Natural Repellents To Get Rid Of Pests
Photo: Flickr, Shteve
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Last week, a noisy ladybug snuck in my open window. I failed to put the screen down fast enough and it fluttered into my room. As I was closing the screen, I noticed the carcasses of a moth and a beetle and knew I needed something to repel the insects from making my outside window ledge their newest hangout to escape the fall weather.
Pest repellents and controls usually contain toxins I should not be inhaling. The poison sign will accompany the harmful ingredients on the box, yet we as consumers purchase it because we are desperate to rid ourselves of simple pests. The remaining stragglers we usually trap with a swatter.
Products with DEET will work to kill harmful insects, but it’s still an active pesticide, hence DEET-free and natural products. Companies are trying to lessen the chemicals in repellents by offering natural ones like traps and sticky paper. I found a few products here.
However, considering the environmentalist in me, I wanted to use a natural alternative for repelling insects. I wasn’t interested in the labels promising to be non-toxic, although the harmful chemicals were substituted with supposedly safe chemicals. I wanted to use something I could find in my own kitchen cabinet.
One natural repellent is peppermint, which can repel a variety of insects and rodents. Scatter cinnamon or black pepper on a surface to drive away ants. Silverfish and fleas don’t like citrus-scented products. Many oils like citronella and lemon eucalyptus repel insects, but they could be poisonous if ingested.
Peppermint, cinnamon, black pepper, and citrus-scented things like lemon slices are your safest bet because there are no harmful toxins. Most people carry these items in their kitchen, without even knowing they can also be used as natural repellents.
I sprinkled black pepper on my windowsill, and nothing has been trying to make a home there since. The natural alternative to getting rid of pests might be right in your kitchen cabinet.