I wrote about natural pest control last year for outdoor insects, but now that the warm weather has finally arrived – especially for those of us who live in the Northern US – we are starting to see pesky insects inside of our homes – ants, flies, mosquitoes, wasps, and more. I’m not talking about spiders– they aren’t insects, they’re arthropods – and I don’t consider them pests at all.
Spiders are Good
We keep a “bug cup” in our kitchen. Any bug we find inside our house (with the exception of spiders) is scooped up in the cup, brought outdoors and released there. Spiders are wonderful – they actually control the population of insects in – and out of – the house. You need to think before you squash or kill these guys. It is said that without spiders, food probably wouldn’t exist. Spiders control the insects of the world. If they’re in your house, they’ll kill aphids and even cockroaches if you’ve got them! And there is no reason to be afraid of them because they are afraid of us humans. (Of course I’m only speaking of house spiders – not the black widows, brown recluse and yellow sac spiders.) When we find spiders in our house, we usually move them to out of harm’s way on to a houseplant or down to the basement. And if you’re looking for natural ways to control the insect population in the house, spiders are the way to go.
There is a Reason for Everything
The fear of insects is known as entomophobia (also known as insectophobia.) Plenty of people are afraid of bugs, but there is no reason to kill them, especially using dangerous insecticides. All insects on this planet have a purpose. Take ants, for example; most people will panic at the sight of some in the house, but they are actually helpful in the environment. They are beneficial as they eat other pests.
Prevention is the Best
The best – and obvious – way to control and keep insects out of the house is by prevention. Keep a clean house. Don’t leave food on the counters and tables, especially uncovered. Pick up any dropped crumbs, liquid spills on the floors. Clean counters with a vinegar or lemon solution. Bugs hate the smell, and it destroys their trails. Make sure caulking around windows and doors is intact. Repair and maintain screens in doors and windows. Remove garbage frequently, and eliminate any leaky plumbing. Also clean up after your pets. Don’t leave uneaten dog or cat food on the floor.
Here are some other tips to keep them away …
Get an idea of how the bugs entering the house. Most insects are turned off by strong odors, so try sprinkling some of these powders around your baseboards, by the doors, or wherever you think they are entering. Try using cinnamon, turmeric, garlic, hot pepper, baby powder, or mint. They will not walk over the line of powder.
Sprinkle oils, especially essential oils such as clove, peppermint, cinnamon, citrus, or tea-tree oils. You can try saturating heavy string with the oil and place along the baseboard or wherever the point of entry is.
I’ve also read slices of cucumber or cucumber peels and orange or lemon peels are supposed to be great for repelling ants but can’t imagine leaving it on the floor.
Stay Away from Harmful Insecticides
Whatever you do, don’t use insecticides. Exposure to these chemicals can cause serious ailments including cancers.
If you are kind-hearted but don’t want to come in contact with the insects at all, you can buy a bug vacuum. It is specially made to let you vacuum up insects and spiders and release them outside unharmed.