Stopping a Cockroach Invasion in Your Home

Stopping a Cockroach Invasion in Your HomeWhile all pests are an unwanted guest in your home, there is just something about cockroaches that can often get your skin crawling and you running for the bug spray. If you have discovered a few roaches in your home, there’s probably many more that you haven’t seen and you’ll want a solution fast. Here are some quick ways you can stop or prevent a roach infestation in your home.

Just like with any pest, prevention (rather than control), is the best method. To do this, you’ll want to do all you can to make your home an uncomfortable lodging for roaches. This with include getting rid of any food particles on the floors and cleaning regularly.

Anyone who has dealt with roaches knows how much they love to hide. By getting rid of the clutter in your home you prevent becoming a bug magnet. For roaches, pay particular attention to stacks of papers and cardboard boxes. Cockroaches love paper as they use it for a pheromone that communicates with their friends. You should also make sure there are no piles of laundry or stacks of other items on the floor.

If your prevention efforts still result in an invasion, it is important to act fast to control the situation. It is important to know that cockroaches can live for up to a month without food but only around a week without water. While it’s important to ensure all foods are sealed properly and spills cleaned immediately, cutting off their water source is essential. Wash and dry dishes straight away and wipe out sinks, baths, and showers to get rid of excess water.

When you encounter the pest you may want to reach for the nearest bug spray and get spraying. If you do want to use sprays, make sure and check the label to ensure they are suitable for indoor use and safe for your pets and children if you have any. Did you know cockroaches can hold their breath for 40 minutes?! We’re not so lucky, so go easy on the spray!

If you prefer to catch and release them, there are a number of ways you can do this such as homemade traps using food and jars. There are also adhesive tapes that will stop them in their tracks. If you do prefer to catch them, just remember you may not be able to catch them all and the infestation might remain.

Shoo fly! Getting rid of flies in your home

Shoo fly Getting rid of flies in your homeNo matter how little you open those windows or how quickly you shut the door, there always seems to be a fly or two that make it into the home. These pests are not only frustrating as they fly around and land on you, they can also bring with them disease that can contaminate your food – yuck! If you want to get these annoying pests away from your home keeping reading.

Prevention is always best when dealing with pests and working to avoid them from getting inside your home in the first place works best. Applying mesh or fly screens to windows and doors is a great option as it allows you to enjoy the breeze without the risk of getting some uninvited guests. When you are leaving or entering the home, try and close the door as quickly as possible. There are some mesh curtains available with magnets that close behind you after you walk through it.

While there are times when a fly invasion is simply unavoidable, you can do your bit to ensure your home isn’t encouraging the fly to stay. Flies are bound to stay around if they find some tasty food to snack on, so it’s important to keep your home – especially kitchens – as clean as possible. This can be done by cleaning up spills as soon as they happen and getting rid of leftovers and cleaning the dishes right away. As well as the food consumed by your family you should also worry about the pets as well, keep their food sealing and don’t leave uneaten food sitting in the bowl.

If you notice a fly come into the home you can often coax it to leave the way it came with a little swatting action. If this doesn’t work you need to decide what to do next. You can either bring out the old fly swatter or zapper, go for the fly spray or catch them. If you’re ok with dealing with the mess, killing them with a swatter is simple enough. Fly sprays are effective bug many of them smell nasty and can linger around the home. If you decide to catch them, you can do so using store bought strips or simply create your own with some paper that is covered with a sugary syrup mixture and hung with some string.

 

Protecting the Home from Pests

Protecting the Home from PestsYour home is a very important place – it’s where you live, lay your head and where your family lives as well. For this reason, it’s very important to protect it from pests and ensure there are none to be seen throughout the day. If you’re looking for an effective way to keep pests out, there are plenty options available to you. Pests are important to keep out of your house, because pests residing in a house can cause plenty of health problems and result in some serious loss of food, structural integrity and various other things in your house. There’s nothing that pests would like more than to eat you out of house and home, and it’s something they can do fast – roaches will feed on your refuse and get into your food if you have it within easy reach, and rats will do  the  very same. Let alone plenty of other insects that are sure to eat up your food and cause you various maladies, and you should really be informed when it comes to pest-proofing your home.

First of all, prevent pests from getting at your food by sealing containers properly and securing your pantry. This way, pests can’t get in – and they won’t be attracted to your pantry in terms of food scents and clear access to food being available. Sometimes, all it takes is some food being left out for bugs to realise they can get into your pantry and eat up your food: and when that happens, there’s only a few small steps left before pests begin entering and breeding in your pantry ,rendering your food spoiled and useless. Use zip lock bags, containers and Tupperware to keep food secure and unspoiled and prevent infestation. It’s truly easy – just take a look at your options, and make sure to keep cereals and grains as secure as possible. This keeps food fresh as well, which is another bonus.

