What are effective pest control strategies you could try?
Baiting – put some food on the traps you laid out to lure pests to go to them.
Pesticides – spray this on the infected areas.
Biological Pest Control – this is the use of parasites, predators, and pathogens to get rid of pests.
Caring for your home is one of your daily responsibilities in life. Although many find satisfaction in keeping their household clean and pest-free, a few others are struggling with their pest control methods. As a result, they end up with unwanted insects living in the very home they live in.
Fortunately, there are a couple of cockroach prevention tips that will make your home life easier and cleaner. Of course, this would include ways on how you could make other pests leave your home for good.
To help you out, here are some pest control strategies that you could try:
In order to get rid of pests that infest your home, the first thing you’ll need to do is to get them out in plain sight. Only then will you truly be able to get rid of them completely.
Depending on the insect that infests your home, there are different baiting methods you could use. For example, you can mix sugar with some boric acid to draw out ants and cockroaches out in the open. Basically, the sugar baits them while the boric acid kills them. To get rid of rats and other pests of the sort, you could add bits of foods to the traps you’ve laid out in order to trick them into getting into them.
This type of pest control strategy is one of the most-used in the industry. Pesticides are chemically engineered to eliminate the pests that invade the sanctity of your home. Most of the time, these things are used in order to get rid of pests on a massive scale.
However, you must take note that using pesticides does not mean you have to spray your entire home in a haphazard manner. To use pesticides, all you have to do is simply spray it on the areas, where pests are usually seen. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your valuables safe from any residue pesticides may leave behind. Also, make sure to wear masks as you spray because the smell of pesticides can be quite strong and toxic.
Sources: Scientific India
Biological Pest Control
Before baits and pesticides were invented, the best pest control method people were using is the use of parasites, predators, and pathogens. They utilized these things in order to get rid of their infestation problems. This natural practice dates back to ancient times. If you are planning on doing this kind of technique, here are some of the things you should know:
These are being used on pests that are attracted to them. The pests will then acquire them, and eventually they will be killed because the parasites will have to use their hosts in order to feed.
The best example of this is having a cat get rid of the mice infestation in your home. However, if you are planning to use this tactic, you have to make sure that you trained your predator properly in order to ensure the safety of your family, especially young children (if you have one).
Pathogens can be purchased from numerous pharmaceuticals. Although you got to be careful in using them in your own household, this is because they could easily be misused, which will then lead to unwanted diseases in your family. When utilized properly, you could get rid of pests down to the molecular scale because they take care of all traces of DNA left by those unwanted critters.
While complicated to use, controlling the pest situation through biological methods can be an effective strategy to use. There will be little to no traces left of the pests that invade your household. You could be assured that they would have to try extra hard to infest your house again.
These strategies are some of the best methods for you and your family to try. Plus, you can be sure that it will keep your home clean, orderly, and free from any kind of pest infestation. Just be sure to do your research before you apply them to your house because, as mentioned above, they could be tricky and dangerous to use, especially if you don’t know how to use them properly. Once you know how to do so, you are guaranteed to have a home that you deserve!
Gardening cannot be properly done without being able to dispose of harmful bugs in your plants and crops. However, the excessive use of pesticides could have negative effects on the environment. Although pesticides are very efficient at killing bad bugs, is it really worth it for you to use when your overall health is at stake?
Luckily, there are natural ways to control these termites without resorting to chemicals. In Bob Flowerdew’s book titled “Simple Green Pest and Disease Control”, ‘it is possible to keep your garden chemical-, pest-, and disease-free all at once.’ This goes to show that you can remove these pests naturally – from attracting natural predators of pests, handpicking, tilling, to the use of rough surfaces. Opting for these eco-friendly methods will not only aid you to effectively kill pests, hence, will also help you to practice organic gardening that will greatly save Mother Earth.
For you to have a better understanding of why you should avoid using pesticides, you must first understand the negative effects it has on the environment.
Effects of Chemicals on the Environment
Pesticides are the only internationally accepted chemical that is allowed to be legally used. There are different types of pesticides used to kill different kinds of pests, which are the following:
Herbicides to kill weeds
Insecticides to kill insects
Fungicides to kill fungi
Rodenticides to kill mice
The use of the pest killers has become a common practice everywhere. It is used for agricultural land, homes, parks, schools, buildings, forests, and roads. They are spread in a variety of ways – from mediums as small a spray can to an airplane performing crop dusting. Since the prevalence of the pesticides in the world, they are not just found in plants but also in the air, food, and drinks. Though it is meant to kill pests, it also has a harmful effect on humans.
