When it comes to pest control, you can spend all sorts of money hiring exterminators or buying smelly (and often toxic) sprays and chemicals for your home, but in some cases, you may not need to go to such extremes. There are a lot of completely natural insect and pest control remedies out there, many of which our ancestors have been using with great success for countless generations. You'll be pleased to know that many of these useful items can be found in the average household.
Though pest control can refer to dealing with pest birds, bugs, and rodents, this article will focus on getting rid of insects.
Insect Control in the Garden
Believe it or not, aluminum foil can successfully keep hungry insects and slugs away from your vegetable garden. Simply mix strips of aluminum foil in with your garden mulch to deter bugs and slugs. In addition, since foil is reflective, it will shine light back up onto your plants, giving them a solar boost.
Mothballs are another handy insect control device for the garden. You've probably heard of using mothballs in the closet to protect your sweaters, but you can also use them to kill bugs on potted plants. Simply place the plant in a clear plastic bag (ie a cleaning bag), add a few mothballs, and seal the bag for a week. When you take the plant out, it will be bug-free (and moths will stay away for a while too). Animals also hate the smell of mothballs, so you can toss a few into your garden and flowerbed as well, to keep away cats, dogs, and rodents.
Did you know onions are a natural pesticide as well? Here's an easy-to-make concoction that will repel insects (and animals too) in your flowers and vegetables: Use a blender to puree 4 onions, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, and one quart of water. Put the mixture aside and then dilute 2 tablespoons of soap flakes in 2 gallons of water. Pour all the contents in your blender, stir it up, and this gives you an eco-friendly bug spray to use on your plants.
Black pepper is another home remedy that works great for pest control in the garden. If insects are harassing your flowers, plants, and vegetables, simply mix pepper with flour and sprinkle it around your plants. Bugs won't be so eager to munch.
Lastly, you can make your own rock dust to get rid of insects in the garden.
Insect Control in the House
Dog and cat food, which is often left out around the clock, can be quite a temptation to ants and other insects. A simple way to make these six-legged intruders lose interest is to place a border of baking soda around the pet food bowls. Baking soda won't bother your pets (though they probably won't be keen on the taste), so it's no worry for them if they lap a bit up with their meal.
Another household item good at getting rid of insects is vinegar. For example, if your latest trip to the farmers' market brought back fruit flies as well as healthy victuals, then you can make traps for the flies by filling an old jar about halfway full with apple cider vinegar. Punch a few holes in the top, screw it back on, and the fruit flies will be attracted and trapped.
These are just a few of the easy ways to use simple household items to get rid of insects. So when you're having a problem, don't be so eager to pick up a can of chemical-filled bug spray. Look for natural solutions, and you will very likely find them!