Natural pest control solutions after a mild winter

by Jessica Breger
Staff writer

This past winter brought Southern Oklahoma little snow and no freeze. While we may have enjoyed the mild weather then, we are paying for it this summer.

With no winter freeze to kill insects, the summer is sure to bring a lot of unwelcome and potentially dangerous guests into our homes.

Many of us do not wish to use chemicals in our homes to combat the summer pest problems while others simply do not have the money.

Fortunately, there are ways to combat the pests without expensive chemicals.

If cockroaches are your problem, try spraying them with a dish soap and water mixture. This kills them instantly.

This mixture also helps keep spiders at bay if sprayed in all nooks and crannies once a month.

According to a book by Dr. Myles H. Bader called “1001 All-Natural Secrets to Pest Control,” 1 tablespoon of Ivory Liquid Soap mixed with 1 quart of water will do the same to cockroaches because “they hate to be clean.”

Dr. Bader’s book also suggests using a shallow bowl of equal parts powdered sugar and baking soda.

You can also use hot sauce to kill them. This method is not recommended for families with small children as the children may be inclined to put the hot sauce in their mouths.

More natural remedies for cockroaches include catnip, bay leaves or cucumber peals spread throughout your house. They act as repellents for cockroaches.

One other solution, if you like lizards, is to let a gecko loose in your house. According to local resident Ashlea Sears, a gecko may be able to eat all of the cockroaches within seven to ten days.

For fleas, many natural solutions have been found. You can make a solution by boiling peppermint, lemon or a citrus rind in a few cups of water.

Spray your pet and yard with the solution. These scents are highly effective in keeping fleas at bay.

Ants, too, become a major problem in the summer months. It’s a good thing most of the solutions to ant problems are cheap and natural.

All ant solutions should be applied to window seals, door frames, pantry corners and any other places ants tend to gather in your home.

These solutions include vinegar, salt, dried bay leaves, dried peppermint or peppermint oil and my personal favorite, cinnamon powder.

I once had an ant problem so extreme that they had gotten into my bedding and clothing. I was told to use cinnamon.

I sprinkled the cinnamon on my window seal, on my box spring and in my doorframe. I may have gone overboard when I poured the rest of the bottle on the large anthill outside of my bedroom.

The point is that I never saw another ant at that house for the remaining three years I lived there.

I haven’t found a successful way to combat wasps or bees except for with smoke. If you live somewhere that allows you to have a nightly fire, you are set.

There are, however, ways to relieve the stings if they get the best of you.

My favorite remedy is to make a paste from baking soda and water. Apply the solution to the sting. This will pull the stinger out if it was left in your skin and will sooth the irritated skin.

Loose tobacco from a cigarette or dip can also pull the stinger out. Tobacco does not have the same soothing quality as baking soda, however.

While there are several products made to combat pests, these solutions may save you money and are environment- and family-friendly.

Try any of these in your home without fear of chemical residue and without breaking the bank.