Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tuesday’s Tips for Preppers - Non-Toxic Pest Control

Pest control is sometimes an area where people may compromise their safety for a little convenience. The effectiveness of chemicals, while not the safest, causes us to abandon safety because they are efficient killers of those tiny pests that plague our everyday lives. Here are some suggestions for non-toxic pest control that may allow you to stick to your principles of safety and still rid your home of pests that can affect your food storage and your daily lives.

Cleanliness is the best way to begin a non-toxic pest control system. This is especially important in the kitchen, dining areas, bedrooms and bathrooms.

1.) Make sure there are no open food sources. Dirty dishes and open cans of food are an invitation to pests of all types.

2.) Make sure there are no readily available sources of water. Dripping faucets, leaky valves and dishes soaking in the sink can all cause pest problems.

3.) Try not to eat in areas where there is carpet. Those little crumbs on the carpet are a bug magnet. Eating in bed should also be avoided as it also can create even bigger problems.

4.) Vacuum all areas of your house thoroughly and regularly.

5.) Always wash your bedding in hot water.

6.) Bathe and shampoo and comb your pets regularly.

7.) If you’re saving aluminum cans, keep them stored outside and away from any food storage areas.

8.) Always take the garbage out regularly. An over-flowing trash can be like a dinner bell for pests.

9.) Keep your house organized and free of clutter. Old newspapers and magazines can create real problems. They create an ideal source of nesting materials for rats and mice. The fewer hiding places you give pests, the better off you will be.

For more specific approaches to getting rid of certain pests, try these following remedies.

Mice and Rats

1.) Place dried peppermint leaves behind and under the stove and refrigerator to get rid of mice in the home.

2.) Don’t forget to use the proverbial mouse or rat trap. They are very efficient mechanical type killers of mice and rats, especially when loaded with a little peanut butter.


1.) Place cucumber peels or slices in areas where ants are active as a deterrent.

2.) A small line of cayenne pepper or coffee grounds, or even a piece of string soaked in lemon juice and placed at the point of entry will keep ants from crossing.


1.) Make catnip sachets and leave in strategic places around the house or simmer some catnip in water and use to make a spray which can be applied to baseboards, etc.

2.) Put a couple of slices of beer-soaked bread (stale bread and stale beer are OK for this purpose) into an empty 1lb coffee can, and yes you can use the plastic ones that are so prevalent nowadays. Leave it out where roaches congregate as this can be an effective deterrent for roaches. Cut small openings or holes in the plastic lid.


1.) Pour a cup boiling water over a sliced lemon and let it soak overnight before sponging on your pet. Lemon scented dishwashing liquid also works great as a flea shampoo.

2.) Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (plain white distilled vinegar works also) to your pet’s drinking water on a daily basis.

Outdoors you can try these tips:


1.) Mix 1 part garlic juice to 5 parts water for a natural mosquito spray. Soak strips of cotton cloth in the mixture and hang in outside areas as a localized repellant.

2.) Use citronella candles or “tiki” torches with citronella oil.


1.) Hang cheesecloth squares filled with bay leaves or cloves in windows.

2.) Fill plastic bags with water and hang in doorways and around patios.

3.) Plain old fly strips are also quite effective.

Inside the house and in the garden - Use Diatomaceous Earth (food grade)
Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic, chalky dust that can be used both indoors and out to control many household and garden pests. Made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are hard-shelled algae, the small, sharp particles are harmful only to the exoskeletons of insects. A mechanical, not chemical killer, it clings to their bodies as they walk or crawl over it, cutting the waxy coating and causing them to dry out. The insect will dehydrate and usually dies within a couple of days.

The use of dangerous and toxic pesticides can also endanger the safety of your water sources through groundwater contamination.

There are numerous ways to avoid toxic and harmful pesticides that could create a problem for your safety and the safety of your family and pets. Using non-toxic means of pest control will benefit everyone.

Staying above the water line!



Patricia said...

Great post, RW! These nontoxic items are mainly what we use around here.

riverwalker said...

To: patricia

Thanks. Glad to see you're ahead of the pack. That's great!


Marie said...

We've been cleaning with vinegar since I read your post about that, and it has worked wonderfully. You always hope that these problems won't present themselves, but the knowledge is priceless in case they do, so thanks for a great post--it's going in the storage information!

riverwalker said...

To: marie

Glad you found the vinegar tip helpful.Thanks.


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