of chemical treatments and sprays that are normally found in your local hardware store. For a more natural approach that has some homeowners raving about the results: Create a 50/50 mix of regular granulated sugar and baking soda. Fill a jar lid or milk cap with the mixture and leave in areas known to attract roaches like under the kitchen or bathroom sink. Roaches can’t resist the sugar, but the baking soda erodes their stomach and stops them dead. While it’s not an “instant” result, you should start to see a difference in a couple of days.
Snails & slugs: To keep them out of your flower beds or other landscaping, use cayenne pepper, ground eggshells or agricultural-grade diatomaceous earth sprinkled directly on the soil.
Whiteflies: Whiteflies feed in packs on the underside of plant leaves, which will then show yellow speckling (which eventually curls and turns brown). To repel them, add 10 drops of liquid soap to 4 ounces of crushed garlic and mix with water using a 1:10 ratio. Spray the mixture directly on plants to keep them free of whiteflies.
There are of course natural predators that can help you keep your home and garden pest free. Ladybugs, dragonflies, lacewings, and lizards can help keep down the population of thrips, aphids and mosquitos.