Midsummer is the time when insects make themselves most known – indoors and out. If you find unwanted creatures in your house or garden, don’t reach for the poisons. Cope with bugs with safer methods for your household environment.
- For example, discourage ants trailing in and out with sprigs of pennyroyal. Or make bands of crushed eggshells along walkways to keep them from crossing.
- Try to peacefully coexist with ants in the garden as they are beneficial insects (see Related Article to the right). If they do become a problem in your garden, try this tip: For only one or two hills, sprinkle instant grits on the anthill. When the ants take them to the nest, the queen and workers eat them, and the grains swell up and kill them. It will take about two days before all activity stops.
- Aphids on your garden plants can be knocked off with frequent, strong streams of water from the garden hose.
- If you notice yellow-and-black-striped Colorado potato beetles or the metallic-blue-green Japanese beetles crawling on your plants, put down a dropcloth and, in the early morning when they’re most active, shake them off and dump them into a bucket of soapy water.
- If a colony of yellow jackets sets up housekeeping in your lawn, watch them from a distance to find their underground doorway. At night, when they’re not active, place a large glass casserole dish or salad bowl over the hole and weight it down with a brick. The wasps will be forced to exit elsewhere and usually won’t return.
- Herbs can be used for pest control. Wormwood, yarrow, santolina, tansy, mint, and lavender are traditional moth repellents. Oil of rosemary also can be effective.
- If it’s your pet that’s bothered, try putting a drop of lemon oil on his collar for flea control.
Do you have any tips on dealing with pests in the home and garden? Please share below!