Guest Author - Meredith Ball
Controlling those pests this summer, whether they be ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes or fleas, is absolutely possible with minimal and natural steps. These little annoyances can wreak havoc on our backyard barbecues or camping trips, but are a part of nature after all. Read on to learn about how to prevent them from even invading your space, and how to rid them in case a few sneak by your natural barricades.
Make sure you have friendly insects in your garden to help to prevent non-friendly bug invasions. Ladybugs eat up mites, whiteflies and aphids. They are pretty and take care of business. Plant flowers in the daisy family or yarrow to attract as many ladybugs as possible. Yarrow, as well as goldenrod will attract lacewings, also aphid eaters. And, if you want most garden pests eaten, bring some praying mantis into your garden and they will enjoy the feast.
Other preventative measures involve keeping a healthy yard. This means that infected plants are immediately removed, healthy soil is maintained with proper nutrients, and drip irrigation is used to avoid wet foliage. Most insects do not like the scent of marigolds so planting these around your garden can help as well.
For specific strategies for ants, try some of these interesting ideas. First, keep a clean space void of sugary and sweet attractants. If those ants are still coming onto your patio or into your kitchen, put any of the following where the ants are coming in: bitter cucumber slices, cayenne pepper, lemon juice or coffee grounds. Ants have aversions to each of these items and should thus not cross over this natural barricade.
Nobody likes to admit they have cockroaches, so get rid of them before the problem grows. The best deterrents are bay leaves or garlic at their point of entry. Catnip sachets repel cockroaches as well, but of course be careful if you own a cat.
Keep your pets clean with cedar shampoo to help keep those fleas away. Fleabane is a lovely plant to keep fleas out of your garden and thus off your pets.
And, for mosquitos, be sure to change birdbaths and any other standing water source to prevent the attraction of mosquitos. If they try to hang around during your barbecue, try tossing some sage or rosemary on the coals as a repellent. And, if nothing else works, Herbal Armor is non-toxic and free of DEET, which may be a good option for a camping trip.
It is possible this summer to live in harmony with these bothersome bugs. Try a few of these helpful tips and enjoy a summer free of pests.