Posted May 06, 2016 by Gabriel Posternak

7 tricks to keep your home pest-free without toxic products

From small ants and bugs to bigger rats or bats, your home can suffer from pest invasion. Beyond the obvious hassle, some animal plagues can also damage the building that can lead to costly repairs.

There are lots of options on pest control, but we focused on the most eco-friendly and non-toxic so you can get rid of unwanted visitors, in a safe way for family and pets.

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Humane pest control

What does exactly mean humane pest control? Well, at large, is the practice to capture and relocate wildlife that invaded the house, or use sound to repel their apparition. Those methods try to make sure that pest animals do not get harmed, suffer stress, or die.

Those methods can look expensive at first, but they are cheaper that replace the roof or the walls’ insulation of the whole house damaged by some sneaky rodent.

  1. Ultrasonic animal repellent: They emit an sound with a pitch higher than what humans can hear but is perfectly audible for animals. This sounds range to be just annoy animals and make them leave, to mimic the distress signal emitted by those same animals to make them flee. This is safe and very humane, but its effectiveness might be low on some species or be bothersome for pets.
  2. Humane animal traps: These traps make the animals get inside without harm, and leave them in a cage or box to be collected and relocated. They are usually placed and maintained by a pest control company. This method is also highly humane, but can be very costly to get it done right and safe. And consider that in some states and counties, trapping wildlife is regulated.
  3. Electric fences: Low voltage electric fences can be very effective in pest control. As they only need a small amount of electricity to run, there are some models that just feed on a small solar panel. The advantage is that some species develop an aversive conditioning to the shock that can be passed to other members of the herd.
Non-toxic pest control

Some pests and infestations cannot be relocated or educated, so more drastic measures have to be taken. With the exception of bees, most bugs and insects, small rodents and bats propagate diseases and can be very harmful for gardens and pets too.

The most logical mean to get rid of those pests is using the tools already given by nature.

  1. Having pets: As far ago as 3000 BC in Egypt, cats were trained to control rodents at grain deposits. Ferrets and mongooses were trained for the same reason in Europe, and even some dogs were bred to catch mice like bull-terriers. With years of pets living indoor, that instinct is debilitated but rodents are less likely to invade a home with cats and dogs than a pet-free one.
  2. Biological pest control: Some bugs can be controlled by using birds or bigger insects and animals that feed on them. Dragonflies, small birds and frogs can control mosquitoes and house ants, for instance. This method requires some scientific assessment so it’s carried out mostly by government agencies, and its effectiveness is limited for one-home-scale use.
  3. Chemical repellents: Natural essences can be natural repellent, effective to control insects like flies, mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, bedbugs, etc. on surfaces or even bodies. There are plenty of options that uses citronella oil or other herbal extracts that are safe for pets and humans of all ages.
  4. Non-toxic poisons: There is a new generation of poisons that only attract and kill harmful species but are completely safe for both pets and humans, and avoids the “secondary kill” that can affect birds and prey that feed on poisoned animals. The most common is RatX that can be found in major retail stores.
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And, of course, you need to have all windows, vents and entrances tight closed, and in good condition to prevent invasions in the first place. Opened waste bins and pets’ food in the outside can attract some plagues, so make sure you don’t leave them unattended.

If the visitors are already there, just pick the best green-option for your problem and enjoy a pest-free home!

Featured photo credit: Seattle Parks & Recreation via Visualhunt / CC BY

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