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Non-Toxic Pesticides Round Up
Blog Of The Week
Thursday, June 28, 2012
We asked our Healthy Child Network what they do to get rid of pests in their homes. Here are some great advice they sent us! Remember to go to their blogs to read the full articles.
Lori from Groovy Green Livin’ educates us about 3 Mosquito Repelling Plants:
Pot of basil
Basil is a known mosquito repellent (it’s also known to repel flies). Planting fresh basil around your outdoor eating areas is a simple way to repel those pesky mosquitoes. If there’s no time to grow your own pick up fresh basil at your local farmers market or supermarket and place it in a vase on the table. If mosquitoes are circling your head and buzzing in your ear while you are trying to catch some z’s place a vase of basil on your night table to keep the mosquito and the buzzing away.
Catnip is a natural mosquito repellent. “Catnip” is the common name for a perennial herb of the mint family. It is native to Europe and is an import to the United States and other countries. The catnip plant is now a widespread weed in North America. In August 2010, entomologists at Iowa State University reported to the American Chemical Society that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET.
To grow your own catnip you’ll need a perennial herb called Nepeta cataria, which can be found at a nursery or by purchasing the seeds online. Line your yard with catnip to ward off mosquitoes. Another option is to place catnip oil directly on your skin. Note of caution to cat owners-cats might find you irresistible.
Citronella has been a known mosquito repellent for quite some time. You can find citronella scented candles, bracelets, buckets and sprays. The scent from the citronella plant itself is your best bet in keeping the mosquitoes away since that provides the strongest protection. Citronella’s strong smell tends to mask your scent, making it harder for mosquitoes to find you.
According to eartheasy, Citronella is a perennial ‘clumping’ grass which grows to a height of 5 – 6 feet. It can be grown directly in the ground in climate zones where frost does not occur. If grown in the garden or near the patio, it should be planted in the ‘background’, behind small decorative flowers and shrubs. In northern climate zones citronella can be grown in a large pot or planter, ideally with casters, so it can be rolled indoors during winter.
Hilary from Accidentally Green teaches us a lot of home prevention methods in Make Your Own Insect Repellent:
- Cut the leaves and stems of catmint and rosemary, then place in a container and cover with a cup of boiling water. Steep for an hour, cool and use the herbal tea as a repellent spray.
- Crush parsley and mix with apple cider vinegar. Rub the mixture on your skin.
- Place a handful of fresh basil leaves into a glass measuring cup. Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over the basil. Let the leaves steep for two to four hours. Squeeze the basil leaves to get out as much of the liquid as possible. Pour the infused liquid into a spray bottle. Add 1/2 cup of vodka to the squirt bottle. Shake gently to mix the contents and apply this all-natural insect repellent by spraying it on your skin. (While this mixture is safe, especially compared to DEET brands, be sure to keep out of the reach of children.)
The great news? Not only does this keep mosquitoes away, but ticks are repelled by basil, too.
Kristina of The Greening of Westford shows us a simple way to get rid of fruit flies in Fruit Flies Be Gone:
How do I deal with the fruit flies? Fruit flies are pretty easy to deal with without using any sort of pesticides. All you need – a small glass, apple cider vinegar and some plastic wrap. Don’t use your good, expensive apple cider vinegar (ACV) with The Mother; cheap store brand works great.
- Fill the glass with about an inch or so of ACV
- Place some plastic wrap over the top and poke some holes.
- Sit it by your fruit bowl.The fruit flies, attracted to the ACV, crawl in through the holes then can’t get out.
- You’ll need to change the vinegar every few days. It loses its effectiveness.
I used to use a piece of paper wrapped into a cone shape stuck in a jar for years. It worked, but it’s a pain when you have to change the vinegar. I find this method much easier.
April of Frugally Green Mom shares Green Ways to Keep Pests At Bay:
Living in Florida, we have more than our fair share of bugs to deal with! I’m not fond of bugs, but I also want to limit my family’s exposure to DEET. Fortunately, there are a lot of options out there to help keep bugs at bay!
- Remove standing water from your yard.
- When grilling, throw sage or rosemary on the coals to keep the mosquitos away.
- Add 2 tsp of vanilla extract to a water-filled spray bottle.
- Fill a spray bottle with equal parts of water and witch hazel, then add 10 drops of essential oil. You can add more or less essential oil at your discretion. Best bets are citronella, lemon grass, lavendar or eucalyptus—mosquitos hate these scents!
Got ants problems? Take a look at the all natural ants deterrent from Trina at O’Boy Organic:
- Get a small spray bottle and fill it with soapy water. When you see the ants just give them a good spray.
- Don’t throw those cucumber peels in the compost just yet, set them out where you are having issues with the ants, placing either the peels or slices on a small towel or directly on the counter. Ants have a natural aversion to cucumbers so once they come near, hopefully they will turn around and go home.
- Got fresh Mint or Mint tea bags? Leave them around where you see those ants, it also works as a natural deterrent
- Now if you can find where these little suckers are coming from then mix cayenne pepper, citrus oil, lemon juice, cinnamon or coffee grounds in a small container. Soak some cooking string in the mixture then lay in the path of where they are coming from.
- Mix one liter of water to 1 teaspoon of borax and a cup of sugar. Soak cotton balls in the mixture and then place them in a small container such as a used yogurt container with lid. Make small holes in the lid so the ants can get through, they will take bait back to the others where it will eventually kill the colony. IMPORTANT: Use indoors only and keep away from pets and children.