Over the years, shreds of evidence point to pesticides as the chemical that is the main cause of the rising health problems in mankind – both physical and mental sicknesses. In May 2010, a study from the University of Montreal and Harvard University discovered that pesticides in vegetables and fruit cause a 200% higher risk for a child to develop attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Here are the effects of pesticides on different living things:
1. Human Adults
Pesticides have been known as one of the reasons for health problems in men that ranges from nausea and headaches to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive deficiency. Cancer is twice as likely to happen to a human living in an environment with heavy pesticide use as to a human in a clean area.
2. Human Children
The human brain is not fully formed until the age of 12 and pesticides could greatly affect the development of the central nervous system below this age. Proportionally, kids have more skin surface than adults during this time. They also take in more pounds of food and water compared to adults, as well as more air. Because of this high intake and a lack of a fully developed immune systems, they have a higher risk from suffering health problems stemmed from pesticides than adults. It doesn’t help that kids are much more active and are more exposed to different environment where the harmful chemicals may be or have been applied.
Not only can pesticides kill harmful insects, but also beneficial ones as well as soil microorganisms and worms which naturally limit the presence of pests. Given that the agricultural land is damaged, plants’ root and immune systems are weakened, and essential plant nutrients are reduced.
Even though public awareness was already raised by Rachel Carson in 1962 concerning the negative environmental effect of pesticide, the use of it today has only increased since then.
How to Fight Pests Without Pesticides
As mentioned above, there are several ways to fight and ward off pests from your garden without resorting to pesticides. In fact, these natural solutions just involve more effort, intelligence, and ingenuity to practice.
Although these methods are less efficient, they have been shown to be able to take care of keeping some of the most persistent harmful insects away from the garden.
These insects are listed below along with a brief explanation as to why they are harmful to the environment and how you can keep them away:
These are commonly seen on the underside of leaves and feed on garden vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants. While they are harmful in small numbers, an infestation will hinder or even stop plant growth completely.
To fight them off, cut off the leaves with heavy infestation and water your plants with a strong stream of water to kill them. Lacewing and ladybug larvae also naturally feed on aphids so encourage these good bugs to thrive in your garden. Plants of the daisy family attract lady bugs, while yarrow, goldenrod, black-eyed susans, and asters will bring in lacewings. Remember this as lacewings and ladybugs will come up often in this article.
A natural pesticide for aphids is a mixture of one tablespoon of canola oil with a few drops of dish soap in a quart of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle and shake it well. Spray infested leaves on the top and the bottom to kill the aphids and discourage living aphids from feeding on those leaves.
This is a huge pest that feeds on cabbage and related plants such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and turnip. They are considered extremely destructive because they are capable of leaving huge holes in these plants and even reaching the center where they can completely contaminate them with fecal matter.
Spiders, yellow jackets, lacewings, and parasitic wasps are the natural predators of these pests. However, even with the presence of these beneficial bugs in your garden, you will need to give more attention and effort to get rid of cabbageworms.
When you notice big holes in the leaves of your plants, that means that the cabbageworms are still thriving. Begin searching and handpicking these pests and throwing them into a bucket of soapy water. This will kill them. Remember this method as well.
After picking and harvesting your crops, till under the soil where the vegetables are used to be placed to kill the cabbageworm pupae.
These pests look like caterpillars. The difference is they have shiny heads and they live underground. They do most of their damage during the night by cutting off seedling stems. Young plants are also in their kill list as well and they particularly target ones that are in still within the soil or just emerging. A wide variety of plants are prey to this pest such as beets, cabbage, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower.
To prepare for these pests, remove weeds and plant debris when planting a new garden. This will stop the larvae from developing because they don’t have anything to eat. When you transfer your plants from one place to another, add a cardboard collar around its new area to keep it safe from cutworms. You can use toilet paper tubes for this.
Cutworms also cannot tolerate rough surfaces, so adding coffee grounds, eggshells, or diatomaceous earth around your plants can prevent these pests from coming close.
Just like for cabbageworms, you can kill the larvae after harvesting. For cutworms, you must pick up the soil debris and turn it over.
Earwigs are both harmful and beneficial. They eat dead leaves and be helpful near a compost pile. However, they also feed on young plants such as carrots and dill.
To keep this from happening, grow these plants earlier in the season so they will be hard for earwigs to eat when the pests mature. You can also bait earwigs with molasses, soy sauce with water, or peanut butter. Use these to lead them into a trap. Collect them and drown them in soapy water.
5. Bean Beetle
Both adult and larvae bean beetles are harmful to your garden because both are capable in attacking young pods, leaves, and stems. All bean plants such asbushes, poles, limas, pintos, navies, kindeys, and soybeans are susceptible to damage from these pests.