Don’t let food be kept outside of your pantry in open containers, and when you prepare or eat food, make sure you clean your plates of leftover food as fast as possible. This way, there aren’t scraps and various other forms of food left around for pests to take up residence in and eat. It’s all too often that homeowners find pest infestations after a meal has been left around for days.

Pests That Attack Your Clothes and How to Stop Them

Pests That Attack Your Clothes and How to Stop ThemHave you ever gone to get a woolly jumper or coat out of storage in time for winter, only to find it’s full of holes? Do you often find that your delicate silk and other natural fibre garments get damaged easily? You could have a problem with one of many household pests that feed on fabrics. The larvae of moths, carpet beetles, silverfish and more all eat the actual fibre itself, as well as well as sheltering in between layers.

Clothes moths are small beige coloured moths about a centimetre wide. Unlike other moths, they’re not attracted to the light, and they often hide in the dark – which is why they can be found in dark cupboards, where the female moths can lay hundreds of eggs at a time. These eggs hatch into larvae, which feed on natural fibres including cotton, silk, wool, mohair, fur, and even leather. They can be repelled and prevented using cedar wood balls. Look for authentic cedar, rather than other woods soaked in special solutions; even though cedar may cost a bit more, it’s worth the money. These balls need to be changed every year or two, as their natural oils dissipate. Sachets of lavender and soap are also often used to discourage moths from laying their eggs in a particular location. Some commercial anti-moth preparations are also available, some of which look a little like hanging car air fresheners and can be attached on the rail inside your wardrobe.

A silverfish is a small bug that looks a little like a millipede. They are about 1-3cm long, and silvery grey. They get their name from their swishy fish like movements. Silverfish eat cotton, linen and silk, as well as the remains of other dead insects. They can chew holes and fray edges surprisingly quickly given their small size, so it’s important to take action as soon as you see them in your cupboard or wardrobe. You can kill them by spraying a commercially available silverfish pesticide into the corners and edges of cupboards and containers where they lay their eggs; you can also re-wash clothes which may have had silverfish in them. Laundry is also important because some pest experts believe silverfish can be attracted to perspiration smells.

Carpet beetles are small, shiny black beetles (they can also be brown or mottled) which feed on carpets and rugs made of animal materials, such as wool, fur, silk, felt and pelts. They can also get into clothing and wall hangings made of these materials. Washing your clothing (and cleaning your carpets, so they don’t have somewhere else to run away to) regularly is usually enough as they don’t survive a hot washing machine, however, dusts and surface sprays are also available to prevent them.

 

Pests in the Workplace

Pests in the WorkplaceIt’s not often you see them, but when you find a pest in your workplace, they can spell serious trouble for you and your fellow workers – or your employees, if you’re a workplace operator. Whether you’re working in hospitality or any other industry, a pest can really lower morale and indicate some serious hygiene problems with where you’re working. Take a look at your hygiene practices and really determine what’s going on here – a lot of business properties and kitchens are much larger than home kitchens, and will take some serious measures to get their affairs in order. You should really be concerned with how you’re going to get your kitchen or workplace in order, because pest infestations in the business sense can lead to lengthy closures and a lack of ability to make money from your business.

First of all, identify what kind of pest you’re looking at. All pests can be dealt with, but different kind of pests require different kinds of treatment – and can mean all kinds of time constraints which differ depending on the pest and the requirement of the treatment you’re looking at. If you have insects, for example, they can be found in all kinds of places – whereas rats and mice have some ‘traditional’ places where they’re found and more traditional means of dealing with them. Regardless of what you’re looking at, if you have a medium to severe infestation, you should close your place of business down while diagnosis and treatment of your pest problem is taking place. This is important because the quality of service you provide will be truly affected by both your pest infestation and the treatment methods necessary – many treatments require places of business to be closed simply because it’s not viable to have customers present while you’re spraying for bugs, for example.

There are many health ordinances which prevent you from being open while pests are present – and with good cause. It’s not fair on your employees and customers to have your place of business open while you’re dealing with pests, as it can take a long time and pest infestation can cause serious health problems from anybody exposed to pests. While you’re taking care of your pests, make sure you’re shored up against any financial losses: it’s always good to have savings or some kind of contingency plan in place just in case there’s some kind of pest infestation.

Pests in the Pantry

Pests in the PantryHave you gone to the pantry and opened a bag of food only to find it had been contaminated by pests? Pantry pests are a common problem for many households (even the cleanest ones) and can quickly turn into a disaster if not treated properly. When you would like to protect your stored foods from pest invaders, there are some simple things you can do to prevent them.

