Summer is the time of year we look to get out of the house and into the wild. Unfortunately, summer is also the time the wild tries to get into your house… I’m talking about bugs! Depending on where you live the type and severity of your bug problems during the summer months will vary, but its almost a certainty no matter where you are, you will find bugs and they will find you. Preventing these encounters between man and bug has become a billion dollar industry.
It has also become an industry that is full of toxic chemicals that are bad for us and our pets (who often are exposed to these chemicals in high doses as they sniff the ground and other surfaces). It’s not only our homes that we spray with these chemicals, we spray them directly on ourselves as we head out to camp or enjoy the outdoors! Luckily, there are alternatives. Did you know that in nature plants and animals create their own insect repellents? They create natural compounds that often work just as good if not better than store bought products that are toxic and laced with chemicals. However, lets first look at the risks you and your family take when you use conventional store bought insect repellents.
But that does not have to leave us vulnerable as there are effective natural solutions. Let’s look at two of the most common problems associated with bug control, mosquitos and ants.
Did you know that a mosquito can smell you from 50 yards away? In the US alone there are over 200 species of mosquitoes and almost all of them can ruin a perfectly good time outdoors. The males are not a problem, but the females are thirsting for the protein and iron in your blood in order to help them produce eggs. In some cases, preventing mosquito bites is a life and death situation as they can carry diseases such as Malaria and West Nile Virus.
In order to prevent mosquito bites, there are a few things you can do such as planting marigolds around your house and yard, building a bat house to solicit their help and also (and this is big) eliminate standing water such as in pools, ponds and bird baths. These are breeding grounds.
You can also use a combination Lemon and Eucalyptus essential oil and a carrier oil such as hazel, vodka or olive oil. Think 10% essential oil. If you use 100ml of carrier oil, use 10ml of Lemon Eucalyptus oil. You can also use Citronella oil. Both must be used with a carrier oil and not directly applied to your skin.
Ants, forming a chemical trail to water and food enter our homes by the hordes. Billions of dollars are spent annually on toxic sprays around our homes.
Instead, try the following to reduce ants in your home:
- Keep it clean: Keep things like wood piles, stacks of building material or garden tools away from the sides of your house.
- Essential Oils: Ants do not like Peppermint essential oil. Use this in areas you think ants are entering your home or pantry.
- Plant Mint: Since ants do not like mint, try planing mint along the perimeter of your home.
- Use Bay leafs: Bay leafs give off a scent that ants do not like, however they will not create a odor that will smell up your room or pantry. you can place them around in areas ants are attracted to.
As you can see there are many natural tools you can use this summer to keep your house pest free and your family and pets healthy!