Pests are labeled for their innate ability to pester us. Bugs such as mosquitoes, ants, wasps, and hornets can be bothersome, destructive, and in some cases, even dangerous. As such, it is no surprise that we have such a strong desire to be rid of them.
When searching for ways to get rid of pests, it is essential that we ensure we are not harming other insects and animals or destroying the ecosystem. Of course, if you have an infestation of harmful pests its best to leave it up to the professionals. You can look at tips and articles to help you select a pest control provider that fits your needs.
Here are a few things to try before dosing yourself and your home in chemicals:
There are some plants that repel certain types of bugs, while others attract them. Fragrant herbs like chives, lemongrass, garlic, and mint are said to repel certain critters, like aphids (a common treat for hornets and wasps). Not only do they deter pests, but most of these plants can be used in cooking or for ground cover to reduce the area you have to mow.
Common household spices like cinnamon and cayenne pepper are also derived from plants and can deter not only insects but cats who use your yard as a litter box and deer who munch on your garden. The smell and heat of the spices will deter animals from investigating without causing them any harm or discomfort.
Create Your Own Bug Spray
Mosquitoes, black flies, gnats, and hornets are often attracted to fragrant, floral personal care products. Alternatively, there are other smells that tell them to keep away. As with the plants discussed earlier, you can apply the same principles to creating your own bug spray for when you’re working in the garden or to apply to the plants themselves.
Mix either citronella oil or peppermint oil with a carrier oil– avocado, coconut, or grape oil are a few common choices– and apply them topically. Alternatively, put the mixture in a spray bottle to keep on hand to spray yourself and your plants. You can also mix these with lotion, as long as it is unscented. Be careful when applying certain oils, like peppermint, as they are hot and can cause irritation if you have sensitive skin or they aren’t properly diluted.
Traps are a simple way to capture and kill pests that infringe on your territory. Using a bucket or container, add sugar water, vinegar, and some dish soap. Place the trap away from your garden to attract unwanted hornets and wasps. The bugs will attempt to land on the water and will be unable to get out, as the dish soap removes the surface tension that would otherwise hold their weight.
While these traps will pull away hornets and wasps from your main living area, other bugs are also attracted to sugar. Consider if this trap is worth losing butterflies over as well as other creatures that you enjoy visiting your garden.
Bring in the Predators
All in all, most pests are pretty low on the food chain. Larger creatures that enjoy snacking on pests is a way to not only get rid of what ails you but also helps the ecosystem overall. Bird feeders with seeds can bring more feathered friends into your vicinity for an all you can eat buffet. Chickens– if you are allowed to have them in your area– also eat harmful pests, including ticks.
Bat houses are a fantastic way to reduce your mosquito population and attack other nocturnal pests. Be sure to put your bat houses in an area away from your house, so they aren’t drawn to your chimney or eavestroughs.
Think outside the box when it comes to pest control, and you’ll be enjoying your garden for years to come.