Alternative Pest Management Strategies
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You’ve got pests and you want to get rid of them right now!
Your first inclination might be to grab a potentially toxic bug spray and start dousing your home or garden in insecticides.
Before you expose yourself and your environment to potential toxins, you may want to consider a few of these alternative pest management strategies.
Essential Oil Spray
If your pest problem mostly occurs when you are enjoying time outside, you may want to consider creating a simple homemade bug spray to protect yourself from mosquito and flea bites. Most commercial bug repellents are made out of DEET, a controversial chemical (and potential neuro-toxin) that comes with many warnings.
An alternative strategy is to create an essential oil mixture of citronella essential oil, lavender and lemon eucalyptus oils. This can be mixed with water and then sprayed onto clothing when you are about to go outside.
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to get rid of and can be horribly irritating to live with.
One of the alternative pest management strategies that can be used to rid yourself of these critters, includes whole room heat treatments. Generally you will contact a pest management professional that already has the heat treatment equipment. They set up their heaters in your home and raise the temperature of your space to between 135-145F. At these temperatures, both the bed bugs and their eggs will die.
The best part is that this method is completely free of toxins.
See Ya Later Spiders
Most of the eight-legged friends living in your home are harmless to humans, but you may not want them hanging around. There are a few different alternative pest management strategies you can use to rid yourself of arachnids. Studies have found that spiders dislike chestnuts. You can add a few chestnuts your closets and drawers to repel away hiding pests. A proactive approach is also to simply spider-proof your home by caulking around small openings and adding weather stripping around doors and windows. Another way to rid yourself of spiders in your basement is to use a dehumidifier to maintain a 40% humidity level. Some spiders are attracted to moist areas so drying them out is a step in the right direction.
Not all bugs are bad! If your pest problem is mostly in your garden with insects such as moths, fleas, ants and aphids, you have the ability to add “good bugs” back into your ecosystem. You can re-introduce these good bugs that are native to your area to essentially eat the overpopulation of unwanted critters. An example of this would be to introduce ladybugs to your garden in the case of an aphid infestation. Your local garden center may be able to special order a container of live ladybugs just for your garden.
There are many different alternative pest management strategies you can try before going the chemical route. At the end of the day you need to weigh the options and decide what is going to be the most beneficial for you and your family.