Bean beetles are most active during the summer. One of the most effective ways to prevent them from infesting your plants and home is to grow your bean plants early so that they mature by the time the season arrives. When the bean beetles come, they will be disappointed that they will have nothing to eat. However, if they still thrive, they can also be handpicked and placed in buckets of soapy water in order to kill them. Be sure to also check the underside of leaves for bright yellow eggs. If you find any of them on these places, kill these as soon as possible.
Lacewings and ladybugs treat these pests like aphids and feed on the larvae and eggs of bean beetles. Diatomaceous earth can also help kill the larvae. You can also use a floating row cover to act as a physical barrier from the pests.
These pests are a huge danger because they eat all kinds of crops faster than they can grow. Even plants in the soil are at risk because the pests can eat their leaves, leaving the plant unable to photosynthesize. They are most active during rainy seasons so be wary of their presence during these periods.
The soft undersides of these pests make them discouraged from traveling through any rough surfaces. Surround your plants with crushed eggshells, diatomaceous earth, and coffee grounds to prevent them from damaging your garden.
7. Tomato Hornworm
While these worms also consume leaves, stems, and fruits, they are particularly harmful to tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplants.
Tomato Hornworms have a huge size, which means they are easily handpicked to be dumped into a soapy water. After harvest, use a rototiller to break up and till the soil. Doing this will also kill overwintering pupae.
Lacewings and ladybugs save the day again because they also feed on hornworms.
Gardening is possible without the excessive use of pesticides. As per the book “Weeding Without Chemicals”, ‘Weed control can be much more simple, inexpensive, and eco-friendly without chemical intervention. Because every weed is best removed with a different method.’ All you need to do is practice a few ingenious methods of keeping pests at bay. Encouraging good bugs, properly tilling the soil, adding rough surfaces, planting early, creating natural pesticides, and even simple handpicking are good practices to make sure that you effectively prevent and control termites and other pests in infesting your plants and your home.
However, if these pests still continue to prosper your home, it is best that you contact a professional pest control service provider and ask for their assistance on this matter. Remember that it is still best that you turn to a professional when your pest issue is already severe.
Often, pesticides contain chemicals that can be harmful to you or your family’s health. However, products like these are essential – especially in the Philippines – for controlling termite and cockroach infestation. Still, it would be nice if pesticide formulators and manufacturers can create a product that will prevent deadly pests from residing in your property without harming your loved ones.
However, if those products are not available in the market, do not worry. You can always contact a professional pest control company. These experts are skilled in eliminating harmful insects and rodents as safely and efficiently as possible. But if you do not have the time or funds to schedule an appointment right now, do not fret, here are eco-friendly DIY pesticides that you can temporarily use to keep those pesky pests at bay!
One of the eco-friendly pest killers that you can prepare at home is the garlic spray. Its pungent odor will make your home an undesirable place for insects, like mosquitoes, to stay and lay their eggs on. Do not worry about the garlicky smell wafting in the air after spraying it because the odor will not last long.
120 g / 4.2 oz. fresh garlic
2 tbsp. mineral oil
20 g / 0.7 oz. natural soap powder
½ liter water
Get some garlic and chop it into small pieces.
Mix it with mineral oil, natural soap powder, and water.
Afterwards, pour the mixture into an open container.
Leave the concoction for 2 days and then strain it.
Pour the strained mixture into a spray bottle.
Spray it in areas where there are pest infestations.
Hot Pepper Wax
This homemade repellent deters spider mites, aphids, whiteflies, lace bugs, and other pests from come inside your property. The hot pepper wax is safe to use inside your home, even if have indoor plants, and on your garden.
6 peppers (habanero, Anaheim or cayenne)
2 cups of water
Cheesecloth or Paper Coffee Filter
Put six (6) peppers and 2 cups of water in a blender.
Blend the peppers and water at high speed.
After blending, put the mixture into a closed container.
Leave it for 24 hours.
Put a cheesecloth or paper coffee filter through the strainer.
Strain the mixture into a clean 1-quart glass jar.
Fill up the jar with top water.
Spray it into areas where there are pests.
Neem Oil Spray
Neem, which originated in India, is a powerful plant that is sometimes used as a medicine for skin diseases. However, do you know that it is also powerful in keeping pests away? The neem oil spray can block an insect’s life cycle as this DIY pesticide can make them lose their appetite after several days.
½ oz. high-quality organic neem oil
½ tsp. of mild organic liquid soap
Mix the high-quality organic neem oil and mild organic liquid soap and stir slowly.
Then, pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
Spray it into the areas where there are pests.
Try any of these DIY pesticides to see which can help keep pests away from your home. However, you should remember that the effects of products like these are only short-term. If you want something more long-term, then you should contact an expert. Professional pest control companies can help you effectively manage your pest issues.