Planet Natural has been offering safe, effective natural pest controls since 1991. Our goal has always been to suggest proven techniques and supply products that work while having the least impact on the environment as possible.
Natural means of controlling pests can be as effective as the harmful chemicals that contaminate our landscapes, sometimes more so. And they help protect our family, our pets, our communities and the world at large.
Our mission is to provide you with effective, practical solutions for common household and garden pests, starting with the simplest, least toxic measures and moving to more aggressive, intensive action as needed. From barriers and traps to minimally-processed products derived from natural compounds and plant oils, Planet Natural only carries the best. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Planet Natural’s Guide to Safe, Effective Pest Control
|Slugs & Snails|
Home Remedies for Pest Control
Everybody likes cucumbers, right? Not ants. Cucumber peelings — the more bitter the better — make for an effective ant deterrent. Spreading cucumber peels where ants might enter your home will send them scurrying. Big bonus: cucumber peelings present none of the dangers of the chemical pesticide you otherwise might have purchased at the big-box store or commercial nursery supply, the kind that contain known toxins, heavy metals and other inert ingredients. It’s no small point: the evidence continues to grow that synthetic pesticides pose a significant health risk to humans and animals. And still these chemical-laden products are widely used without regard to the dangers. That doesn’t have to be true at your house.
Home pest control methods should be safe as well as effective. A good strategy, like the Integrated Pest Management program you might use in your garden, is one that’s safe for your family. But controlling insects indoors requires more than just knowledge of natural remedies, like cucumber peels, and their application. It means buying and using products made of non-synthetic ingredients including natural oils, naturally occurring compounds and other non-toxic ingredients to get rid of bugs. It also requires a certain amount of vigilance. Keep an eye out for problems and don’t ignore conditions that could attract pests. Consider your family’s well-being with every step you take. Buy products that can be trusted, products that not only claim to be natural and safe but are natural and safe. Buying “natural” insect control at the hardware or big-box store can be a gamble, even when you check labels carefully.
Those willing to invest some time and effort at crafting their own remedies will find our comprehensive lists (below) especially valuable.
Insect barriers, like the cucumber peels mentioned above, act like barbed wire to keep ants and other crawling insect pests out.
- Garlic, a natural insecticide for everything from mosquitoes to Colorado potato beetles, makes an effective barrier for your home. Grind it up with water and apply where ever insects might enter. Garlic-based products, safe to use in kitchens as well as in the vegetable garden, are more concentrated than home preparations, yet over time carry a less detectable odor.
- Other natural barriers include cayenne pepper, cinnamon, powdered charcoal, bone meal, talcum powder or chalk. Different pests have different aversions, so you’ll have to see what substance works best with the creatures you’re trying to prevent from sneaking into your home.
- Certain plants, grown around the periphery of your home, can also serve as barriers. They not only look nice, but will also deter pests. Plants known to repel ants and aphids include spearmint, peppermint and pennyroyal.
- Barriers for fly control: Plant mint and basil around doorways and under windows. These plants repel flies even as they add sweet scents that we human enjoy.
- If you find cracks or other entries into your home being used by ants, douse them with boiling water. If you discover where they are creeping into your house, squeeze some lemon into the hole or crack.
- Barriers also work for snails. Sand, lime, copper or ashes deter their movement. so use these borders to keep snails away from sidewalks and entries.
- Specialized products, some certified for organic use, are available for keeping out deer and rabbits, rodents, even the neighborhood cat.
Natural Repellents and Insecticides
Those expensive, dangerous and heavily marketed pesticides aren’t only harmful to all living things, they’re not always effective over the long term. Here are simple natural solutions to pest problems that use items you may well already have around the house.
- Baking soda and powdered sugar mixed in equal parts is a good roach killer. Just spread around the area where you see roaches and wait for them to disappear.
- In amounts less than a teaspoon, Boric Acid is about as toxic to humans us as table salt (Boric acid should NEVER be consumed). But it’s an effective killer of roaches and other insects that groom themselves and ingest the acid. (It does not work on sucking insects or most larvae.).
