natural pest control http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12249/all en-US Naturally Get Rid of Ants in Your Kitchen http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/zipperhead_ants.jpg" alt="Fake ants on a building" title="Fake ants on a building" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="169" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When we first moved into our apartment last autumn, I noticed a few ants in the kitchen. They went away by themselves in a few weeks though, so I didn&rsquo;t think anything of them. This spring, they came back in force! I was horrified to find ants crawling over my counters and cabinets, feasting on invisible crumbs of sugar. Not wanting to buy toxic ant poisons, I did a search on natural solutions to my ant problem using common household products. Here are a few of my findings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-beer-to-get-rid-of-pests">Use Beer to Get Rid of Pests</a>)</p> <h3>Keep Surfaces Clean</h3> <p>Ants are attracted to bits of food, so if you keep your counters spick-and-span, they&rsquo;ll go elsewhere.</p> <p>I didn&rsquo;t have huge numbers of ants (thank goodness), but I was determined to nip the infestation in the bud. The first step I took was to wipe down my counters and floors with white vinegar. &nbsp;This erases the trails of the &ldquo;scout&rdquo; ants, so that more ants won&rsquo;t follow. Vinegar is also a cheap and effective cleaner and made my counters gleam like never before. For several days, I kept a bottle of vinegar within reach so that I could wipe down my counters immediately after cooking.</p> <p>I learned that soapy water, or water mixed with a detergent (such as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/original-ways-to-use-original-dawn">Dawn</a>), is also an effective way to keep ants off your surfaces. Wipe your counters with a soapy sponge, and then dry them. The residual film helps keep ants away.</p> <p>I also washed all of my containers of sugar, flour, cereal, honey, and syrup, making sure that they were tightly closed and that there was no sticky residue on the outsides. I moved fruits and vegetables to the fridge.</p> <h3>Herbal Ant Repellers</h3> <p>After I had cleaned all my surfaces well, I still had the odd ant or two looking for a snack. I realized that ants were getting into my home through numerous cracks behind my counters. I looked for natural ways to keep them away and learned that ants don&rsquo;t like spices such as cinnamon, cayenne pepper, mint, bay leaves, black pepper, cloves, and garlic.</p> <p>I sprinkled a little cinnamon into the crack beneath one counter and <em>voilà</em>! No more ants on that counter. But there were still a few wandering here and there elsewhere in the kitchen, so I placed a few bay leaves strategically around food items to deter them.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve also read that ants are repelled by cucumbers and used coffee grounds. I did notice that ants stayed away when I was cutting up a cucumber, and that they stay far away from the coffee machine.</p> <h3>Get Rid of Ants Outdoors</h3> <p>One way to make sure ants stay away from your house is to make sure they&rsquo;re not being attracted by aphids in your garden. Aphids secrete a sticky-sweet substance called &ldquo;honeydew&rdquo; that ants love to eat. Ants will actually protect aphids from predators in order to preserve their honeydew source! Hose off your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-your-garden">garden</a> plants to wash off the aphids, or apply natural aphid repellents (like soapy water) to your plants.</p> <h3>Kill Ants with Borax Solution</h3> <p>If your ant problem is too much for the aforementioned methods to handle, you may need to resort to the big guns. Mix some Borax powder (a natural mineral) with an equal amount of jam or syrup and place where ants congregate. Ants will be attracted to the sugar and will feast on the mixture, but the Borax will get into their systems and kill them. This method means you&rsquo;ll have a lot of ants for a short amount of time, but it should get rid of them for several months.</p> <p>Borax has low toxicity to humans, but if you have small children or pets, you may wish to avoid this option.</p> <p>Even if you have only a few ants, it&rsquo;s important to get rid of them quickly before they become a bigger problem. A friend of mine didn&rsquo;t notice that ants had gotten into her maple syrup until one day she served pancakes and noticed a strange amount of black &ldquo;pepper&rdquo; in the syrup she had poured over them. Looking closer, she realized that they were little ants. Unfortunately, that was after she and her guests had already eaten half of their pancakes. Don&rsquo;t let it happen to you!</p> <p><em>If you&rsquo;ve had ants in your kitchen, what worked best for getting rid of them?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/naturally-get-rid-of-ants-in-your-kitchen">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-get-rid-of-household-pests">6 Cheap Ways to Get Rid of Household Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-eliminate-ants-without-an-exterminator">8 Ways to Eliminate Ants Without an Exterminator</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-in-your-kitchen-that-get-rid-of-bad-smells-naturally">6 Things in Your Kitchen That Get Rid of Bad Smells Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-keeping-warm">The High Cost of Keeping Warm</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Home ants natural pest control pests Mon, 20 Jun 2011 10:36:12 +0000 Camilla Cheung 584988 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Gardening Lessons Learned the Hard Way http://www.wisebread.com/10-gardening-lessons-learned-the-hard-way <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-gardening-lessons-learned-the-hard-way" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000009967460Small.jpg" alt="Young gardener" title="Young