How many battles have you lost against mice, spiders and other icky little home intruders? All that time, money and energy spent on bug sprays, mousetraps and exterminators all to no avail. You keep spraying but they still keep coming back, but have you ever wondered if these sprays kill pests? What can they do to humans?
According to the Canadian Center of Occupational Health and Safety, the chemicals in pest repellents may cause headache, diarrhea, mental confusion, weakness, loss of reflexes, unconsciousness and even death.
So how about we go natural and try out some pest repellents that you can find right in your kitchen cabinet or garden?
People have been using plants and herbs to keep pests at bay probably since the dawn of time. Our ancient ancestors were the first to boil, stew, burn and crush leaves to make natural bud repellents, a prime example is basil. Studies published in in the Tanzania Journal of Health Research and the Journal of Cellular Biology found that lemon basil and cinnamon basil could effectively repel the Anopheles Gambiae, a complex a group of mosquito species known to carry malaria.
Plant some Catnip in your backyard and your furry feline companion will greatly appreciate it. As for ants, mice and mosquitoes, yeah, not so much. According to research, nepetalactone the essential oil in catnip that your kitty loves so much acts as an irritant against these common household pests.
According to a study conducted by the Malaria Research Center in India, Neem can be used as personal protection against different types of mosquitoes. According to the research, 2% Neem oil mixed with coconut oil provides 96% to 100% protection from Anophelines or Mash Mosquitoes, a certain type of mosquito, 85% protection from the Aedes species, 61% to 94% protection against Culex Pipiens mosquitoes and 37.5% from the Armigeres species. There are different ways to use it; burning Neem leaves gives about 76% protection for up to two hours. You can also heat the leaves up for 25% protection. As for topical application, applying two percent Neem oil provides 57% protection for up to four hours.
Another plant that’s proven to fend off mosquitoes is Lemon Thyme. This type of herb can thrive in dry or rocky soils, so basically it can grow anywhere, even in harsh environments. You have to sort of smash the herb first to release its scent but don’t apply directly to your skin right away, do a test patch first on a small area of skin just to check that you won’t have any adverse reaction.
Its soothing fragrance relieves us from stress and calms our nerves. It does quite the opposite for mosquitoes, house flies, fleas and moths though Lavender scent can protect your home pets and other plants from being infested by bugs. You can also put Lavender oil on your wrists and neck to shield yourself from mosquitoes. Plus, it’s like an instant perfume.
This needle-like herb is commonly used in cooking and has medicinal properties. It also attracts butterflies but deters flies and mosquitoes. Make a non-toxic bug spray out of it by boiling some dried Rosemary leaves in water then mix in some cool water and put it in a container. Store the Rosemary water in the fridge and later poured into some spray bottles. Easy-peasy.
Koalas can’t live without this plant. Spiders, however, will stay far away from it at all costs apply a few drops of Eucalyptus essential oil to some cotton balls and put them in areas where you often find these eight-legged creepy crawlies. Pour it in a spray bottle to drench hard to reach areas like ceilings and behind large pieces of furniture.
This ornamental plant in the Daisy family looks so innocent at first glance, yet this beautiful bright colored flower can repel all kinds of pests like mosquitoes and flies. Marigold contains pyrethrum, a compound that’s commonly found in commercial bug sprays. Pretty but lethal, yikes!
While we love the fresh and clean smell of Peppermint oil, mice and ants can’t stand it. It irritates their nose and masks their so-called trail pheromones that they use to make their way to different resources. For example, if they’re in the mood for a midnight snack, they can just retrace their steps back to a food source, pretty cool huh? Not for homeowners though. Add some Peppermint oil to your cleaning solution and mop your floor with it to wipe away their little trails.
Yet another tasty ingredient used in cooking that can also keep pests away from your personal space. If you need to keep wild animals out of your garden, Cayenne pepper is a perfectly safe way to keep them at bay. Just sprinkle it on the top soil to keep rabbits and squirrels from munching on your fresh veggies. You can also sprinkle cayenne pepper around your home, especially near entry points like doors and windows to keep ants, roaches and other creepy crawlies from invading your home.
The favorite hangout spots for mice are the kitchen, attic, inside the walls, under the floorboards and any other dark secluded areas. Hey, they have standards too, you know? Put original scented dryer sheets in these places to keep mice out. Just remember that this technique is only a preventative measure and probably shouldn’t be used if mice have already set up camp inside your home. You don’t want them scurrying out in the open because they have no place to go, do you?
Mice and rats love to help themselves to our kitchen cabinets, food pantries and anywhere else they can stuff their bellies full at our expense. And how do they show appreciation for the free meal? Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, rodents can infect people with salmonella, rat bite fever and lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM). Protect yourself and your family by setting traps with no nut cheese, peanut butter. Mice can’t resist this delicious yet deadly treat.
Mice are highly sensitive to sounds especially metallic ones. Mouse-proof your house by placing sheets of aluminum foil in their hideouts. They’ll avoid those spots in the future.
Mice aren’t just known to carry diseases. Another reason why they’re called pests is that they wreak havoc on your house. They choose a beam inside the walls and tear holes in the drywall. Oh, and let’s not forget about all those bacteria filled droppings they sprinkle throughout your home. If at this point you’ve tried just about everything from traps, to getting a cat and nothing seems to work, or you’re allergic to cats or whatever the case might be, you can always try ultrasonic repellents. If you’re willing to spend the money, these things emit high-frequency sounds that are only sensitive to a mouse’s ears. However, skeptics claims that this sophisticated device doesn’t work and lack scientific backing, so use this type of repellent at your own risk.
This white crystalline compound is used as a cleansing agent and in glass making. It can also kill ants, roaches, termites, spiders and even mold. To make sure your target will approach it, use honey or sugar as bait. As a safety precaution make sure your borax concoction is far out of reach of children. Also, wear a face mask and gloves when using it.
Ah, the famous sodium bicarbonate. It’s used in beauty and personal care, cooking, cleaning and deodorizing your house just to name a few. You can go ahead and add insect repellent to the mile-long list of ways to use baking soda. Mix baking soda with sugar. The sweet stuff will act as a bait for roaches and place a bowl of water near it. This lethal trio creates a chemical reaction inside the roaches’ stomach, which let’s just say won’t end well for the little buggers.
They say prevention is the best cure. So, seal any possible entryways, even the tiniest little cracks so that mice can’t even get into your home. To do this, use steel wool or copper mesh to mouse-proof your house and seal the deal with caulking. These are some of the few materials that mice can’t actually eat through so they’re great at keeping rodents out.
That’s all the tips and tricks you can use if ever your homes is infested with pests. I hope this article was useful to you.