Saturday, June 16, 2007
Sherri's Helpful Hints
Natural Insect Pest Control
Fleas usually gain entry to your home through your pet or visitors' pets. For every flea on your pet, there may be as many as 30 more in the pet's environment.
Before reaching for pesticides, try these safer choices:
Bathe and comb your pet regularly. Use mild soap, not insecticides. If fleas are found on the comb, dip the comb in a glass of soapy water.
Citrus is a natural flea deterrent. Pour a cup of boiling water over a sliced lemon. Include the lemon skin, scored to release more citrus oil. Let this mixture soak overnight, and sponge on your dog to kill fleas instantly.
Add brewer's yeast and garlic, or apple cider vinegar, to your pets' food. However, it is not advisable to use raw garlic as a food supplement for cats.
Cedar shampoo, cedar oil and cedar-filled sleeping mats are commercially available. Cedar repells many insects including fleas.
Fleas in the carpet? The carpet should be thoroughly vacuumed especially in low traffic areas, under furniture, etc. Put flea powder in the vacuum cleaner bag to kill any fleas that you vacuum up, and put the bag in an outdoor garbage bin.
Trap fleas in your home using a wide, shallow pan half-filled with soapy water. Place it on the floor and shine a lamp over the water. Fleas will jump to the heat of the lamp and land in the water. The detergent breaks the surface tension, preventing the flea from bouncing out.
Nontoxic flea traps are available commercially.
Flea Control Nematodes can be used to control fleas in outdoor areas your pets frequent.
The first line of defense against mosquitos is to seal their point of entry. Mosquitos are most active in the early morning and early evening. They seek areas of still air because they are hampered by breezes. Close windows and doors on the side of your house which are opposite the breeze. Then try:
The most important measure you can take is to remove standing water sources. Change birdbaths, wading pools and pet's water bowl twice a week. Keep your eavestroughs clean and well-draining. Remove yard items that collect water.
In a New England Journal of Medicine study, oil of eucalyptus at 30% concentration prevented mosquito bites for 120.1 minutes, while Bite Blocker with 2% soybean oil kept bites away for 96.4 minutes. (the eucalyptus oil must have a minimum of 70% cineole content, the active therapeutic ingredient.) Citronella, a common alternative to DEET, performed poorly, warding off bugs for only 20 minutes.
If you're using the barbeque, throw a bit of sage or rosemary on the coals to repel mosquitos.
An effective natural bug repellent, mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repellent lasting up to 5 - 6 hours. Strips of cotton cloth can also be dipped in this mixture and hung in areas, such as patios, as a localized deterrent.
Neem oil is a natural vegetable oil extracted from the Neem tree in India. The leaves, seeds and seed oil of the Neem tree contain sallanin, a compound which has effective mosquito repelling properties. Neem oil is a natural product and is safe to use. Look for new Neem Oil-based commercial products on the market.
Planting marigolds around your yard works as a natural bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance bugs and flying insects do not like.
Campers often report that the very best mosquito repellent is Avon Skin-So-Soft® bath oil mixed half and half with rubbing alcohol.
Safe, nontoxic pheromone-based mosquito traps are now commercially available.
Use mint as a fly repellent. Small sachets of crushed mint can be placed around the home to discourage flies.
Bay leaves, cloves and eucalyptus wrapped in small cheesecloth squares can be hung by open windows or doors.
Place a small, open container of sweet basil and clover near pet food or any open food in the house.
A few drops of eucalyptus oil on a scrap of absorbant cloth will deter flies. Leave in areas where flies are a problem.
You can make your own flypaper with this simple recipe: Mix 1/4 cup syrup, 1 tbsp. granulated sugar and 1 tbsp. brown sugar in a small bowl. Cut strips of brown kraft paper and soak in this mixture. Let dry overnight. To hang, poke a small hole at the top of each strip and hang with string or thread.
Safe, nontoxic, pheromone-based outdoor and indoor fly traps are available.
Cedar chips in a cheesecloth square, or cedar oil in an absorbant cloth will repel moths. The cedar should be 'aromatic cedar', also referred to as juniper in some areas.
Homemade moth-repelling sachets can also be made with lavender, rosemary, vetiver and rose petals.
Dried lemon peels are also a natural moth deterrent - simply toss into clothes chest, or tie in cheesecloth and hang in the closet.
Natural attractant pheromones have been developed for controlling moths, and are now available as clothes moth traps and pantry moth traps.
Diatomaceous earth is a safe and effective way to control earwigs in the home. One application in key spots (bathroom, baseboards, window frames) can be a long-term repellent.
To trap earwigs, spray a newspaper lightly with water, roll it up loosely and secure with a string or rubber band. Place on the ground near earwig activity. The next morning pick up and discard the paper in a sealed container.
Another method to trap earwigs is to take a shallow, straight-sided container and fill it half full with vegetable oil. Clean the trap daily; the oil can be re-used.
Silverfish prefer damp, warm conditions such as those found around kitchen and bathroom plumbing. Start by vacuuming the area to remove food particles and insect eggs. Silverfish can be easily trapped in small glass containers. Wrap the outside with tape so they can climb up and fall in. They will be trapped inside because they cannot climb smooth surfaces. Drown them in soapy water. The best preventive control is to remedy the damp conditions.
Nontoxic silverfish traps are also commercially available
Courtesy of Earth Easy.com
Posted by february sherri