Do-It-Yourself Pest Control

Most of us have to deal with pesky critters that want to cohabit with us. Here are a few do-it-yourself pest control ideas that you can try out to keep them away.
Rita Putatunda Jun 9, 2019
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No matter how clean you keep your home or how new your house may be, pest infestation is bound to happen. Pests like roaches, termites, beetles, ants, ticks, spiders, earwigs, bees, and rodents are usually drawn to homes because of warmth, shelter, and food.
While some pests may be merely annoying, some others, like rats, carry disease, while some others, like certain kinds of spiders, can be poisonous. And as for termites, these can devour all your wooden structures, causing you thousands of dollars in damage.
However, hiring a professional exterminator to get rid of pest infestation can be an expensive affair, hence more and more people are opting for do-it-yourself pest control options.

Prevention

Before turning to insecticides, however, there are a few pest prevention methods you can use to limit infestation. One of the most important ways to reduce the populations of insects in your home is by cutting off the very things they come for―food, shelter, and water.
  • See that you store your trash in containers that have lids which fit tightly. As soon as crumbs fall anywhere or there are spills, clean them up promptly.
  • When you vacuum, make sure to do it thoroughly, particularly in cracks and crevices.
  • If there are any leaks, fix them in order to prevent insects seeking the moisture.
  • Don't stack boxes, wood, or paper near or in your home.
  • If you have a garden, or plants in your house, keep the vegetation manicured and allow plenty of ventilation and sunshine.
  • Seal all the cracks and holes around your house to prevent insects from getting entry inside. A cockroach needs just 1/16 of an inch of space to hide.
  • When bringing in boxes, furniture, etc., into your home, make sure that they are not harboring any insects.
Basically, you need to deal with the problem before it becomes unmanageable. Generally, people don't do anything about pests until they begin overrunning the place. The more you procrastinate about getting rid of pests, the more difficult it will be to do it yourself.
Also, it is a good idea to learn about the particular type of pest problem you have. For example, if it is cockroaches that are the problem, you need to find out what will work best to get rid of them. You will find a lot of resources on the Internet that will help you to formulate a good strategy and choose products to deal with your pest problem.
For example, there are many homemade, non-toxic organic pesticides that you can find out about for your use. Many chemical pesticides are very harmful, hence it is always safer to opt for non-toxic remedies.

Natural Pesticides

Here are a few safe natural pesticides that you can make at home which can work against just about anything, from getting rid of insects to killing fungus, mold or mildew, and exterminating pests. For example, mint and onion are excellent as repellants against bugs, fleas, and beetles.
Garlic is very good as an organic pest control ingredient in the garden, it is also a natural insect repellant and pesticide.

Garlic Spray

Put two tablespoons of mineral oil in a bowl and add 3 or 4 ounces of finely chopped garlic bulbs into it. Let it soak for a day. Dissolve one teaspoon of fish emulsion in one pint of water and mix this with the garlic and mineral oil mixture.
Strain this liquid and then store it in a glass container (do not use a metal container). When you want to use it, dilute one part of the solution to 20 parts of water. This kills mosquitoes, onion flies, and aphids.
Garlic as an insect and pest repellant:
  • Planting garlic along with tomatoes keeps red spider mites away.
  • Borers will get repelled by planting garlic around fruit trees.
  • If you apply garlic spray on sweet potatoes, it will keep the rabbits away from them.
  • Spray the garlic pesticide on ponds in order to kill mosquitoes.

Tomato Leaf Insect Spray

Crush some tomato leaves in a vegetable juicer and add 4-5 pints of water along with one tablespoon of cornstarch to it. Strain this liquid and store in the fridge, using it according to requirement.

Botanical pesticides

Some of the best ones are: Rotenone (extracted from cube and derris), Neem, Sabadilla, and Pyrethrin.

Insecticidal soap

Garden pests can be controlled with insecticidal soap. It is very effective against aphids, flea beetles, spider mites, mealybugs, whiteflies, and thrips, and sometimes even leafhoppers and caterpillars. It becomes more potent when mixed with Rotenone.
Insecticidal soap only works when applied directly, hence you need to spray it directly on the pest. It is also effective against powdery mildew, if it is combined with botanical or horticultural oils.

Pyola

It is a natural insecticide which contains canola oil and pyrethrins. It is effective against squash bugs, aphids, and beetles. Since most of the canola oil in the US is made from genetically engineered canola, growers of organic vegetables ought to check it out before using.

Boric Acid

Also known as Borax, it is very good against cockroaches, ants, ticks, fleas, termites, and many other insects. It is also an effective biocide and fungicide, especially when it is combined with hydrogen peroxide, and kills mold and fungus, including the toxic black mold.
Note: Be cautious when using broad spectrum pesticides. Try and target only pests, so that you do not kill beneficial insects.