Controlling pests in the house can be a pain.
Not only are they annoying, but they can also be dangerous.
Some insects and animals can be carriers of deadly diseases, such as mosquitoes who carry the West Nile Virus. While pesticides work, they contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to you and your family.
Here are some safer steps to control pest populations:
1. Do not leave food out in the open, because it will attract insects
2. Make sure to clean up all spills and crumbs after you eat
3. Wash containers before recycling them
4. Clean up fallen fruit from trees in your garden
5. Make sure there are no leaky pipes in your house
6. Cover pools when not in use
7. Clean rain gutters every year
8. Turn off all hoses when not in use
9. Recycle, donate all things you don’t need. Clutter inside and outside the house breeds pests.
10. Seal any entryways into the house
11. Install door sweeps, or add screen doors to keep the bugs away
12. Do not leave pet food out during the night
13. Traps or baits can be used for some pests, but make sure they are out of the reach of children and pets
14. Spray around windows, and doors with orange essential oil at night
Ants do not like orange essential oil because it alters their pheromone trail and makes it difficult for them to find their way back to the nest.
For a DIY pest control spray: Mix 1/4 cup orange essential oil with 1 cup of water and spray the solution around your outside window and door frames. I also like using the Orange Plus from Earth Friendly Products ($4.29).
You can find orange essential oil at Mountain Rose Herbs.
For more info about pest management, see EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety.