The little enclave where my MCM home is parked has quite a lot of nature in it. We are close to a creek with coyotes, opossums, racoons, hawks, rodents and loads of bugs.
I love animals and am actually a bit partial to most bugs, provided they are not crawling on me. The ones I prefer are what we call the ‘beneficial’ insects, praying mantis, ladybugs, spiders, fireflies, dragonflies etc. One of my friends abhors frogs, they scare her. Not me, bring in the toads! Lizards, toads, frogs, let nature reign. Most homes share bugs unawares. Spiders, for example, will hide out catching bugs that dare wander in. When I see a spider, I typically catch and release it outside.
Nobody loves fleas, ticks or cockroaches. Well, they mate so apparently someone does, but generally not of the human variety. It can be a challenge to enjoy nature and control it in a safe or safer way. If you live in an area with opossums, (below link to more info on these interesting and adorably ugly critters, rest easy knowing they are killing thousands of ticks and minimizing your families risk of Lyme Disease. http://www.caryinstitute.org/newsroom/opossums-killers-ticks
So what do we do with the creepies that invade our interiors? It is important to be mindful of what products we use because there are more than 85,000 chemicals in our water and approximately 2000 new chemicals created annually.
Many of us have pets that we worry about with outdoor gardens as well as what they may ingest inside the home. To minimize fleas in our
yard, we use CedarCide. It smells yummy or just like Cedar if you aren’t a huge fan (I once locked myself in a newly minted cedar closet for 5 minutes breathing it all in) and is a safer, kinder gentler way to kill the bloodsuckers. But this product also works on lice, kills ticks, mosquitos, mites and ants as well, at all stages of their life cycle. This product is indoor/outdoor, we just use it primarily outside.
- IF you have snakes, keep in mind that cedar is toxic to reptiles.
I typically use this product pointed down and spraying onto our
grass/yard, early morning when cool and avoiding bees, butterflies etc.
In our garden and yard we also use beneficial nematodes. Biologic Scanmask with 10 Million Steinernema feltiae (Sf) is an all natural defense against fleas, knats, grubs. You apply easily with a watering can or spray pump.
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For the patio, and for those local to the DFW area, its made right here, there’s SkeeterScreen personal spray which I also use on my dog, and their patio egg which not only looks cool, but helps spread the unwelcome mat. Just FYI, if you get it next to paint, such as where ours is hanging right at the slider coming into the house, where it touches the house? The oil will eventually peel the paint there. Small price to pay, or just situate it where it will hang freely and not swing into the side of your house like I should have done to begin with rather than complain about it here. They have candles too and the scent is nice. I am not a huge fan of citronella so while I know citronella is effective, I want other herbs and stuff to make a nice smell that doesn’t give me citronella overdose. I am an incense fan from the 70’s dude, so why not on the patio and in the yard? I am never without Amazon Lights incense. Firstly, there’s the cone which also comes with a nice ceramic holder. This is perfect for having a quiet corner conversation or a cup of joe and just wanting to enjoy your patio space for a few moments before heading into work etc. If you are going to be out longer, get the Amazon Lights stick version which last a couple of hours. I love the scent, which includes rosemary and thyme….and who couldn’t use more of that? The sticks last between 2.5 and 3 hours. For a larger space, strategically place a few so the entire patio is within it’s cloaking device.
INSIDE THE HOME BUG CONTROL – We use an ultrasonic plugin. Bodyguard Ultrasonic Pest Repellent is a great way to rid your home of unwanted bugs without toxic chemicals. Each unit works up to 1600 square feet so you can place strategically.
For cockroaches, silverfish and palmetto bugs (what I call giant cockroaches) and ants, we recently used, and with great effectiveness, Harris Diatomaceous Earth. There are hundreds of uses for this product and it comes with a duster. This is an all natural product with no additives or fillers.
Another option is Harris Boric Acid Roach and Silverfish Killer Powder with Lure because it is EPA registered, a safer approach to killing the nasties while keeping pets and family members safer. The product must be kept dry to work and works for weeks and is fast acting.
Due to environmental concerns, I do not recommend baits in plastic tins and I recommend placing these powders inside sink cabinets in the kitchen, laundry and bathrooms and behind such appliances as the stove and refrigerator. I am a bit paranoid, I want to keep pest control out of reach of the little ones, human and otherwise.
When applied correctly and at regular intervals, coupled with keeping your home environment tidy, you should be well on the way to bug-free home zone. Feel free to comment on how each of these products did at your house!