Beetles, weevils and moths can often infest the foods we like to store in the pantry. Loving many of the same foods that we do, you can often find them in dry foods such as cereals, pet food, flour, rice and cake mixes. Due to their size, they can often go undetected until the package is fully opened and you go to eat the food yourself. Luckily, prevention is relatively simple and there are plenty of things you can do to protect your food at home.

Stop access

Stopping these pests from entering your home in the first place is a much better solution than dealing with an infestation. There are a few ways to prevent access for these nasty pests. Just like any other pest you find in your home, they often gain entry through cracks or a door or window that has been left open. Remedy these situations first.

There are cases where the pests have entered the food before entering your home. It is important to check the packaging of the food you are buying for any damage. If the box or package seems damaged, don’t buy it.

Cleaning

Whether you have an infestation or not, it is important to keep your kitchen as clean as possible. This means sweeping up, vacuuming and mopping the floors regularly to get rid of small particles of food. You should also wipe out and go through your pantry on a regular basis.

Buy what you need

A common mistake for many shoppers is buying more than they need and storing foods in the pantry for long periods of time. If there are items such as flour or rice that you don’t use on a regular basis, buy smaller quantities or pick it up as you need it.

With the items you do buy, make sure they are tightly sealed. If you do not trust the packaging it can in to provide a tight enough seal, remove the product and place it in your own plastic or glass containers.

Keep mice away from your home

Keep mice away from your homeDo you have a little pet hamster or maybe a guineapig? It is understandable that you love your pet and want to take good care of them. Build them a lovely container, fill it with lots of fun toys, wash them, feed them and enjoy their company. Hamsters and guineapigs make for great pets, especially if you have younger children, but what you do not want in your home are mice and rats. These rodents do not make for lovely houseguest, on the contrary, they are a pest. So you need to make sure you keep them out of your home. Rodents can become quite dangerous, rats are known to bite humans and can cause severe pain and transmit disease. It is not just their bites you need to fear, their faeces also spread disease and cause sickness in humans. Another problem you could face when your home is infested with mice or rats is the baggage they carry, such as fleas, worms and other parasites. Rodents can also destroy your furnishings and other things such as food containers, skirting boards and doors. They will also contaminate your food, so you need to make sure they stay away from your home and your family.

The first thing you need to do is clean your home, and make sure you keep your foods stored safely so they do not attract any mice. Keep foods stored in glass containers with lids, as mice and rats can bite through cardboard and some plastics. Also do not leave pet food out, as its scent could attract these nasty pests.

Make sure you seal all your trash. Do not use open trashcans, opt for some that have a lid. Mice love to eat anything you throw away, so make sure that you use secure trash cans with lids indoors and outdoors. Always keep your home clean. Especially your bench tops and your entire kitchen. Never leave any food out and make sure you clean away all crumbs and food spills.

Try using peppermint oil as a deterrent, the best way of doing this is by soaking little balls of cotton in the scented oil and placing them at strategic points throughout your home. Also make sure you seal any possible entry points properly.

If after all this you do get mice, you might consider getting a cat or calling a professional exterminator.

How to keep moths out of your wardrobe

How to keep moths out of your wardrobeMoths can be quite a pest, eating away at your favourite pieces of clothing. They especially prefer wool, leathers, furs and silk. If you think you have seen a moth flying around don’t panic, but act systematically, on the other hand, you also shouldn’t ignore the warning sign. The first thing you need to do is check for any evidence of a moth problem. Start by looking through your clothes, anything made of wool, leather silk or even fur can be affected. If you find any tiny holes in your sweaters or favourite blouses, you do have a problem. For where there’s one hole, there will be many more. Next check for musty smells in your wardrobe and look for clothes that appear discoloured. Another indication that you have a moth problem is if there is webbings in the corners of your wardrobe or room. If you have found evidence that there are moths in your house, eating away at your favourite clothes, it is time to act and start protecting your clothing.

The first thing you need to do is start putting out moth traps. What you need are sticky traps that attract those nasty pest with a scent and once moths have come in contact with their sticky substance they cannot escape the trap anymore. If you would like to make sure that your traps are not full of harmful chemicals, simply make your own. Simply put some fish oil on flypaper, the oil scent will attract the moth and the sticky flypaper will trap it.

The next step in your fight against moths is washing your clothes, all of them. Make sure you check the care instructions first through, as the clothes moths like the most, are the most fragile when it comes to machine washing and tumble drying. Don’t forget to wash your towels, kitchen cloths and linens as well. It is also a good idea to clean suitcases, bags and other containers. Don’t forget to clean your cupboard too. Soapy water works best or you could use a water and vinegar mixture to clean your closets.

