Friday, June 15, 2007
Sherri's Helpful Hints
Natural Insect Pest Control
The first line of defense is to remove the attractants: keep counters free of crumbs and sticky spots. Cover the sugar and put the honey jar in a plastic baggie. Cut off water sources such as drips or dishes left soaking overnight.
If the ant invaders persist, try these simple measures:
Keep a small spray bottle handy, and spray the ants with a bit of soapy water.
Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants' point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to cucumber. Bitter cucumbers work best.
Leave a few tea bags of mint tea near areas where the ants seem most active. Dry, crushed mint leaves or cloves also work as ant deterrents.
Trace the ant column back to their point of entry. Set any of the following items at the entry area in a small line, which ants will not cross: cayenne pepper, citrus oil (can be soaked into a piece of string), lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds.
Mix a half teaspoon each of honey, borox, and aspartame (Equal, Nutrasweet, etc.), in small bottles. Place bottles on their sides, with lids off, in areas of most ant activity. Ants will carry the bait back to their colonies. Important: use indoors only; must be kept away from pets and children.
Leave a small, low wattage night light on for a few nights in the area of most ant activity. The change in light can disrupt and discourage their foraging patterns.
Ants on the deck? Slip a few cut up cloves of garlic between the cracks.
Microscopic dust mites are everywhere in the home - in our beds, clothing, furniture, book shelves and stuffed animals. For people with allergies or asthma, dust mites are a problem.
Here's how to reduce the dust mite population in your home:
Vacuum mattresses and pillows. For people with sensitivities to dust mite allergens, dust mite bedding is available with zippered, allergen-impermeable encasings designed to block dust mites.
Wash bedding at 55 degrees centigrade or higher. Detergents and commercial laundry products have no effect on mites unless the water temperature is high.
Keep books, stuffed animals, throw rugs and laundry hampers out of the bedroom of allergy sufferers. Wash stuffed animals occasionally in hot water.
Tannic acid neutralizes the allergens in dust mite and animal dander. Dust problem areas with tannic acid powder, available at health food stores and pet centers.
Cover mattress and pillows with laminated covers which prevent penetration by dust mites. Avoid fabric-covered headboards.
Cover heating ducts with a filter which can trap tiny dust particles smaller than 10 microns.
Avoid using humidifiers. Dust mites thrive on warmth and humidity.
The best defense against cockroaches is a clean kitchen and bathroom. If roaches are a problem in your home or apartment, vacuum well and wash the area with a strong soap. Dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed container.
It is a little known fact that roaches like high places. If you put boric acid on TOP of your kitchen cabinets (not inside), if space allows between ceiling and cabinets, the roaches will take the boric acid to their nests, killing all of them. Boric acid is toxic by mouth - keep away from children and pets.
Catnip is a natural repellent to cockroaches. The active ingredient is nepetalactone, which is non-toxic to humans and pets. Small sachets of catnip can be left in areas of cockroach activity. Catnip can also be simmered in a small amount of water to make a "catnip tea" which can be used as a spray to apply around baseboards and behind counters. This natural repellent should only be used in homes without cats!
(A site visitor who has tried this sends the following comments)
Keep a spray bottle of soapy water on hand. Spraying roaches directly with soapy water will kill them.
In an empty one pound coffee can, place 1 or 2 pieces of bread which have been soaked thoroughly with beer. Place in areas known to have roach infestations.
Leave bay leaves, cucumber slices or garlic in the affected area as deterrents.
The fruit of the Osage orange tree, the hedgeapple, is a natural roach repellent. Leave one hedgeapple per room for effective deterrence up to two months.
Non-toxic roach traps are commercially available.
Courtesy of Earth Easy.com
Posted by february sherri