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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

And the Ants Go Marching In


As hard as I try to be a nature lover, I must confess that I am not a fan of bugs. I am less squeamish about them as the mother of two boys, one of whom went through a bug stage so we had lots of first hand experiences, but I do not want them in my home. I am also not a fan of chemicals or pesticides. So when the ants started to march through my living room, it was time to discover some natural solutions to my uninvited visitors.

Why natural? Several reasons: for one, I feel passionately about keeping chemicals out of my home and away from my family as much as I can. We eat mostly organic food, use non-toxic cleaning and personal care products, and seek out healthcare that focuses on natural solutions. Research shows that home pesticides have been implicated in rising rates of everything from asthma to childhood leukemia, enough to make me take pause. My concern about the dangers of pesticides and insecticides extend beyond my family as well and there is mounting evidence that runoff and residues of these chemicals are wreaking havoc with the environment. According to RATE (Real Alternatives to Toxins in the Environment), more than 16 million US citizens are sensitive to pesticides and the rates of multiple chemical sensitivities are on the rise. According to the US Fish and Wildlife service, pesticides kill more than 67 million birds each year and between 6 and 14 million fish annually.

Fortunately, there are an amazing number of natural "remedies" for a variety of bug issues. Who knew that simple cucumber peels could have so much value? According to Planet Natural the peels of cucumbers can be placed where ants, wasps, and other insects are entering your home to deter them. Have moths? You can deter them with cloves or build a water trap. Fleas? You can rinse your pets in a lemon oil solution or grind up rosemary to sprinkle on your pet bedding and pets for a simple home solution. Sage and rosemary can also help deter mosquitoes. Throw some on your summer grill to keep the pests away from your BBQ guests. A variety of herbs and spices - used both inside your home and planted in your garden - act as natural bug repellents. Mint, basil and bay leaves repel flies, while cinnamon and garlic deter ants. Nasty cockroaches? Mix up equal parts of baking soda and powdered sugar and place where you see them to rid them from your kitchen cabinets.

Nature provides us with an tool kit for dealing with unwanted pests that is simple, affordable, and safe. We invite you to share your tips and experiences with natural pest solutions on our blog or online member communities.

1 comment:

  1. I did a blog last month on natural spider control! Check it out: http://thecrunchymamacita.blogspot.com/2010/05/green-things.html

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