Everyone is going to have to deal with some pests at some point in their life. They have a tendency to invade properties, being attracted to food, standing water, damp, or just the warmth of the home. Even if you’re lucky enough to avoid a termite infestation, things like ants, flies and wasps could cause a problem for your garden.
Pesticides are the easy and immediate choice for many home owners, but they can be damaging to the environment, and are harmful for you and your pets as well. If you’re looking for a less aggressive, but still effective, way to get rid of insects, then natural pest control techniques could be the answer.
The best way to control pests is just not to make the environment attractive for them in the first place. Cover sugar containers. Keep other sweet products in sealed jars. Don’t leave dishes soaking overnight. Mop up crumbs immediately.
Another option is to use natural pest control treatments aggressively. Leave slices of cucumber in areas where ants have been known to enter the building (ants, for some reason, are averse to bitter cucumbers). Spray warm soapy water on ants that do make it into the building. Leave mint tea bags or crushed mint leaves in areas where ants are active.
Use borax and sugar ‘traps’ in areas where ants tend to pass by. The ants will take back the bait to their colony, and the borax will kill them off. Note that borax is toxic to pets as well, so this may not be the ideal option.
Another thing that you could do is leave a low-wattage light on overnight in areas where you have a problem with insects. The light could disrupt their day to day behaviour and stop them from foraging.
If the issue is dust mites, then aggressive cleaning is the best option. Don’t keep stuffed toys, books or laundry hampers in the room where the mites are a problem. Use allergen-impermeable covers to block mites that have already infected your mattress. Wash bedding at a very high temperature to kill the mites off (commercial detergents won’t be enough, you need high temperatures to kill off the mites properly). Get into the habit of vacuum cleaning pillows and mattresses to get rid of as many mites as possible. Also, try to keep humidity low, because many pests thrive in humid environments.