Now that you have cleaned out everything it is time to make sure that moths will not return to your closet. Start rearranging your clothes and make sure you store them properly. Then use deterrents to keep moths from returning. Scents such as cedar or lavender work well in keeping moths out of your closet and away from your clothes.

How to get rid of ants

How to get rid of antsIf you have spotted an ant in your kitchen do not take it lightly. Even if it was just the one single ant, where there’s one, there’s many. Chances are this one ant was just a scout, it is just checking the surroundings making sure that there is food to be found for the colony and considering it has found your kitchen, it has also found your food. Scout ants release a scent that tells all the other ants where to find food and how to get there, so it is time for you to act.

Start by cleaning your kitchen, thoroughly and frequently to avoid attracting any ants. It is best to use soapy water, you could also add some mint oils or citrus peels to the water to help deter ants and destroy their chemical trail. It also helps to spray ants with the soapy water mixture when you see them. Also always make sure you do not have any dirty dishes lying around, keep all your food sealed at all times. A good trick is to wipe down bench tops with vinegar, firstly because ants don’t like the smell and it also acts as a disinfectant.

You should also seal off all entrance areas ants could use to get into your home. Go around your kitchen and try to find where the ants are coming from. If you have an idea which way they enter your home, seal those entrances using glue or plaster.

If you think your kitchen is spotless clean and you have sealed of all entrances, then it’s time to move on to defensive methods. Put up barriers to avoid ants from wanting to come into your kitchen. Many products you can use as barriers, probably already are in your kitchen. You can use all kinds of spices and oils that can terrify ants and will make sure they never want to enter your kitchen again. Some of the things you can use as barriers are:

Cinnamon

Turmeric

Citrus oil

Cayenne pepper

Baby powder

A Mixture of white vinegar and water

Chalk lines

To just name a few.

Scents are a powerful deterrent against ants, so make sure your kitchen and home smell like it, the good news is what smell bad to ants, often please our senses quite a lot, so make sure to sprinkle around some lavender oil, clove oil, or place crushed mint leaves around your home. And voila you have a nice smelling, ant free home.

Organic Pest Control for Your Vegetable Garden

Organic Pest Control for Your Vegetable GardenGrowing your own vegetables can be a great satisfaction in life. Not only do you get to enjoy high quality fresh food, but you also get the immense pleasure of knowing you’ve grown it yourself. One thing that is the surge of all gardeners however is the dreaded pests. These annoying blights on your vegetable patch can ruin a perfectly good crop and waste months of hard work and nurturing. With many pest control products containing harmful chemicals that potentially pose a threat to human health, many avid gardeners seek out less hazardous alternatives. This is why we have put together a blog post listening some cheap and easy organic pest control solutions that you can create in the comfort of your own home. Read on to find out about some great insecticides.

Bicarbonate Soda Spray

Combine 4.5 litres of water with a tablespoon of Bicarbonate of Soda and 1 tablespoon of commercial oil spray (vegetable oil). With these three household products you can easily create a weekly treatment to help prevent both black spot and mildew. To assist with this treatment make sure that there is plenty of airflow around the plants and remove any leaves that show signs of black spot immediately.

Casuarina Tea

High in silica, Casuarina tree foliage when turned into a tea works fantastically to fight against mildews and fungal diseases like anthracnose. To create the tea simply simmer 60gm dried Casuarina needles in approximately 1 litre of water for around 20 minutes in a container made of stainless steel. After straining the solution you should dilute the 1 part of the concentrate to approximately 40 parts water. In the early morning spray the tea round trees.

Garlic Spray

The wonderful healing and health properties of garlic have been known for generations, and is still one of the most powerful natural remedies available. Lesser knows is garlics fantastic potential as a natural pest control for plants as a spray. Simply take 3 large gloves of garlic and then combine with a single tablespoon of vegetable oil, leave to soak overnight. One this concoction has brewed, strain and add one teaspoon of liquid soap and one litre of water. Use the spray on your plants regularly. This works great as an insect repellent and also doubles as a great antifungal and antibacterial solution for keen organic gardeners.

Keep your produce and yourself as healthy as possible by using homemade organic pest control in your garden. Your plants will thank you for it.

Non-Toxic Pest Control – Active Ingredients to Look Out For

Non-Toxic Pest Control  Active Ingredients to Look Out ForOne of the main concerns that pest control professionals are faced with is whether or not the chemicals they use are safe for households, especially those with young children and pets. The answer is usually the same: yes, all the chemicals used by professionals meet national safety regulations. But that doesn’t mean that they’re good for you, or that you’d want to be around them – especially if you knew how they worked to kill the pests!