gardener" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I am proud to announce that, as a novice gardener, I no longer wear the &quot;black thumb of death&quot; badge. Stuff is actually growing, and we can eat it! Here are ten tips from my (ongoing) experience. (See also: <a href="http://getcurrency.com/design-home/the-urban-dwellers-guide-to-gardening">The Urban Dwellers Guide to Gardening</a> via Currency)</p> <h2>1. Check Out Your Dirt</h2> <p>Last year, we took a soil sample to our local university&rsquo;s agriculture department. For the low cost of $12, we received a soil analysis report. Based on that report, we were able to add nutrients that were noted to be deficient in our soil. This service is also frequently offered at agricultural or cooperative extensions and is well worth the small fee. Take your report to a farm supply or co-op (where we have found bulk nutrients for much less) and load up on the needed supplements.</p> <h2>2. Be Realistic</h2> <p>They get me every year &mdash; glossy packets of seeds at garden-supply stores. The little voice in my head says, &ldquo;Wow, wouldn&rsquo;t it be neat to grow my own broccoli?&rdquo; and I succumb. The problem is, my climate stinks for growing broccoli, and the heads grow to about the size of a quarter. That is just one example &mdash; I have tried many seeds over the years, only to be disappointed. Find out what grows well in your area, and stick with that. My climate is wonderful for growing beans, squash, kale, Swiss chard, and bok choy, but I have learned to fight the urge to waste space, money, and energy on the wrong plants. If you don&rsquo;t know, ask employees at garden centers, your neighbors who garden, or your co-workers. People who grow vegetable gardens are very willing to help those of us who are learning. Also ask yourself &quot;is somebody in my family going to want to eat this vegetable?&quot; If&nbsp;no one likes cabbage, why bother?</p> <h2>3. Fence It</h2> <p>My husband fenced our garden area, and thank goodness he did. I don&rsquo;t have to worry about dogs, kids, or feral pigs wrecking the patch. If you live in an area with deer, you probably already are familiar with the aggravation &mdash; they just mow everything down. If you have a gopher problem, you may need to either plant your garden in raised beds with bottoms screened with &frac12;&rdquo; hardware cloth, or go to the more drastic measure of installing an underground fence surrounding your garden plot. Save yourself the grief and make sure your garden area is protected to the extent practicable.</p> <h2>4. Fertilize It</h2> <p>Every gardener has his or her own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-mulch-a-beginners-guide-for-the-lazy-composter">fertilizer</a> preference. Manure stinks, but it works. Using a commercially composted manure product helps ensure that no pathogens will survive to contaminate your vegetables. I use composted chicken manure; a co-worker swears by composted steer manure. My neighbor only uses Miracle-Gro. Whatever you choose, your plants will love it.</p> <h2>5. Make Weed Control Easy</h2> <p>While I do enjoy going out to the garden after work to pick vegetables and pull some weeds, I do not enjoy it when the weeds get the upper hand. Then you are looking at a lot of work and a sore back. While I am not crazy about the way it looks, weed-control cloth saves a lot of work. I keep strips of this in between rows, and it is a great detriment to weeds.</p> <h2>6. Water It</h2> <p>Initially I thought I would just water the garden every day with a hose. That was unrealistic. If I am late getting home, there goes the garden. My husband installed a simple sprinkler system so that I could just turn a handle near the house and water. While there was a small cost, the convenience was well worth it.</p> <h2>7. Annihilate Slugs</h2> <p>There is nothing so disheartening as going out to the garden, where there had been a row of beautiful seedlings, to find them chewed to the ground. All that work! I am currently using Corey&rsquo;s Slug and Snail Bait, which works very well. A co-worker swears by the beer-in-a-shallow-dish organic method , but my slugs apparently have been to AA and are not interested. Chemicals are a must for me.</p> <h2>8. Record Your Progress</h2> <p>When we started the garden, I started a garden journal. I have also taken photos over the years, which gives me encouragement. I have a record of which plants worked, which didn&rsquo;t, and what soil implements we used.</p> <h2>9. Give It Some Sun</h2> <p>Before you plant, make sure your patch isn&rsquo;t shaded from the sun. Over the years, we have hacked back many of the trees that prevented sunshine. I can even grow tomatoes now, which love sunshine.</p> <h2>10. Share It</h2> <p>Something I find joyful is being able to share vegetables from the garden. The favor always comes back &mdash; either in the form of something from that person's garden or fruit tree, or in the form of a &ldquo;thank you&rdquo; treat.</p> <p>Before embarking on a vegetable garden, I would recommend reading <em>The $64 Tomato</em> by William Alexander. A humorous and realistic account of a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-plan-your-garden">beginning gardener</a>, it will help you stay frugally &ldquo;in check&rdquo; when you start.</p> <p><em>Readers, if you have any tips for beginning vegetable gardeners, please share!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-gardening-lessons-learned-the-hard-way">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-beer-to-get-rid-of-pests">Use Beer to Get Rid of Pests</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home garden planning gardening natural pest control Thu, 09 Jun 2011 10:24:08 +0000 Marla Walters 567602 at http://www.wisebread.com Use Beer to Get Rid of Pests http://www.wisebread.com/use-beer-to-get-rid-of-pests <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/use-beer-to-get-rid-of-pests" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beer_bottles.jpg" alt="Beer bottles" title="Beer bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As winter drags on, you might be tempted to stay indoors and have a few beers to keep the chill out. Of course, we&rsquo;re not the only animals searching for warmth and protection from the harsher weather, but we&rsquo;re also not the only animals to appreciate a bit of beer. In fact, you can use cheap or leftover beer to trap many different bugs and pests.