Day 75–Toxic Free Pest Control

Ok, my house is finally clean and I’m ready to take on pest control without the use toxic chemicals. Most commercially available pest sprays are neurotoxins that work by destroying the central nervous system of bugs–and pretty much all other living things. Although I don’t have a toddler anymore, it still doesn’t seem like a great idea to spray neurotoxins throughout my house.

Thanks to Toxic Free NC, we have some recipes for neurotoxin-free pest control. We will give these a try this spring and summer and report back on our experience. With our exceptionally warm winter and early spring, I expect we will have a bumper crop of bugs this year, so good to get prepared now!

NOTE: Most of these recipes use borax or boric acid. This powder is safe to handle, but inhaling it in large amounts can irritate the respiratory tract, so keep open containers of powder away from pets and children.

Ant Bait

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp borax
  • 3-6 small screw-top jars (baby food jars would work well)
  • Cotton balls
  1. Mix all ingredients together and divide the mixture evenly among the jars.
  2. Loosely pack the jars with cotton balls.
  3. Screw the jar lids on and seal with tape.
  4. Poke holes in the jar lids and place jars on their sides near where ants are entering the house.

Roach Balls (this elicited much laughter from my daughter–always good to know body humor is still in fashion)

  • 1 cup borax
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  1. Make a paste of all ingredients and roll into little balls.
  2. Place 2-3 balls in a sandwich bag and leave open.
  3. Put the bags wherever you have a problem with roaches. They will eat the balls and carry them to their nests where they will die.

Herbal Insect Repellent (Do not use if you are pregnant)

  • 15 drops lavender oil
  • 15 drops tea tree oil
  • 10 drops citronella oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 10 drops cedarwood oil
  1. In a small bottle, mix the essential oils with about one ounce of unscented skin oil (you could use almond oil, olive oil or a massage oil).
  2. Apply to skin as needed.

For more information and recipes, go to http://www.toxicfreenc.org

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4 Comments

  1. I am totally laughing with your daughter at the roach balls. Is there an herbal remedy for fire ants? Is there ANY remedy for fire ants? Those things are the freaking devil.

    Reply
  2. For your all natural insect repellent, two more very powerful essential oils are catnip and lemon eucalyptus oils. Catnip oil is one of the primary oils in some of the best natural repellants around. Lemon Eucalyptus has been said to work as well as DEET, but lasts only about 30 to 45 minutes per application. If you happen to get bitten or stung in spite of your repellent, try a few drops of tea tree oil, a dose of benadryl, and a 100mg of vitamin c to help prevent the welts and days of itching. I find that with stings the pain is almost always gone in 30 minutes or less with this combo. Thanks for the recipes!

    Reply

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