Natural Bug Defenses

Here is a list of ideas to help you get rid of bugs. Even the cleanest house is not immune from an infestation, especially in this hot, rainy weather. After every rain here in Florida I find the house running with ants, Palmetto bugs and silverfish. They seem to rush inside to avoid being flooded out of their natural habitat, which is more often than not the mulch beds in the yard.

I hate spraying around the house with deadly killers, although they do work really well. I have 5 cats and the idea of poisoning of them terrifies me. Also, the bugs seem to focus on our kitchen area above all other rooms in the house and this means spraying around our dishes and cooking utensils. This is just not a good idea and, again, it terrifies me. The last thing we want is a trip to the ER. So I am always eager to hear about new green ideas to get rid of pesty bugs. Here are a few new ones I cornered online and in some books I’ve read:

Fresh Lemon will get rid of ants! I flipped out when I found this one because we always have lemons and limes for cold ice tea and the house is often infiltrated with ants. All you have to do is cut up a lemon and squeeze out the juice. Pour or squeeze the juice where the ants are coming into the house or are building mounds on your land. Yes, this is supposed to work outside, too! Doing this outside, you can change their route by pouring a line of cayenne pepper, dried peppermint or damp coffee grounds across the ants’ path. I am sure this will work. With the amount of damp coffee grounds we have around here with my Dad who is a coffee-holic, I can get rid of my ants and yours! LOL.

This is a really good one. Boric Acid and Corn Syrup together will get rid of roaches. I have heard of making “roach balls” out of sugar, water and boric acid but this is just as good. Combine one part boric acid to nine parts corn syrup. Microwave the mixture until the powder dissolves, which takes about a minute. This is the cool part of this trick because it creates your own “bug motel” you can put in places where you can’t sprinkle boric acid safely. Just poke four holes along the bottom edge of an empty margarine tub (in each of the four corners) and place a quarter-size drop of the mixture in the center before replacing the lid. Make larger holes for roaches and smaller ones for ants. The bugs eat the syrup balls and share them with their colony or nest, poisoning them all.

Eucalyptus Oil is supposed to get rid of Dust Mites. Hey, this one made my ears prick up because I am allergic to dust mites and they cause me swollen nose and sinus misery all year round. I am going to try this like pronto. And it’s just this simple: add a few drops of essential oil to your laundry or stored clothing or under your bedding to chase the buggers off and keep them away for good.

Peppermint Oil or Oil of Citronella not only chases of Mosquitoes, it’s also supposed to drive away mice. I have never really had a mice problem in my home but I have worked in beachside restaurants where the kitchen was overrun! Traps hardly work. But they say you can get rid of them by placing cotton balls soaked in oil of peppermint or citronella around your home’s foundation, in the locations where you suspect mice are getting in. In a restaurant kitchen, I would put these along the uppermost shelves.

Up until just recently, nothing but DEET was considered effective against Mosquitoes. I’d like to hear them tell that to the “Skin So Soft” devotees out there. However, for those of you who are still looking for a good deterrent, here are some natural ideas. oils of lemon eucalyptus, citronella, cedar, verbena, pennyroyal, geranium, lavender, pine and cinnamon. You should not just rub these essential oils directly on your skin. They are harsh and will give you a rash. You should mix the oil with vegetable or other oils that you like (such as grapeseed oil, coconut oil or avocado oil). Mix one drop with a few ounces of oil. Essential oils are really strong; a small amount is all you need. And of all of these oils I would recommend citronella, cedar, pine and pennyroyal. I have had personal success with these here in Florida, where mosquitoes swarm in droves.

To keep bugs out of clothing drawers and boxes, use a Herbal Sachet. Make a sachet with two 4- by 4-inch pieces of natural fiber material, such as silk or tight-weave linen, sewing three of the sides together with a simple straight stitch. Or take a shortcut and use cotton tea bags, which come ready to fill with a drawstring (find them in health food stores or herbalists). Combine 2 teaspoons each of dried thyme, rosemary and mint, and 1 teaspoon of whole cloves in a bowl. Stuff your sachet about three-quarters full with the herb mixture and sew up the last side to seal, and leave the sachet in your drawer or around the closet where moths strike. Another mixture you can use is cedar chips and fresh or dried Lavender.

Again about roaches, here is a routine you should perform to get rid of them if they are a big problem.  Like the previous mix I mentioned, you should make up a real tantalizer by mixing Boric Acid with sugar and Bacon drippings Make this mix by using 1/2 cup of boric acid (a low-toxic powder available at drugstores), 1/8 cup sugar and enough drops of bacon drippings to form a stiff dough when mixed together. To use as bait, roll into large slabs and place them behind the fridge or the stove where pets can’t reach them. Remember to make the slabs at least 4″ x 4″ and 1″ thick. These can be slid up under anywhere they crawl around, like under the stove, the cabinets, the refrigerator, anywhere you find them crawling. Use the bug motels described above for inside of cabinets or where dishes or food is kept. The bug motels will not contaminate foodstuffs but there is a good chance these toxic slabs could so only use them in areas not accessed by people or animals. Once the roaches start to die off, you should follow up with a thorough cleaning by scrubbing with soap and hot water, and vacuum all the nooks and crannies to get rid of any eggs. Repeat this routine as often as necessary.

Here is a trick for Ticks! Make a mix of Eucalyptus Oil and Vegetable Oil and rub it on. Use a mild mix of 1 or 2 drops of Eucalyptus Oil per 1/4 cup of Vegetable Oil. Rub it on the skin to keep the ticks from jumping on. To use this mix on your pet, simply dip a rope, a bandanna or their collar into the mix and leave it on while the pet is outside. Remove it indoors and redip it about twice a week for a pet that goes outdoors frequently.

Resources for Recipes:

Lemon 100% Pure Essential Oil- 10 ml
Nature’s Alchemy Essential Oil, Lavender (Lavendula Officinalis), 2 fl oz (59 ml)
Peppermint 100% Pure Essential Oil – 10 ml
Eucalyptus 100% Pure Essential Oil – 30 ml
8 Ounce Texas Cedarwood Oil (Juniperus mexicana)
Boric Acid Roach & Ant Killer
Moth Away Sachets – Nontoxic – 24 Pack (White) (24 Sachets)

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2 Responses so far

  1. 1

    […] the commercial pesticides. Once again, refer to my post on natural insect repellents and on natural bug defenses for ideas on how to do this. There are also green pesticides just now coming to market that make a […]

  2. 2

    Drunken Dragon said,

    Nice info, thanks for sharing.

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    Thank you anyway

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