Fall is the time when all creatures get ready for the winter. This includes insects and other household pests humans don’t want invading their homes for winter. Some critters are just annoying, others pose real health hazards from food contamination or bites and stings that can be annoying , become infected, or are poisonous. Planet Natural suggests some green friendly solutions to help get rid of or prevent unwanted pests in the home.
First, make sure your home is sealed up as much as possible. Check seals around doors, windows, vents, wire entries, drainpipes, and other openings. Caulk or replace weather stripping where needed. Add wire mesh to the ends of any open duct work, such as dryer vents and gutters.
Look around the foundation for loose siding, boards, cracks, or settling of the foundation where openings can appear. Seal up where you can, or contact a professional for any jobs you aren’t sure how to do properly. Expanding foam insulation is a good sealant, since it expands and then hardens to fill cracks and holes. It can be messy, though, and it really expands quickly, so be cautious. It can look ugly if not applied correctly.
Ants range in size from about 1/32 to 3/4 inch long. There are at least 12,000 species of ants found throughout the world. s a group, ants are important natural predators of many insect pests, including flea and fly larvae, caterpillars and termites. However, there are times when it may be necessary to get rid of ants, especially when they enter our homes in search of food.
New ant colonies are established by a single fertilized queen that lays hundreds of eggs. Ants have pincer-like jaws and can bite, although most do not. A few species are very aggressive and will inflict a painful sting. Here’s how to get rid of ants naturally.
Ants require food and water to survive. By eliminating these basic necessities you can greatly reduce their numbers. Store food and organic waste in sealed containers. Clean up all kitchen surfaces, and empty trash daily. Boric acid, diatomaceous earth and Orange Guard are all terrific least-toxic alternatives to conventional ant poisons.
The best way to keep ants from coming indoors is to locate the mound and destroy the colony. While this is not always an easy task, sometimes a chunk of jelly placed where ants are found will help. As the workers are attracted to the food source, pay close attention as they carry it back to their nest. Botanical insecticides applied as a soil drench will destroy existing mounds.
Carpenter Ants cause damage in the house by tunneling and nesting inside wood structures. However, unlike termites, they do not feed on wood, but burrow into it to build their nests. They prefer damp wood that is easy for them to chew and remove.
Carpenter ants are often found inside during spring. Their presence only is not sufficient evidence to conclude that there is a nest inside your home. Concerned homeowners should try to determine whether the ants are coming from an outdoor or an indoor nest.
According to the University of Minnesota Extension Service, if you find carpenter ants in your home during late winter or early spring, that suggests the ants are coming from a nest inside your house. However, if you see activity later in the year, it is less clear if the nest is inside. In almost all cases, ants seen indoors during winter are an indication that there is an inside nest. One exception is when ants are brought indoors in firewood.
Prevent excess moisture accumulation in wood through good maintenance of the house structure and surroundings. Repair existing damage, then cut off ant access routes. Eliminate potential ant-nesting areas by repairing damaged trees and removing decaying stumps and wood debris. Prune branches that touch the house and eliminate wood/earth contact with structures.
Apply a boric acid product to exposed wood. Ants of all types are repelled by any product with borax or boric acid but larger infestations may need stronger treatment. Sprinkling Borax around foundations, across doorways, and along window sills can help keep ant populations out.
All pest control products should be kept away from pets and children. Even if they contain non-chemical products, pest control products contain high concentrations of some plant oils, or inert ingredients that can poison pets and children. In some cases, you may need a professional exterminator for pest control. Research the companies and ask questions about the contents of the products they use.
Follow all the news about Green Living, American Made, Pets, Education and Child Health by subscribing to my articles. Click on the "Subscribe" button, or here: http://www.examiner.com/user-bmader.