Environmentally conscious gardeners protect their homes and gardens using methods that are surprisingly effective and affordable. They keep pantry items safe from pests by getting rid of paper and cardboard, both of which can be penetrated by insects. Sealable plastic storage bags or containers keep grain products insect free. Sanitary environments limit pests such as sugar ants and cockroaches. Gardeners hand-pick slow moving pests like hornworms, making sure to prune and destroy infected leaves and fruit. Some green pesticides are hand-mixed, while others can be obtained from agricultural sources. |
Boric acid makes a good pest bait if used at 2% boric acid and 98% peanut butter or jelly. The food stuff lures the pest in, and the boric acid kills them. According to Associate Professor Bh. Subramanyam at the University of Minnesota Extension, this is an effective solution for ant problems. Another common bait trap involves mixing wheat germ with mineral oil. Place the bait on a shallow dispenser, such as a jar lid. The wheat germ draws insects out of their hiding places, and the mineral oil clogs the insects’ spiracles, effectively smothering them. Baits are most effective for pantry pests.
Botanicals and Oils
Botanicals are chemicals that come from plants such as neem, red squill, and nicotine. Subramanyam states that some botanicals are just as toxic as synthetic pesticides. Horticultural oils and botanicals are applied directly onto plants containing insects. They do not harm the plants but they do effectively kill soft-bodied insects including aphids and mealy bugs.
Soaps are made from sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids and mixed with vegetable or fish oil. Soaps penetrate the insects’ protective waxy outer layers (or cuticles) and dissolve cell membranes. As the cells disintegrate, the insect dehydrates and dies. Safer’s soap, a commercial type of insecticidal, kills aphids, caterpillars, fleas, mealy bugs, scales, and whiteflies, without harming the plants. Organic gardeners sometimes use a mixture of one-half cup household detergent in a gallon of water. The solution is applied to plants; however, this solution is harmful to some kinds of plants.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Formulations of DE are available from garden centers and gardening catalogs. They are made up of fossilized algae skeletons that contain silicon. Subramanyam says that scientists do not understand everything about the effectiveness of DE, but it is believed to abrade and absorb the cuticles, leading to dehydration and death, just as insecticidal soaps do.
Individuals who are serious about protecting their health and the health of their children from products that contain hazardous chemicals like DEET, should consider natural insect repellent like Wondercide Biter Fighter™. Other essential oil based products are available in the market as well. Natural Insect repellents that contain soybean oil oftentimes consist of cloves and cinnamon oil or other amazing oil extracts found in nature. Yes, these natural insect repellents actually work and are equally effective, but most people aren’t aware that these products are even available to them.
There is no doubt that insect repellents that contain DEET are very effective. There is also no doubt that chemical exposure is linked to neurological disorders which range from ADHD to Alzheimer’s. Why take that risk if you don’t have to? Natural insect repellent is the clear choice for a healthy family!
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