Just Say NO to Pesticides at Home! 6 Healthy Alternatives

by Ron & Lisa Beres on February 8, 2012 · 5 comments

Just Say NO to Pesticides at Home! 6 Healthy Alternatives

Is a bug’s death costing you your life?  This may sound a bit extreme at first, but not when you dig deeper and discover the dangerous, toxic chemicals found in synthetic pesticides. Pesticides give off noxious gases that harm humans as well as insects.  Children are especially vulnerable because their immune systems are still developing. They are more likely to come in contact with pesticides because they spend more time playing outdoors on the grass, where pesticides are commonly applied, and indoors on carpeting, where lawn chemicals may have been tracked in and deposited. Children are also more likely to transfer toxins from hand to mouth.

Flea collars are a serious source of pesticide exposure for children who love to roll around with the family pet.  By putting a flea collar on your favorite pet, you’re not only bringing noxious gases into your home; you’re doing the pet no favor!  Pesticides are designed to kill living organisms, and they don’t discriminate between pests and pets.

Instead of using toxic pesticides, try Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is an effective, environmentally sensitive and graduated approach that relies on a combination of economical and common sense practices to manage pests with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.  IPM gets you to think strategically about eliminating pests. To develop an IPM strategy, consider these key questions:

  • Where are the pests coming in?
  • Why are they staying?
  • What are their food sources?

Once you know the answers to these questions you can do any repair work necessary to keep out the pests, such as fixing screens or filling cracks with a non-toxic caulk. Next, you can address any moisture problems or other issues that have transformed your home into a luxurious five-star hotel for the pests. Finally, you can work on taking away their food source. This can be as simple as cleaning up your pantry shelves and storing dried foods in sealed glass jars. For some pests, like cockroaches, you may need to do some home maintenance such as repairing damaged wallpaper so the roaches can’t snack on the glue.

For many pest problems, simply asking and addressing these issues will take care of the problem. For others, you’ll need to go further, which may involve less-toxic pesticides like boric acid or diatomaceous earth (DE). An IPM approach only uses pesticides that are produced from natural sources, as opposed to synthetic chemicals.

Here are 6 tried and true IPM tips that will enable you to keep pests away without having to resort to more dangerous pesticides.
Our 6 Quick, Easy and Affordable Alternatives:

1.) Ants Away: Try sprinkling red chili powder, paprika or dried peppermint (or its essential oil) to deter the ants from entering your home.

     Saving Green:  Total Cost:  $3-10.    Total Time: 5 minutes.

2.) Outdoor Pets: Place your pet’s food bowl within a larger bowl of soapy water.

     Saving Green: Total Cost:  $0.   Total Time: 5 minutes.

3.) Natural flea Collar: Take off your pet’s flea collar and keep him or her flea-free (and healthier!) by feeding him brewer’s yeast in powder (mixed in food) or tablet form.

     Saving Green:  Total Cost: $3 – actually less expensive than a flea collar.Total Time: 2 minutes.

4.) Natural Flea repellent: Try using some of the flea repellents that are composed of natural substances offered by natural pet product stores.

     Saving Green:  Total Cost: $6-25.   Total time: 20 minutes.

5.) Creepy Crawlies: For ants, termites, fleas, spiders or roaches, mop or spray floors with Borax. (It’s poisonous if ingested, so store and use it carefully.)

      Saving Green:  Total Cost: $10 for a large box.   Total time: 1 hour.

6.) Save A Bugs Life: Or, you can opt for our personal favorite; an eco-friendly pest control that’s environmentally friendly, organic, natural and humane – the Bugzooka.  With a battery-operated wand, it allows you to capture the insect and release it back into nature without harming it!

      Saving Green:  Total Cost: $25.   Total time: Seconds per bug.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary E February 10, 2012 at 7:35 am

Another fool proof and safe way to keep out ants is Bay Leaves!! Just put the bay leaves around where the ants are coming in and where they are already and as long as you leave the bay leaves out, the ants won’t come in. It really does work!!


Ron & Lisa February 10, 2012 at 10:33 am

Thanks Mary! I recently heard this tip as well from my mother who lives in Hawaii (and swears by the bay leaves trick). I guess a good way to remember is: To keep ants a bay…use Bay :)


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