BeGreenMinded

Naturally Defending You and Your Home From Nature

Well, the lightning bugs are finally out by my house and the garden is bursting with buds. This all can only mean one thing — mosquito bites, critters munching on the leaves of my plants, and ants contemplating their move to enter my home. What is a green minded homeowner to do?

Fear not eco-warriors! There are plenty of things you can do to keep the bugs where they belong and protect your skin and plants from the biters without harming nature too much.

Much like last year, the slugs are in full force in my garden but I am prepared to stop them from making a meal out of my veggies. Beer. Thats right! Beer. Its all you need to keep the slugs away. They like the hops in the golden liquid and they aren’t even snobs about what kind you buy them. I have trays in my garden which get filled up every now and again. I have also heard some gardeners bury a bottle of beer so the soil is at the lip of the bottle allowing less rain water to get in and the beer lasting longer.

Last year we ended up with a swarm of flies around the house. Turned out they came from a loaf of bread we had purchased at a local bakery — what a mess! We tried fly tape but really the best thing that worked wonders — a jar full of vinegar. They fly in and they don’t fly out. Done!

Mosquitoes in your backyard? Tired of all those itchy bites? We can help that too! I recently purchased Bonide’s Mosquito Beater. Its a bottle you attach to your hose and spray it on. Has very little smell and lasts even after a few rains. It really did work wonders for our swampy backyard which was a breeding ground. And for those bites? Try defending your legs and arms with some lavender essence. Planting lavender in your yard can help too. Whatever you do, steer clear of any product which contains DEET. Its dangerous to you, your kids, and the environment.

Have ants (or may other similarly annoying bugs which manage to get inside) and not really into homemade fixes? I am a bit of a fanatic about what gets sprayed around my cats, but there are some new products out on the market that are less toxic and can be used around cats, dogs, and kids. EcoSMART is the brand I have recently been trying. Works on the spot, but has a bit of a strange smell. Not chemical smell, but sort of a hippie herb-like fragrance. Apparently it doesn’t leave a pesticide residue and so far as I can tell there was nothing to clean up afterwards.

EcoSMART also makes a weed killer that does an incredible job and has been instrumental in helping us get a new home’s yard in shape from all the weeds which came with the seed the builder put down.

There are many many more remedies for summer pests. What is your favorite natural pest control or repellant?

Photo courtesy of Jeff Kubina through Creative Commons License.
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3 comments on “Naturally Defending You and Your Home From Nature

  1. Allison
    June 8, 2010

    What about ticks? The only bug repellent I could find that says it keeps the ticks at bay has deet, and some have quite a lot (up to 95%). With Lyme disease rising, all I can think to do it keep myself covered with a hat and long sleeves when I’m in the woods. Then do a major “de-tick” session. Any other thoughts?

  2. Jessica
    June 9, 2010

    Allison, I have used the Kiss My Face Product which also has sunscreen in it and it works well. http://kissmyfacewebstore.com/products/suncare/insect-repellents
    While it doesn’t say it on their site, I believe it does repel ticks too.
    Keep on hiking!!!

  3. Meredith Swanson
    June 9, 2010

    I’ll have to try that for ticks. I found one in my hair last night, and we had just gone for a 30 minute walk in our neighborhood!

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