Do It Yourself
Green Pest Control
Is An Option
Moving toward a green lifestyle certainly has been a journey for me. Each and every aspect of my life seems to have its own unique concerns, and pest control has been one for a long time. After calling countless pest control companies advertising Eco-friendly pest control methods, I've finally hired a small, local company.
It has been at least 19 years since I have used any type of pest control inside my home. Doing so almost inevitably triggered a migraine headache. Even sprays outside could elicit this same response, so making this change should have been an earlier decision. I've just been slow to move on this one because I felt it was nearly impossible to KILL anything without poison. Thanks to my friends at Jolly Green Planet, I learned that there are many natural, even food grade products, which can repel or eliminate pests.
A few months back, I purchased an all-natural spray at a natural foods store to use on one spot that was having a sugar ant problem. It is along a window sill, so I suspect there are cracks for the little creatures to slip through, and there is a pet dish located there. They must have great noses, just like my dogs. The product did the trick, and I have only treated it once. That really surprised me.
This product, available at Whole Foods Market, is called Bugs 'R' Done. I found their link to be problematic, but I also found this product at Isabella Catalog. You can check it out at that link. While it is clearly not an organic product, it is much less toxic than anything else I have found. To be sure, as with anything non-organic, use with extreme care and as little as possible.
The good news for me is that the scent is not a headache trigger. That's a huge plus, as insecticides have always had that affect on me.
Back to the organic pest control. The representative of the company I am going to try was honest about the shortcomings of the organic products. He said their biggest downfall is a lesser residual. For this reason, he treats slightly more often when using these products. I requested the official labeling from all the products he plans to use, and he gladly e-mailed them to me.
Each of the products are approved for exemption from registration as an insecticide (etc) by the EPA. Some are Organic Program compliant, meaning they have no known danger to humans, wildlife or the environment. Two products did include a concern for usage in or near water, as fish can be affected. I did a double take on these two items and decided they would be used only on an as-needed basis, and only inside walls or in the attic. Outside use of these could allow trace amounts to seep into the water table. Additionally, since I live on a lake, it is my duty to protect the lake's inhabitants.
Primary ingredients include plant oils, corn, baking soda, boron (borax), and mineral oils. I'm feeling better already, knowing that my organic lawn care has taken care of the bugs in the grass, and now my occasional household visitors will be held at bay as well.
The plan is to dust inside the walls, since it hasn't been done for 13 years, add a perimeter barrier and retreat about every 6-8 weeks. If needed, we'll add a treatment to the attic. Currently, I rarely see bugs inside, with the exception of the sugar ants near the dog bowl. I told the new provider about that situation, and he basically said, "hey, if it works and it's safe, go for it!". When he told me he uses the organic materials in his own home, I finally knew I had my guy.
I'll keep you posted, or should I call it "bugged"?!!!