Non-toxic pest control formulas include active ingredients which target specific pests only, or which work largely as a repellent rather than a poison. One of the most popular non-toxic pest control ingredients is diatomaceous earth, a silica-rich mineral powder which can be used like any other insect dust to kill ants, ticks, fleas, aphids, silverfish, bed bugs, spiders, mites, and other small crawling insects. Diatomaceous earth is not only non-toxic, it’s good for you – food-grade diatomaceous earth is often added to drinks or taken as a trace mineral supplement!

Another non-toxic pest control ingredient is citronella. Available as an essential oil, it can be used to make anything from diffusers to candles. It is strongly repellent to flying insects, especially mosquitoes. Just be careful not to get it on your skin, as it can cause reactions in some people if left on too long. Orange oil, the active component of which is d-limonene, is also a popular method of controlling aphids and other garden pests, especially on fruit trees – made up into a solution and added to a spray bottle, it kills bugs quickly and repels them from landing on the leaves again. For grubs and worms, milky spore – a safe, naturally occurring bacteria – can be applied around the affected area.

Electronic traps and bug killers are an effective, non-toxic way to kill lots of flying insects, including moths and flies. These traps use special lights to attract the bugs, which fly into an electrically charged mesh. It gives off no chemical odour or radiation, so it’s safe to use in rooms with people or pets. The only thing it really does is emit a loud buzzing sound when a bug hits the mesh, so most people keep theirs on their porch or balcony. Another alternative is fly and wasp paper, which attracts the bugs with a non-toxic food aroma and then kills them by starvation – they’re attached to the paper and can’t fly away.

 

 

Natural Pest Control Measures

Natural Pest Control MeasuresControlling pests naturally is something that is done relatively easily – and something that can prove to be a cheap and easy alternative to looking into costly artificial measures. There are plenty of techniques people have been using for years to take care of pests in their homes and the wider world, and you can use all of those techniques yourself to make sure that pests are totally taken care of in your home. Check out their ideas and put them to practice in your home – you’ll find it’s truly easy and simple to do.

Whether it’s using citronella to deter mosquitoes or honey traps to get rid of ants, people have been using all of kinds of natural techniques to deal with pests for millennia. Citronella is a key one – it’s used all the time, in many products both artificial and natural. It’s easy enough hot get a hold of citronella yourself and put it to use repelling mosquitoes and various other kinds of insects. Citronella can be used in its natural plant for around your home to provide a pleasant scent and get rid of bugs, or you can distil and use the oil in the plant in candles or air fresheners of various kinds – the smell keeps all kinds of bug’s way and is easy to tolerate. Many people find it pleasant and truly enjoy the smell – in fact, I’ve often mistakenly used an insect repellent containing citronella as my deodorant and find it toe relatively inoffensive. At least, more inoffensive than body odour.

There are plenty of other methods, as well – a honey trap is something that ants cannot stay away from. If you mxi in a natural liquid in the honey that will prevent ants form leaving or kill them, then you’re sure to have the ants taken care of in no time. Slow-acting poison can also be taken by the nets back to their nest and you’ll totally have the best eradicated in no time at all. Many contemporary artificial bates and traps use this same principal, but use packaging and other kinds of techniques that are artificial and not good for the environment. The key with a hone trap is keeping it out of reach of rents or younger family members, as it will inevitably lee contain poison or something that you do not want your family members to ingest. Hone cyan provide to be an attraction for dogs and kids alike, so make sure you’re responsible.

Natural Pest Control and Repellent Plants

Repellent PlantsWhether you want to maintain great results from a professional pest service, or just prevent unwanted bugs and vermin from getting into your house in the first place, natural repellent plants are a great option. You could try planting them as a border, placing some in pots near entry points, or even placing small tied bundles of leaves inside your home. Here are a few of the best known and most readily available natural pest control plants in Australia.

Basil: Basil not only repels flies and mosquitos, it doubles up as a culinary herb. Not to mention, it smells great!

Catnip:This herb, as well as being like a happy drug for cats, is also great at repelling ants and a range of beetles including aphids, weevils and even cockroaches.

Chrysanthemum: As well as producing an attractive flower, this plant repels cockroaches, ants, tics, silverfish, different types of lice, and fleas. It’s ideal for households with pets and children.

Coriander: Like basil, coriander doubles up as a culinary herb. It can be planted to deter aphids and mites.

Dill: Dill is not only delicious and pleasantly fresh smelling, it repels aphids, mites, and some types of worms.

Fennel: Fennel repels aphids, slugs and snails. You can also eat the white crunchy part of the plant.

Garlic: When planted in the ground, garlic bulbs help repel aphids, moths, snails, borer beetles and some types of worms. If you live in a semi-rural area where rabbits are a pest, it can also help to deter them too.

