What is Eco-Friendly Pest Control?
What’s the issue with traditional pest control?
Using traditional pest control chemicals doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve instantly ruined your home or yard. But it can have quite a few harmful effects, ranging from difficult to notice all the way to life-threatening for you and your family.
Harm to the environment
Chemical pesticides, when used outdoors, eventually find their way through runoff to water sources like rivers or lakes which can affect our drinking water and the water sources of local wildlife and plant life. They can sometimes seep into groundwater once the chemical pesticides are in contact with the soil, which often directly affects our drinking water. These chemicals don’t discriminate, meaning they are toxic to non-targeted insects and garden visitors like ladybugs, bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. If you’re trying to get rid of just one problem pest, you may end up harming the helpful members of your ecosystem as well.
Danger to humans & pets
When ingested, chemical pesticides can lead to a lot of short- and long-term health problems for all our family members. Pets may experience vomiting, seizures, or fatal respiratory failure if they happen to munch on a chemically-treated plant. Even if you don’t have a pet, you may be posing a risk to the neighborhood pets that don’t know any better when you apply toxic chemicals to your yard or around your home. For humans, pesticide exposure has also been linked to short-term risks like headaches, nausea, dizziness, and skin or eye irritation; long-term health risks are even more serious, like nerve issues, birth defects, blood disorders, and cancer.
Eco-Friendly Pest Control Options
The first step to keeping your home pest-free starts before the pests even arrive, with deterrence. You can use natural, easily-accessible ingredients to create a cleaning solution you can use all around the house and outside. A mixture of 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 cups water, and an essential oil like peppermint or eucalyptus can be a wonderful-smelling natural cleaner that doubles as a pest deterrent. If you don’t have any essential oils, don’t worry! Other options include making a solution of just one part coconut oil, two parts vinegar; you could also add citrus peels to a jar of vinegar and let soak for a week in a cool, dark place, then add water!
Focusing on window sills
Window sills are a main highway for pests coming into your home, so it’s a prime space to deter them! If you’re having issues with spiders, try a garlic solution. Blend about 15 garlic cloves with around 2 cups of water, and strain out the liquid into a spray bottle. Fill with water and spray on window sills or where you’ve seen spiders; they don’t like the smell of garlic, so it will be an effective deterrent!
Coffee grounds can also be an effective way to deter insects like ants, wasps, bees, and mosquitos. Instead of throwing them away, you could place them on a window sill, or even directly into your garden to help keep away these pests. Citrus peels can also be used the same way.
Using old food scraps
Instead of throwing away those old food scraps, lets use them to help create some eco-friendly pest control! As we said before, citrus peels can be used in quite a few ways to repel insects. Even banana peels can be added to that list, and put directly into the garden. Onion scraps can be added to a jar of water, and left out in the open (outside or inside) to repel mosquitos! Cucumber peels can be used to repel ants specifically, by placing them around the entry points to your kitchen.
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
This microbial insecticide is beneficial because it specific to the problem pest and non-toxic to mammals. It is used in soil to kill insect larvae, but it must be eaten to be effective. You can purchase this pest control in the form of sprays, dusts, granules, or pellets. It works by paralyzing the larvae’s digestive system, so the pest dies of starvation in a few days or weeks. It can’t be harmful to people or mammals though, as we don’t have the ability to activate the toxins found in Bt.
Neem oil is applied as a spray to plants in order to fight certain insects species, usually aphids, whiteflies, and mealy bugs. It is basically nontoxic to mammals, but can be non-selective, so it should be used sparingly, only when you’re targeting an existing infestation. One unique thing about neem oil is that it is absorbed into the plant tissue, so it continues to deter insects from eating the plant in the future.
Still need professional help?
Dealing with problem pests can be a big task. If you are able to solve the problem with eco-friendly methods, that’s great! But sometimes the infestation is too far developed, or the methods you’re using are just not quite strong enough for your situation. That’s where professional help can be a lifesaver. The experts at Bee Green Pest Control can help you finally end your pest problem, while still keeping the safety of your family and your pets top priority.