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Eco-pest repellents

With the unusual weather that has been experienced across the country, homeowners are reporting an increase in all types of creepy-crawlies. Whilst it is impossible to completely rid your home of some of these nasties, there are eco-friendly pest remedies that will slow them down!

 

Ants

Ants come out to play, more often in summer, with something as simple as a bunch of flowers from the garden. There are many commercial products for keeping ants at bay, but in line with the growing thirst for natural domestic solutions, we found another way.

To repel ants around the home, drizzle peppermint oil ( available at health food stores) on windowsills and benchtops.

Not only will the oil deter the pesky little critters, it will lend a fresh, clean aroma to the kitchen, laundry and bathroom.

Natural barriers act like barbed wire to keep crawling pests, such as ants, out. These include garlic - grind it up with water and apply - cayenne pepper, cinnamon, powdered charcoal, bone meal, talcum powder or chalk. Keep in mind that different pests have different aversions, so you'll have to see what substance works best with the ones trying to sneak into your home.

Another way to think of barriers is to grow certain plants around the periphery of your home. They not only look nice, but will also deter pests. Plants known to repel ants and aphids include: spearmint, peppermint and pennyroyal.

Cockroaches

Looking for an organic and non-toxic pest control option for the elusive cockroach!

Mix a handful of cloves with a handful of epsom salts in a shallow dish and place under a typical hiding spot, such as a dishwasher, fridge, sink or washing machine. Or add a few drops of clove oil in corners and cupboards to keep them away!

Baking soda and powdered sugar mixed in equal parts is a good cockroach killer. Just spread around the area where you see cockroaches and soon you won't see them anymore. (Boric Acid, while slightly more toxic, is naturally occurring and is another way to get rid of them.)

It is a little known fact that cockroaches like high places. If you put boric acid on TOP of your kitchen cabinets (not inside), if space allows between ceiling and cabinets, the cockroaches will take the boric acid to their nests, killing all of them. Note: Boric acid is toxic by mouth - keep away from children and pets.

Silverfish

Silverfish prefer damp, warm conditions such as those found around kitchen and bathroom plumbing. Start by vacuuming the area to remove food particles and insect eggs. Silverfish can be easily trapped in small glass containers. Wrap the outside with tape so they can climb up and fall in. They will be trapped inside because they cannot climb smooth surfaces. Drown them in soapy water. The best preventive control is to remedy the damp conditions and you can alleviate this with a new product now on the shelves in supermarkets.

Parktown Prawn

Yuch, gross and disgusting as these insects are, they are also indestructible. Residents in Gauteng and surrounding areas are reporting an increase in these nasty critters and, after lengthy research, I have discovered my own personal method of dealing with parktown prawns. My Daschhund has become the local 'prawner' and is a champion at sniffing out and dismembering these insects. As the only known cure to man, perhaps dog training school should be top of your list!

While natural pest control products are a step up from most commercial insecticides, you should still be restrained about using them. Don't just leap at something that cures the symptom - look for the underlying or root cause and seek a solution for that problem. Overuse can end up creating new problems - getting rid of one pest in exchange for another.