Call the Exterminators!

Silverlicious Review
April 7, 2012
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April 13, 2012
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Call the Exterminators!

Looks like I got all (or at least most) of the bugs out of the web radio show!  In the spirit of getting the bugs out, and with Springtime starting I don’t know about you, but we have seen a flood of bugs around our house.  So today’s show was dedicated to getting rid of bugs in a natural, safe and cheap way.

I was able to find some great ideas on ehow.com and combined them with ideas I have used in the past or have heard about from others.  Let me know if you have an idea that’s not listed here!



Prevention Tips- Don’t they say a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

  • Keep garbage cans and recycle bins covered.
  • Don’t leave food or beverages sitting outside, keep beverages covered with a lid. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen.
  • If you have water sources in your yard (bird baths, ponds), the wasps could be hanging around for the water (they get thirsty too).
  • If you have fruit trees, keep the fruit picked and remove any that have fallen on the ground

Mint Method
  • Leave mint out where you notice bugs gathering. Certain bugs, like ants and flies, have a natural aversion to mint, which will discourage them from entering the house. Try using crushed mint leaves or mint tea bags.

Natural Mixture Method
  • A natural water mixture, such as one liter of water, one teaspoon of Borax, and a cup of sugar, will act as an insecticide. Soak cotton balls in the mixture and place them in a small container where bugs can have access. The solution will begin to kill bugs slowly upon contact.
A simple soapy water solution will also work as a bug-killer. Mix water together with any household soap. Putting soapy water in a spray bottle and keeping it on hand will protect your house from bugs. Some bugs, like cockroaches, die on contact when sprayed with a soapy water solution.



Bug-Catcher Method
  • To naturally get rid of flying bugs, make a bug-catcher. Mix a solution of 1/4 cup syrup, a tablespoon of granulated sugar and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Soak strips of brown paper in the mixture and let the paper dry overnight. Hang the paper in rooms where you notice bugs congregating by poking a small hole at the top of each strip and hanging it with some string or thread. Flying bugs will be attracted to the solution and become caught in the paper, which may then be disposed of.

Diatomaceous Earth Method
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on areas where you notice bugs congregating. Diamotaceous earth is a natural bug killer made from fossilized diatom remains (algae). The product comes in the form of a chalky powder and is harmful only to bugs because it is a mechanical, rather than chemical, killer. The substance works by attaching itself to the bugs’ bodies and slowly dehydrating them. Diatomaceous earth controls ants, ticks, fleas, cockroaches, bed bugs, spiders, slugs, flies, mites and other household bugs.
  • Diatomaceous earth can also be ingested (as long as you buy the food grade one from your local health food store) and it will help clean out impurities in your body and help your digestive system.  This makes it safe for humans or animals to eat.  How does it kill pests? Diatomaceous earth is basically like microscopic coral, so when ingested the holes in the coral fill up with the unnecessary gunk in your body, but when bugs walk in it basically it’s like walking through jagged coral and it tears up their exoskeleton killing them from the outside in.

Ants-
Vinegar

Wipe down your counter tops, cupboards and
any other places where you’ve spotted ants with a 50-50 mixture of white
vinegar and water. Repeat throughout the day to maintain the efficacy.

Why This Works: Two
reasons, really: ants hate the smell of vinegar, and it removes the scent trails
that they use to get around
I’ve also had a friend use rubbing alcohol instead of vinegar, basically it does the same thing but makes your house smell more like a hospital rather than a grandma’s house 🙂

Spiders-
Bounce Fabric Sheets: believe it or not these work GREAT!!  I had a huge spider problem at an old house and after putting Bounce fabric sheets around the house we didn’t see any spiders for 2 weeks, then we changed out the fabric sheets and again no spiders.  It’s cheap, easy, safe, and makes your house smell wonderful.  This is the only thing I ever use/do for spiders now.

Wasps-

DIY Wasp Trap

Ground Version

  • Take an
    empty two liter pop bottle or any plastic bottle that has a consistently
    even width along the sides.
  • Using a
    sharp knife, cut off the top of the soda bottle just below where the start
    of the bottle sides are at even width.
  • Fill the
    bottom of the bottle with bait about 2″ deep (ideas below).
  • Insert the
    top of the bottle upside down into the bottom of the bottle (remove the
    bottle cap first). The pieces should fit together nice and snug, but use
    duct tape along the top edge to secure the pieces together if you need to.
  • Set the
    trap out wherever you’ve seen them (in flower beds, close to a hedge, near
    the bird bath, etc.).
  • The wasps
    will fly into the trap to get at the bait, but have trouble finding their
    way out. They’ll eventually drown in the liquid bait.
  • This trap
    setup will also work for
    killing
    fruit flies
    .

Hanging Version

This is well suited for hanging in tree branches or along the eaves of a
house (away from entrances since this will attract live wasps). They will fly
up into the trap from underneath, but have trouble finding their escape by
flying down and out.

Homemade Hanging Wasp Trap

  • Take an
    empty two liter pop bottle, tighten on the cap then cut off the bottom few
    inches of the bottle.
  • Taking a
    second two liter pop bottle, remove the bottle cap and cut off the top
    part of the bottle right underneath where the width is the same as the
    rest of the bottle.
  • For the
    bigger bottle piece, puncture two small holes, one on either side of the
    bottle (at the top) and push through each end of a piece of heavy string
    or yarn, knotting at each end inside the bottle (this will need to be long
    enough to hang the bottle and strong enough to hold the weight of the
    trap).
  • Seal the
    holes where the string runs through with duct tape to prevent wasps
    crawling out and escaping.
  • Place the
    small piece up inside the bigger piece, securing together with duct tape
    around the edges.
  • Fill the
    trap with bait about 2″ deep and hang.

Tips:

  • Do not
    fill the trap so full of bait that there isn’t plenty of air space between
    the bottom (or top) of the pop bottle opening, you want the wasps to be
    able to fly in with no trouble.
  • Empty and
    refill the traps regularly, wasps won’t be too tempted by a trap filled
    with drowned critters. You can submerge the trap in a bucket of water for
    about 1/2 hour to make sure all wasps are dead before cleaning and
    refilling.

Bait Ideas

Just like ants, wasps can be
looking for two different types of food sources depending on the colony’s needs
at the time: protein or sugar. Set out two different traps to see which bait
tempts the wasps best, then continue to fill with that type of bait. Or you
could do a sugar & protein bait together (for example: mixing juice with a
piece of meat).

  • Jam
    dissolved in water (sweet enough to attract the wasps but diluted enough
    to drown them)
  • Fruit
    juice
  • Beer
  • Sweet Soda
    Pop
  • Wine
  • Maple
    syrup diluted with water
  • Molasses
    diluted with water
  • If you need protein baits: Try
    adding a piece of raw hamburger or a chunk of canned tuna, canned dog or
    cat food to a trap with fruit juices or even plain water (deep enough to
    drown the wasps but the piece of meat bait needs to be sticking out above
    the liquid surface to effectively attract them).

Tune in Thursday at 10 to learn how to start your food storage!

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