- Here’s a really sneaky way to get rid of fire ants. (All’s fair in love and the war against insect pests.) The only way to get rid of an infestation is to assassinate the queen. Wait until a dry spell is about to end. Sprinkle instant grits on the fire ant hill. The workers will carry the grits to the queen for her royal meal. She’ll eat the grits and when it rains, she’ll drink. And that’s what will kill her. The grits will expand in her stomach and she’ll “bloat” to death. Once she’s out of the way, the leaderless ants will die off. (This suggestion came courtesy of the Tightwad Gazette II book.)
- Cloves smell better than moth balls and are a natural deterrent against winged pests. You can also create a water trap by filling a small basin with water and leaving a night light suspended over it. Moths will be attracted to the light and will end up crashing and burning and falling into the water. Add a little dish soap to break the surface tension of the water.
- Corn Gluten Meal may not sound very appetizing, but it’s a natural, preemptive strike against weeds. Apply it early in the spring before weeds sprout. Corn gluten meal is a byproduct of the corn milling process and is a natural fertilizer.
- Diatomaceous earth is made up of the fossilized remains of diatoms, single-cell organisms. The glass-like nature of diatomaceous earth makes it one of the oldest forms of insecticide. The sharp surfaces cut through the insect cuticle and the insect dies of dehydration. Diatomaceous earth kills earwigs, ants and box elder bugs. Since it’s non-discriminate when it kills, be sure to only apply it just to the ground surface where you think insects are overstaying their welcome.
- Grind rosemary leaves into a fine dust and sprinkle it onto your pet or its bedding to ward off fleas.
- Ivory liquid dishwashing detergent can act as a natural insecticide. Dilute with water until it is a 1 or 2 percent solution and then spray on plants.
- Neem oil, a vegetable oil made from seeds of India’s neem tree, prevents fungus growth, and repels and kills insects including spider mites. While it fights many scourges, it’s nontoxic to birds, mammals and most beneficial insects. One word of caution — it can sometime affect bees so use it as a spot treatment time for evenings to minimize contact. Neem oil is usually sold in a concentrated form, to which you add water.
- Fruit flies are wine lovers. They particularly like Chardonnay or so we hear. Use that knowledge to your advantage: fill up a saucer of some cheap white wine and add a little detergent to it. Leave it around for the flies to sip and die on. This solution brings new meaning to the expression “rot gut.”
- A natural fly catcher related to wine is to put something sickly sweet like mango peels in the bottom of narrow-necked wine bottles. The flies can fly in, but can’t fly out.
- You can even make your own fly paper. Boil water, sugar and corn syrup together. Spread the extra-sticky mixture on brown paper grocery bags and voila you have your own fly paper which will trap the pesky, germ-carrying buzzers.
- For mosquito control the aged old custom of burning citronella candles will help repel the pesky critters.
- To get rid of slugs and snails, invert a flower pot near a shady plant. Use a stick to prop up the flower pot or place on irregular ground — whatever will give enough of an entrance way for slugs and snails. They will crawl under the rim to avoid the heat. Check the flower pot at the end of the day and remove the slugs and snails.
- Vinegar is a great herbicide. Fill a spray bottle with vinegar — white is best since it won’t stain, you certainly don’t want to use expensive, aged Balsamic vinegar on weeds — and spray the vinegar on your unwelcome flora on your porch, patio or back yard. It’s one of the few things that will work against noxious weeds such as Canadian Thistle. All vinegars are diluted, so try and buy the highest concentration you can at the supermarket (see Horticultural Vinegar).
- Using organic lawn fertilizers will not only keep your yard green, it will make it healthy and more equipped to defend itself against weeds and lawn pests. Organic fertilizers, such as bat guano, grass clippings, alfalfa meal, fish emulsion and worm castings, nourish your soil and your grass.
While organic products are a step up from most big-box sprays, you should still use caution when using them. Don’t just leap at something that cures the symptom — look for the underlying or root cause and seek a solution for that problem. Overuse can end up creating new problems — getting rid of one pest in exchange for another.
That said, natural pest control can be a great non-toxic solution to keeping your garden and home pest free.
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