This was originally posted on Modern Homesteaders-go check them out!
I don’t know about you guys, but I cannot tell a lie. Once spring rolls around, I start walking with tip toed feet through my house fearful of my first contact with unwanted visitors who come into my house. While so many things on Blueberry Acres Farm seem idyllic, the reality is that here in Missouri we have winters mild enough and summers warm enough to invite a whole host of creepy crawlies into our lives. You would think growing up in Florida where the cockroaches fly and were huge would break one of that fear, but alas…no. I still hate bugs with a passion bordering on phobia. Or is it a phobia bordering on passion? Either way, our desire to remain as chemical free as possible has led us to explore some more environmentally friendly options such as:
Dioatomaceous earth (aka DE). We sprinkle this stuff in many many places. It’s available online and sometimes in retail stores, but we have found it to be much more cost-effective to buy in bulk. DE has a lot of other cool applications as well, but obviously if you have something crawling across your kitchen floor, it’s not going to make much sense to sprinkle powder on it, so sometimes you need to spray…
Rubbing Alcohol in various applications. Get a clean spray bottle and either fill it with alcohol for a quick squirt killer or dilute it by mixing 3/4 water, 1/4 alcohol. The nice thing is that it shouldn’t leave a residue and apparently bugs don’t build up a resistance to it. However, since it doesn’t leave a residue, it shouldn’t be relied on for long-term control, just “eek, a bug” moments instead.
Insecticidal Soap Spray This is another option for spraying but beyond just the “eek bug” moments, this should also leave a residue that will help repel the invading hoards.
Beyond these ideas, Herbal/Floral options abound. I think every gardener knows the repelling characteristics of Marigolds, but what about using them near your entrances? Rue is another option for planting near entrances to repel flies and mosquitos. I’ll be honest-we haven’t considered Rue in the past because it can irritate skin if you rub against it, so this may not be ideal for homes with small humans like ours. What about those tacky Citronella candles? Sure, you could use those (I hate em!) but I’d rather plant Citronella/Lemon Grass instead. It may not pack as much of a punch as those oil infused candles, but I don’t worry about the grass catching my cat’s tail on fire either. This year I’m also going to experiment with Lavender to see if I can expand it’s moth repelling properties. My goal will be to make planters of insect repelling plants and decorate my entrances with God’s natural bug dissuaders.
And of course, beyond sprays and sprinkles, some good old-fashioned prevention helps. Don’t leave sitting water hanging around, especially near high traffic areas. Mosquitos anyone? Make sure doors and entrances have a great seal. Here at Blueberry Acres Farm, Sheldon will be put to work this weekend on that project as we enter into the warmer months. What are you doing this spring to make sure that the only guests who come into your home are those you have invited? Would love to hear from you!