by Jacklyn Renz
Whether they creep, crawl, or fly, we can all agree that insects of all kinds are not welcome in our homes. The best and first step to heading off a bug issue is to stop it before it starts. After all, a pound of prevention is worth an ounce of cure. So where do we start when it comes to keeping these especially elusive and quick things out of our territory? Read on for some advice on avoidance.
Keep Clean and Carry Vinegar
Take away the food source for these pests, and most likely they will head for greener pastures. Keep your kitchen floor and countertops free of crumbs. Using a vinegar spray daily on kitchen surfaces will erase those alluring food odors. As for your kitchen’s drain, keep it clear of debris with a baking soda and vinegar soak, followed by some boiling water to wash away the goop. With tile or laminate, a vinegar spray can also be used for spot mopping the floors.
The E.O. Bandwagon
Essential oils have risen in popularity over the past few years, and rightfully so. Just a few drops of a pure oil can have a powerful impact on your pest problem. Spiders, ants, and cockroaches are repelled by peppermint and spearmint oils. Tea tree oil can also help repel ants. In addition to peppermint, lavender, cedarwood, and lemongrass oils can help if your pets have pests such as fleas or ticks.
Look to the Earth
One of our favorite methods of bug control is diatomaceous earth. This substance is actually not “earth” at all, but fossils of marine phytoplankton. Opt for a food-grade product and you can literally eat this without it hurting you! Diatomaceous earth destroys any insect with an exoskeleton by sticking to their body as they march through it. From then on out, two things happen: the insect slowly gets cut up while simultaneously being dried out from loss of moisture in its body. The especially neat thing about this product is that a bug cannot build up a tolerance to it because the attack is physical, not chemical.
Like all living things, bugs need water. Keep moisture control in the bathroom, kitchen, and around the outside of the home one of your top priorities. Be sure that there is no standing water in your sinks or tubs. Check under sinks for leaking pipes. If there is a water collection issue happening on the outside of the home, consider installing french drains or getting the grade of the home adjusted by a professional.
From the Outside to the Inside
In addition to controlling moisture and standing water on the outside of the home, keep your vegetation in check. Trim back plants so they are not touching the foundation of the house. Be aware that bird baths, children’s toys, or gardening supplies can often become pools of stagnant water. Woodpiles and ashes are favorites spots for scorpions, so keep the fire pit cleaned out and the wood far from the house.
Bring in Reinforcements
If insects are committing a full force invasion, you will need reinforcements. Pest control companies are in no short supply. Ask around for price comparisons and quality of work. Some companies even offer organic or natural solutions instead of the standard chemical onslaught. Once the bugs are knocked out by the pros, stay steady with the above mentioned tips to keep your home comfortable and bug-free for good.