Lavender: Lavender doesn’t just look pretty and fill the air with a pleasant scent, it also repels moths, fleas, flies and mosquitos. It’s easy to bundle the cut flowers and use them like a potpourri around affected areas.

Lemon balm and lemon thyme: These are both great at repelling mosquitoes. As an added bonus, they can be used for a bit of ground cover and smell great when the leaves are crushed and the natural oils are released.

Spearmint: It’s not just a gum flavour – it’s also a relatively hardy herb that’s great at repelling rodents, as well as ants, moths, fleas and certain beetles.

Thyme: Thyme repels a variety of beetles and worms, including cabbage maggots which can wreak havoc on your veggie patch. Consider planting a bit of thyme as part of a herb border to your vegetable garden area.

Venus fly trap: The Venus fly trap is well known as a carnivorous plant, and does indeed attract and ingest flies. However,  each trap on the plant only ‘eats’ one fly every week or two, so don’t expect it to take care of large swarms of flies. It’s also not ideal for households with curious small children, as excess touching to trigger the trap mechanism can actually kill the plant.

Get rid of a mouse in your house!

Get rid of a mouse in your houseSpotting a mouse in your home is a highly unsettling experience. As someone who absolutely adores all animals big and small, I always thought that I would deal with the presence of a mouse in my house quite well. Oh how wrong I was! When I spotted one of the creatures running across my floor recently I jumped about ten feet in the air and screamed such blue murder that my housemates thought I was being murdered!  There is something so creepy about knowing a rodent has run over all your clothes (yes, I often leave my clothes on the floor) and is rummaging around in your walls. That scratch-scratch-scratch is just so disquieting in the otherwise quiet night time.

So here are a few ways to get rid of these cheeky critters and avoid the stress they can cause. First, why not give the ‘tried and tested’ approach a go and invest in a few mouse traps. Place them near entries to the house, such as a garage, garbage area or back door.

If the idea of removing squashed rodents from your home is all a bit much (and I don’t blame you!) then you could always invest in a feline companion. These are highly effective in killing off pests, and they really love the job! Not a cat person? Read on…

Another more humane way of getting rid of your problem is the ‘bucket trap’, which involves balancing a bucket on a piece of wood, tying a string around the object, putting some tempting mouse treats under the bucket, and when your little friend comes to claim his prize, just pull the string to trap him. Then you simply slide a piece of cardboard or a magazine under the bucket to serve as a lid and turn it over. This means you can then release him somewhere away from your home where he can’t find his way back; perhaps the local park.

Another, much easier (but of course more costly) alternative is calling your local pest control company. Putting the whole problem in the hands of the experts means a lot less worry and hassle for you, and is more likely to put an end to the problem rather than just serving as a bandaid approach.

The only thing I would really try to avoid are those methods that involve a slow death for the mouse. As I said, I really love animals and think it’s always best to try humane ways of disposing of pests over drowning and other such tactics. After all, they are creatures with feelings too!

 

Homemade Natural Pest Repellent

Homemade Natural Pest RepellentHave you recently had a professional pest control service in your home, and want to make sure the pests never come back again? Are you just looking for ways to make sure there are never any creepy crawlies around the house? Do you prefer to use all-natural, non- harmful ingredients? Then why not make your own homemade natural pest repellent?! There are plenty of different alternative recipes, depending on what sort of bugs you’re targeting.

One easy to make spray is made with 50% water, 95% witch hazel, and several drops of the chosen essential oil. Good choices for repelling flies and beetles include citronella, clove, lemongrass, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, cedar, lavender and mint. You can buy witch hazel from most supermarkets or beauty stores, and essential oils are available from pharmacies and health food stores across the country. The beauty of this recipe is that you can customise it so that it smells great too!

Is your veggie patch plagued by borer beetles, worms and moths? You can make your own repellent spray that keeps them at bay without harming your plants. Just one garlic bulb and one small onion in a food processor, and blend until finely chopped or almost liquefied. Add one teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper, and add four cups (1 litre) of water. Let it sit and steep like a tea for an hour or so, and strain it through a cheesecloth (to catch the bits) into a spray bottle. At this stage, add a tablespoon of liquid dish soap to the mix. When you apply the spray to affected plants, make sure you cover all the leaves thoroughly including under the leaves.

To keep bugs away inside the home, try blending your own oil for an oil burner. Citronella or lemongrass in your oil burner works well; just make sure to get it going about an hour before nightfall/when you need it to start working. You can get a similar effect without fire or electricity by placing a few drops of oil on a piece of tissue or paper, and placing it strategically near bins, entry points, under furniture etc.

If you’ve had success with repelling bugs using essential oils and want to carry that effect around with you, you can try making your own repellent balm by blending your essential oil/s of choice with solid coconut oil over a double boiler. Just make sure not to use citrus oil, as it can damage the skin if applied and then exposed to light.

