The creepy crawlies that survived winter are multiplying in full force these days, and while they’re at it, they’re probably entering your house, too. What’s a homeowner to do? Traditional pest control services can keep your home mostly free of bugs. They usually put you on a three-month service cycle and treat the exterior of your home with chemicals. Looking for an alternative to the expense of these services and the toxins? Look no further!
While any product used to kill insects, inside or outside your home, would be considered somewhat toxic, there are loads of products out there that are safer to use. Anything labeled “natural,” “organic,” or “environmentally-friendly” would count as safer than products that do not contain these keywords. However, that does not necessarily mean that they are completely free of chemicals and you should always follow the label’s precautions.
A very popular DIY pest control product is Diatomaceous Earth. This powder substance occurs naturally and is highly effective at killing bugs. It works by breaking down the insect’s exoskeleton when the insect comes in contact with it. It is harmless to adults, children, and pets and can be used anywhere inside your home. It works best in dry areas, as it is not as effective when wet (which is why it is not recommended for outdoor use). Boric acid can also be used to kill bugs inside your home in this same manner and will not harm any people or pets.
Pesticide-free traps are another great way to control bugs in your house. Most of these use a sticky glue surface combined with a fragrance that will attract the insects. Once the bugs arrive, they’re stuck for good and you can dispose of the traps and replace them as needed. They are very inexpensive and easy to use.
The best way to keep your home free of pesky insects is to keep it clean. Do not leave food sitting out on the counters or tables, wipe up crumbs immediately, and store food in air-tight containers. Honey and sugar are very attractive to ants so keep these products sealed tightly. Vacuum frequently to get crumbs off the floor and keep your bathroom area clean to help prevent roaches. Wash your bedding, throw blankets and pillows in hot water to kill and wash away dust mites.