Pesticides have been proven to have negative impacts on health and our environment. The risk for leukemia increases by four to seven times for children, ages 10 and under, whose parents use home or garden pesticides. Many herbs and essential oils are effective alternative solutions. Please refer to the below for non-toxic alternatives.
Hot water will kill most unwanted plants --just boil some water and pour it over the plant you want to kill.
Alternatively, put 1 oz 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1 quart of water. Use it on trees and plants as a natural fungicide, insecticide, and as a weed killer.
Vinegar has become the new organic solution for killing off weeds. Some people say that they are able to kill off weeds with only household vinegar spray. Others say that you need to buy a higher concentration of vinegar in order for it to be effective. Check with your local garden center to see what concentration of vinegar they use. Adding lemon juice to vinegar increases the weed-killing effectiveness.
Please also refer to "Organic Lawn Care" for tips and tricks.
Keep your next garden party insect free by strategically placing several dishes containing beer just outside your backyard. The beer will attract bees, flies and other insects towards that area and keep your event buzz-free.
A great choice is Diatomaceous Earth. You can get it at any home and garden center. It's an all natural organic pest control solution - an abrasive powder made from mineral remains of single cell aquatic plants. It kills by abrading and dehydrating crawling insects, like slugs, ants, cockroaches, earwigs, grasshoppers and fleas.
One of the safest and most effective homemade pesticides is a few drops of mild dishwashing soap mixed with water. In general, it just takes a spoonful of liquid soap and water into a spray bottle. This won't kill insects, but will irritates them and encourage them to leave.
Increase effectiveness by adding a cup of vegetable oil (sunflower oil, corn, soybean, or even peanut oil will work) with one tablespoon of mild liquid dish soap and two cups of water.
To get rid of cabbage worms and spider mites consider raising the sodium levels. Mix 2 tablespoons of salt in 1 gallon of water and then spray that mixture onto your plants. The Science magazine reported on cheap and effective poison against the pests. Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) is recommended.
A particularly effective formula was discovered by Mr. & Mrs. Hubert W. Frings of the University of Oklahoma. They recommend the following mix: bran (60% to 65%), molasses (15%), Epsom salt (20% to 25%), and enough water to moisten. This formula, they say, ''seems to be just as effective as the [common] 5% arsenic bait, it is cheaper, and it is absolutely harmless to humans, cattle, swine and poultry or other birds." The poison is scattered among the vegetation.
Dr. Vernon Raymond Haber of Pennsylvania State College seems to have first made the discovery that Epsom salt is poisonous to insects and has been spreading the news to other entomologists by word of mouth. Dr. Haber recommends that a spray of Epsom salt in water be used against Mexican bean beetles. J. H. Hawkins of the Maine Agricultural Experiment Station advocates this Epsom salt spray against wheat wireworms. The Frings believe the spray "could be used safely on many vegetables and fruits."
Generally a poison nontoxic to humans is mixed with a food that insects find attractive, and spread in the infested area. Examples are oatmeal (attractive) and plaster-of-Paris (poisonous), and cocoa powder and flour (attractive) and borax (poisonous). Old-fashioned flypaper -- not a hanging strip of insecticide -- is an effective trap.
- *Be VERY cautious when using Borax [sodium borate], which can also cause serious health problems, including death.
- Borax is toxic to pets (especially to cats who lick it off their coats - less so to dogs). It's best not to use it around them.
Mix 8 ounces black strap molasses or white sugar, and 8 ounces 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1 gallon of water..
Vinegar Fungicide: Mix 3 tablespoons of natural apple cider vinegar in one gallon of water. Spray during the cool part of the day. Adding 1 tablespoon of molasses per gallon will increase effectiveness.
Potassium Bicarbonate or Baking Soda: Mix 1 heaped tablespoon of potassium bicarbonate or baking soda and 1 tablespoon of horticultural oil into one gallon of water (Citrus Oil and Molasses can be substituted instead of the horticultural oil). Spray lightly on infected foliage.
Make a mixture of 1 tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap and 1 cup of cooking oil. Mix about 3 tablespoons of this concentrate with a quart of water in a pump bottle and spray on plants. Another recipe for insect control: soak citrus rind (lemon, orange, grapefruit) in water for a few days. Pour the water into a pump bottle and spray on plants.
House and garden plants:
Put 1 oz 3% hydrogen peroxide in 1 quart of water. Water or mist plants with this solution.
Use Epsom Salts on your lawn and in your garden to safely get rid of plant pests.
There are a couple of ways to get rid of rats and mice:
For rats and mice: Holes in exterior or interior walls should be closed off and storage spaces kept orderly. Garbage should be kept tightly covered. Poisons are not recommended for rat control, because children or other animals may eat it by mistake. To catch rodents, the most efficient system is the oldest: a cat.
To use the trap:
Bait with pieces of apple, potato, raw bacon or with peanut butter spread on a cotton ball.
Attach it firmly to the ground or solid place to keep the rat from dragging the trap away.
Place the traps near where you have found the droppings. Make sure the trap is safe from people, children, pets or animals who could get hurt from it.
Clean up food spills immediately. Try to keep hard-to-reach areas reasonably clean and remove clutter that allows pests to hide.
Store foods attractive to pests, such as flour, in the refrigerator.
Water attracts pests, so leaky faucets and pipes should be promptly repaired. Doors and windows should be well screened.
Clothes should be regularly cleaned and aired, and properly stored in paper or cardboard boxes sealed against moths.
A number of nontoxic substances can be used to repel insects.
Essential oils: The following herbal mix is safe to be used on plants, pets and people and will repel ants, aphids, bean beetles, black flies, cabbage root flies, cabbage white flies, carrot flies, caterpillars, cutworms, flea beetles, fleas, flies, greenflies, lice, mosquitoes, moths, nematodes, plant lice, rodents, ticks and whiteflies;
- 2 cups water
- 4 drops lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary and sage essential oils
- Combine ingredients in spray bottle; shake well before use.
- There are lots of options to disperse the scents of the essential oils.
Basil is a natural insect repellent. Keep a pot in your kitchen. Take a few leaves along with you on a picnic and put them out on the table to keep the flies away.
Bay leaves in your pantry will keep pests away. A bay leaf in a container of flour, cornmeal, or cereal will keep weevils out.
Sprinkle black pepper on home surfaces to prevent pest access by ants, beetles, silverfish, roaches, and moths.
Powdered red chilli pepper, peppermint, bay leaves, cloves, citrus oil, lavender, rosemary, tobacco, peppercorns, eucalyptus, wormwood, and cedar oil can repel various types of insects. (Do not use Essential Oils around birds. It may be toxic to them.)
GreenAndHealthy.Info strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please send us an e-mail. THANK YOU!