Insects live everywhere. It doesn’t matter how much you clean your house, there will still be bugs crawling around.
Scientists have described and given scientific names to about 920,000 species of insects in the world, which represents almost 85% of all known animal species. For comparison, only about 4,000 of the known animal species are mammals, man being one of these. There are more species of dragonflies than mammals, and almost as many species of cockroaches (3,500 species). There are about 9,000 species of birds, but almost twice as many species of butterflies. – Basic Facts: Insect Numbers
I’d like to think that my minimalist home is pretty clean. But I still see bugs. I would much rather see dead bugs in the middle of my kitchen floor than the flicker of movement when I turn the light on. I know that insects are an important part of our great Earth. But they can be important somewhere else!
Go to your local home improvement store and you will find 100 of different chemicals to kill insects with. But I like as few extra chemicals in or around my house as possible. So I spent a little time around the Internet finding some natural insect killers and repellents. Hope my list helps some other people too.
- Baking soda and powdered sugar mixed in equal parts is a good roach killer. Just spread around the area where you see roaches and soon you won’t see them anymore.
- Here’s a really sneaky way to get rid of fire ants. (All’s fair in love and the war against insect pests.) The only way to get rid of an infestation is to assassinate the queen. Wait until a dry spell is about to end. Sprinkle instant grits on the fire ant hill. The workers will carry the grits to the queen for her royal meal. She’ll eat the grits and when it rains, she’ll drink. And that’s what will kill her. The grits will expand in her stomach and she’ll “bloat” to death. Once she’s out of the way, the leaderless ants will die off. (This suggestion came courtesy of the Tightwad Gazette II book.)
- Grind rosemary leaves into a fine dust and sprinkle it onto your pet or its bedding to ward off fleas.
- Ivory liquid dishwashing detergent can act as a natural insecticide. Dilute with water until it is a 1 or 2 percent solution and then spray on plants.
- Fruit flies are wine connoisseurs. Okay, maybe they are not wine snobs, but they have been known to quaff a few drops here or there. They particularly like Chardonnay or so we hear. Use that knowledge to your advantage: fill up a saucer of some cheap white wine and add a little detergent to it. Leave it around for the flies to sip and die on. This solution brings knew meaning to the expression “rot gut.”
- A natural fly catcher related to wine is to put something sickly sweet like mango peels in the bottom of narrow-necked wine bottles. The flies can fly in, but can’t fly out.
- Set out cucumber peels or slices in the kitchen or at the ants’ point of entry. Many ants have a natural aversion to cucumber. Bitter cucumbers work best.
- Leave a few tea bags of mint tea near areas where the ants seem most active. Dry, crushed mint leaves or cloves also work as ant deterrents.
- Mix one liter of water, one teaspoon of Borax and a cup of sugar. Soak cotton balls in the solution and place them in a small yogurt container with holes punched in the lids to allow ants access. Place container in a location where ants are present. Ants will carry the bait back to their colonies where it will eventually kill the colony. Important: use indoors only; must be kept away from pets and children.
- Catnip is a natural repellent to cockroaches. The active ingredient is nepetalactone, which is non-toxic to humans and pets. Small sachets of catnip can be left in areas of cockroach activity. Catnip can also be simmered in a small amount of water to make a “catnip tea” which can be used as a spray to apply around baseboards and behind counters. This natural repellent should only be used in homes without cats!
- In an empty one pound coffee can, place 1 or 2 pieces of bread which have been soaked thoroughly with beer. Place in areas known to have roach infestations.
- It is a little known fact that roaches like high places. If you put boric acid on TOP of your kitchen cabinets (not inside), if space allows between ceiling and cabinets, the roaches will take the boric acid to their nests, killing all of them. Boric acid is toxic by mouth – keep away from children and pets.
- Planting marigolds around your yard works as a natural bug repellent because the flowers give off a fragrance bugs and flying insects do not like.
- For outdoor mosquito control, bat houses are effective. Some bat species can eat 500 – 1000 mosquitoes each per might.