Home Pest Control Measures

Home Pest Control MeasuresIf you have pests inside your home, then all hope is not lost. If you’re looking at a minor infestation of roaches, rats, mice, insects or various other pests, then you can take care of them without calling in a professional – there are some infestations that are more difficult to address than others, but it’s still enteral possible to take care of pests when they’ve established themselves in your house. There are steps you can take to limit their breeding cycle and prevent the areas that they can access. Of course, it’s a much better idea to prevent pests from entering in the first place through effective prevention measures – but this not always something that you can do. If you’re looking at an infestation, then you should definitely take some of these steps.

Invest in some pest traps – no matter what you’re looking at in terms of pest infestation, you should be able to find a product that’ll suit your unique requirements at your local pharmacy, hardware store or supermarket. There are plenty of eco-friendly and cruelty-free options to remove pests from your house – I’ve personally found that anti-coagulant pellets work wonders in ensuring that rats die a safe and relatively pain-free death, as they make them seek out water and will generally end up dying at a water source, which is not your home if you have all of your water sources covered up. Here is always a risk of rats dying within the walls of your home, but this lessens this risk considerably. These kind of baits have to be laid at entrances to your home where rats have entered, or anywhere on your property where there is a thoroughfare for pests. In my case, this was along a fence – simply placing a few baits on the part of the fence where I observed rats frequently running was enough to take care of them.

Ant baits are also an effective option for dealing with ant infestations – and importantly, many ant baits work by allowing ants to take the poison food back to their nests, where it is distributed and poisons other ants and eventually destroys the entire nest. This works very effectively because the baits are sweet and have the sugar in them that ants are truly attracted to – they’ll go for the bait over your food every time. This is a great way to take care of ants.

Have you got Termites?

Have you got TermitesOften referred to as a ‘silent destroyer’, it can be hard to detect whether or not you have termites. They might be hiding in your home or your backyard doing significant damage and you remain completely unaware of it. Termites thrive on eating wood, which is why they pose a threat to human dwellings as this is the primary material used for housing frames. They are also known to reap damage on other household items such as furniture and decking areas.

While termites are small (generally not growing to more than 1cm in length) they can cause significant damage due to their ability to hyper produce. Termites work in huge colonies and once they get underway in damaging a property they can be a real scourge to get rid of.

Prevention

The fight against termites really starts with prevention because once they get a hold of a property they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. This means taking the small steps to protect you home can be of significant benefit rather than having to pay out a huge amount of money in the future.

Eliminate Moisture

Termites thrive in damp conditions, so keeping you house warm and dry is essential for keeping them at bay. If there are any leaky taps or faucets then they should be repaired as soon as possible to keep them from making the problem worse. The same is true for the exterior of your house. Take care to ensure that your guttering is functioning properly and that rainwater doesn’t pool around the exterior of the house.

Remove Their Food

As stated termites love to munch on wood, especially damp wood. This is why it’s important to remove potential sources for feeding around your house. Piles of wood and stumps that are breeding ground for potential termites. Outdoor furniture should also be stored away from the house as this can serve as an entry point for these pests.

Warning Signs

If you have a feeling that you might have termites, then there are few things that you should keep an eye out for. Look out for a swarm of winged insects flying about your home or around the soil at your home. Another thing to try is tapping wood. If you tap wood and it sounds hollow then this a potential sign of an infestation.

There you go! A great blog post about termites and how they can truly ruin your property.

Ethical Mouse Traps

Ethical Mouse TrapsLets face it, no one likes mice crawling around their house. However as annoying and gross as they might be many of us simply can’t bring ourselves to kill the pest because it makes us feel bad. Furthermore, finding a squashed mouse stuck in a trap and then having to dispose of it isn’t a task that many people are willing to take on. Thankfully there are a number of alternatives that make getting rid of mice a cruel free endeavour, and they won’t leave you feeling bad.

Humane or ethical mouse traps are methods of catching vermin that doesn’t kill them. Generally this takes the form of a cage that has an easily accessible entrance, but no exit. This can involve some sort of weight sensitive door that require the mouse to step on it to open it, and then springs shut once they have entered. It’s important to remember with these type of traps that they aren’t perfect and they can accidentally cause an unintentional death. Most of the time however these traps work perfectly and function properly in terms of capturing mice and allowing for easy release.

There is a huge range of different traps available both at your local hardware store and online. Some are designed to capture multiple mice at once and are best suited for industrial or commercial building. Others however are more suited to catching a single mouse, therefore work better in residential applications. One significant benefit of ethical mouse traps is that they are perfectly fine to be reused multiple times. All you need to do is give them a bit of a clean and they can be deployed again.

