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Environmentally Safe (and Kid-Friendly) Household Pesticides

 I live in Florida, land of the "critters". We have such an inviting climate that every living thing wants to take up residence here. That equates to an enormous population of insects and rodents frolicking and basking in our warm, winter and summer sun. (Can't you just picture them in their Bermuda shorts and sunglasses?)

We Florida citizens spend plenty of time and money trying to keep these pests at bay, but all we ever seem to accomplish is a temporary respite. They always come back, and they usually bring their cousins and long-lost relatives with them!
Unless you like living with roaches and other creepy-crawlies, there is no way around the Pest Control issue. Some type of perimeter has to be established, and that usually involves poison. 

Roaches are unique, disgusting creatures that clean their feet with their mouths. So if they step in it, they are going to eat it. Pest control companies know this, so they spray pesticides around doorways and windows, cabinets and drawers. This is an effective solution to the problem.

But children also tend to touch and then taste their environment, so a perimeter of poison is not exactly kid-friendly. Pets are also innocent victims of pest control efforts. That is why I opt for a natural way to repel pests.

Essential oil of peppermint is a powerful weapon against pests. Mix 20 drops in a gallon sprayer filled with salt water, and spray liberally around your home. The peppermint scent will delight your family's noses, but the six-legged party-crashers will run for the hills. 

Peppermint oil is also effective in repelling rodents. Think of it as cryptonite for mighty-mice. Simply place a few drops on a cotton Ball, and place the cotton in a crevice or small opening where you suspect rodents are getting in. They won't go near it! 

Are ants invading your kitchen or bathroom? Stopping them in their tracks is as easy as sprinkling a line of Cinnamon along windowsills and around pipes. For some reason, ants hate cinnamon. I have tried dosing ant beds in the yard with cinnamon. The ants will leave their mound, but they usually resurface a short distance away. A cinnamon border can be established around porches and flowerbeds though, which at least gives you claim over your own living areas.

 I have heard that grits can be used on ant mounds to naturally kill the colonies. This didn't work for me. My ants must be the true southern kind. They gobbled up the grits and became Super Ants! The most effective method of eradicating ants without poison is boiling water. Bring your steaming tea kettle out into the yard and start pouring the simulated lava into their mounds. Don't stand too long and gawk though. The ones you don't kill will be mad as wet hens!

Speaking of hens, we had a hungry snake sneak into our chicken coop a few times and swallow up our fresh eggs. We solved that problem with Moth Balls. A box of moth balls from the dollar store were poured around the outside perimeter of the coop. (We were afraid the chickens would think they were candy if we placed them inside.) No more snakes! I'm pretty sure we never saw any moths out there either. This isn't exactly a natural solution, but I thought it was worth mentioning, as it was very effective.

As you can see, natural pest control is simple and (other than the moth balls), aromatic. Who doesn't love the smell of peppermint and cinnamon? 

Always buy top-quality essential oils to achieve the best results. I trust Essential as my essential oil supermarket. Cinnamon can be purchased in the spice section of any grocery or discount store. Check your local club membership store for bulk sizes, which are perfect for establishing perimeter protection around your home. 

This post first appeared on Excellent Ways: Life Hacks Extraordinaire, please read the originial post: here

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Environmentally Safe (and Kid-Friendly) Household Pesticides


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