</p> <h3>Cockroaches</h3> <p>Cockroaches are among the most disturbing of household pests, but you can stop them with some things you probably have around the house already.</p> <p>Take a jam jar with a rounded inside lip. Coat the inner lip with Vaseline, then put a slice of beer-soaked bread at the bottom. The cockroaches will be attracted by the smell of beer, but the Vaseline-coated lip will make it impossible for them to escape. You can then dispose of them however you see fit.</p> <p>Another method to trap cockroaches involves less glass between you and the bugs. If you leave a rag that is soaking in beer out overnight, roaches will again be attracted to the beer and will probably throw the roach equivalent of a rave. But in the morning, they will still be drunk and won&rsquo;t be able to scurry away when you come in to get rid of them.</p> <h3>Fruit Flies</h3> <p>Fruit flies can also easily be trapped with a bit of beer. They are attracted to rotting and fermented food, essentially what alcoholic beverages are. So although this is an article about using <em>beer</em> to get rid of pests, you can use just about any alcoholic beverage to trap fruit flies.</p> <p>In this method, simply place a sheet of paper with a small hole in it over the top of an open can or bottle of beer. The fruit flies will fly in to feed on the beer, but will be unable to figure out how to get out of the opening. Then you can just get rid of the can of beer and the flies all at one time.</p> <h3>Mice</h3> <p>Mice love a bit of beer, and you can create a humane trap by pouring some beer into the bottom of a bucket. Place a piece of wood or something similar to act as a ramp, so the mice can climb up the ramp to get at the beer. When they leap in to get the beer, they won&rsquo;t be able to climb back out.</p> <p>You can then take the bucket (carefully, since you don&rsquo;t want to traumatize them or hurt them) and release the mice outside.</p> <h3>Slugs and Earwigs</h3> <p>Once springtime comes around, you can still use beer to repel bugs and other creepy crawlies in your yard.</p> <p>Slugs, and to a lesser extent earwigs, can cause a lot of damage to plants and your lawn. Having a couple isn&rsquo;t a problem, but if there are too many (or if you just hate that slime slugs leave everywhere), you can treat the problem without having to worry about putting out dangerous chemicals.</p> <p>There are many ways of trapping slugs and earwigs, but the principle is the same. Put a shallow dish with stale beer close to the ground (either dig a hole to put a can or jar lid in, or just pop it on the ground), so the slugs and earwigs can crawl in. They will then drown in the beer, and you can throw the whole thing out.</p> <h3>Make Your Own Insect Repellent</h3> <p>You can also make your own insect repellent for your yard using beer, as well as a few other household products: Epsom salt, mouthwash (the kind that doesn&rsquo;t kill germs), and dry yeast.</p> <ol> <li>Open a can of beer, and let it go flat.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Mix together one cup of each of the following:<br /> <ol type="a"> <li>The flat beer</li> <li>Epsom salt</li> <li>Mouthwash<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ol> </li> <li>Pour the contents into a large spray bottle, then add half a package of dry yeast.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Put on the lid of the spray bottle and shake vigorously to dissolve the yeast and the rest of the salt.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Spray it on your grass and around plants to keep insects from crossing any perimeters.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Repeat this every 20-30 days from spring to fall.</li> </ol> <p>The great thing about this insect repellent is that it is also a fertilizer: The magnesium in the salt and carbohydrates in the beer feed your plants, while the alcohol in the mouthwash repels insects.</p> <p>You should take care not to spray this on flowering plants, however, as it might kill them!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post from Danusia Jolliffe, the Online Community Manager for Rentokil Pest Control. She looks after the blog <a href="http://www.rentokil.com/blog">deBugged</a>, as well as <a href="http://twitter.com/Rentokil">@Rentokil</a> on Twitter. Her main hobby outside of work is netball &mdash; playing, umpiring, and serving as Club Captain. Read more from Danusia:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.rentokil.com/blog/zombie-ants-have-been-around-a-long-time/">Zombie Ants Have Been Around a Long Time</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.rentokil.com/blog/pest-control-at-home-in-the-kitchen/">Pest Control at Home &mdash; the Kitchen</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.rentokil.com/blog/bugs-in-booze/">Bugs in Booze</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/danusia-jolliffee">Danusia Jolliffee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-beer-to-get-rid-of-pests">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-gardening-lessons-learned-the-hard-way">10 Gardening Lessons Learned the Hard Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-cheap-and-easy-homemade-mosquito-repellents">4 Cheap and Easy Homemade Mosquito Repellents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-things-to-have-on-hand-for-power-outages">20 Things to Have on Hand for Power Outages</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home beer bugs gardening natural pest control Wed, 16 Feb 2011 14:00:20 +0000 Danusia Jolliffee 491222 at http://www.wisebread.com