One thing to watch out for is traps that advertise themselves as being ethical or humane, when they in fact aren’t. Things like glue traps that catch mice and technically don’t kill them can sometime falsely advertise themselves as being ethical, however they are hugely problematic. Once the mice is stuck to these glue traps they simply can’t be released, so the options that people resort to are either letting them starve to death or killing them.

Even when you buy a perfectly good human trap and are trying to be a responsible person, it can sometimes be difficult to remember to regularly check the traps. This can lead to mice starving to death, which defeats the purpose of having an ethical trap in the first place. So remember to regularly check your traps, and if you happen to come across any small friends – release them as quickly as possible.

Eight Simple Tips for Preventing Pest Infestations in Your Home

Eight Simple Tips for Preventing Pest Infestations in Your HomeThe old adage that ‘prevention is easier than cure’ is true in the case of pest control. If you have the chance, there are some simple measures you can take to prevent bugs and rodents getting in to your house and establishing themselves in the first place. Here are some simple ideas for preventing pest infestations:

  1. Take out the garbage as often as possible – preferably, at least daily. It doesn’t take long for the smell to attract flies, ants or mice.
  2. Clean out the garbage can once you’ve emptied the bin, if there’s slime or residue left. It’s not a pleasant task, but it can mean that bugs aren’t attracted to the area.
  3. Keep ripe fruit in the fridge. Fruit flies and ants can smell the ripe sugars, and may be attracted to the fruit bowl. If you leave fruit in there too long and it gets really soft, make sure to clean out the bowl as soon as possible.
  4. Wash dishes daily, as soon as possible after meal times. If you can’t possibly get to your dishes, make sure they’re submerged in warm soapy water so pests can’t smell (and be attracted to) the food leftovers.
  5. If you have a cat or dog, keep up to date with its flea protection and de-worming schedule. A simple application or tablet could prevent a lot of work in terms of getting fleas out of upholstery and fabric.
  6. Use silicone gap filler (available from any good hardware store) to seal up cracks and small gaps around the corners of the room, near windows, outlets, pipes and more. These are common entry points for cockroaches and ants.
  7. Make your own DIY fly trap, or multiple traps, and place them a safe distance away from your house to both draw out flies and make sure they don’t get past and into your house. There are plenty of recipes and instructions available online, all using simple things you may already have around the house (or can get at any grocery store). One example is using a soft drink bottle with the top inverted, and a bait chosen depending on the type of fly in question.
  8. When designing your garden, think about choosing natural pest repellent plants. Certain herbs have repellent properties and can be planted in pots and kept inside. Try keeping a planter box with fly repellent culinary herbs in your kitchen near the bin.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite on your trip to South America!

Don’t let the bed bugs bite on your trip to South AmericaSouth America is known for many things. The incredible Iguazu Falls, the amazing Inca Trail, beautiful Brazilian locals, pristine beaches, and fantastic music – just to name a few. Unfortunately, it also has something of a reputation for run-ins with pests. The pest control prowess of many of the local hostels has been the stuff of holiday horror stories for many a backpacker, with tales of bed bugs abounding.

But first, what exactly are these creepy critters? A bed bug is a parasitic insect that feeds on human blood and commonly lives in houses – especially near to or inside of beds. Charming, isn’t it. Their size and the anaesthetic/coagulant they inject into the skin means they will usually go unnoticed when tucking in to their victim. Apart from being kind of gross, they can cause nasty problems such as allergies and rashes on the skin.

After never having encountered bed bugs, I learnt during my recent pilgrimage to Machu Picchu that they were a relatively common occurrence in South America. Many people I met told me that they had suffered terribly from painful bites and rashes after being unwittingly bitten.

So what can you do? Well, it can be difficult to get total peace of mind, especially since the cleanest bed can still be infested with the bugs. Before booking, make sure you do your research and check whether there are any reports of bed bug infestation at the hotel you’re considering.

When you arrive at you room, search the seams of the mattress for signs of the bugs, which may include eggs, small fecal stains, blood, or even the bugs themselves. Other signs include the bugs’ exoskeletons, and a sweet or musty smell in the room. To protect the stuff you’ve brought with you, you can line your bag with bed bug luggage liners or laundry bags.

If you happen to be bitten, remember that scratching will just make the problem worse and make your bites last longer. Wash the bites and apply some anti-itch cream. The bites will appear like a mosquito bite; just a bit red and swollen.

Make sure you alert the hotel so they can bring in the pest controllers. Bed bugs are notorious for surviving in almost any conditions, so it may take a while for them to kill off the infestation. Also ensure to wash all your clothes thoroughly afterwards – you don’t want any eggs surviving!