Do you need to use chemical pesticides to control pests?
Well until recent years I would have definitely said yes. I have a confession to make, I used to use pesticides a lot. Had I known about the potential health hazards of pesticides (and that many of health concerns were linked to biotoxicity), I would not have done that. But I know better now, and as such I no longer rely on chemical pesticides. Instead I now Starve them out!, Dry Them Out! and Keep Them out! as suggested by EPA.gov. Managing pests this way is for the most part, really quite easy. When we do get the occassional stubborn pest in our home, instead of reaching for the chemical sprays we now deal with them with natural less toxic methods. Now my attitude towards pesticides is no, unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes they are necessary, for example wearing DEET PRODUCTS can save your life travelling to an area with lots of mosquitos that carry disease.
|Starve Them Out!||Dry Them Out!||Keep Them Out!|
STARVE THEM OUT!
Pests will eat just about anything, but they might leave you alone if they don’t have easy access to food:
- Seal up boxes and bags of food. Roaches love cardboard boxes and can climb into these items with ease.
- Store open food in plastic bags or containers, such as cereal, flour, or sugar. Do you really want to share your sweets with ants?
- Immediately clean up spills and leftover crumbs. Pests love free food left out in the open.
- Don’t walk around the house while eating. Meals and snacks should be eaten at a table.
- Clean dirty dishes right away. Pests want whatever is left of your meals.
- Keep a tight lid on trash, and empty it often. It may be trash to you, but pests see it as dinner. Place trash cans far away from a back door entrance.
- Don’t leave pet food out overnight. Food can stir up pests’ appetites.
DRY THEM OUT!
Although roaches can live up to one month without food, without water roaches can die in a week’s time:
- Always drain dish water from a sink. Because roaches can swim, a sink full of water might become the site of a roach pool party.
- Wipe water and other spilled liquids off the counter as soon as you first see it. Puddles are roach magnets.
- Fix or report leaky faucets, radiators, dishwashers, and washing machines to a building manager.
- Empty excess water in flower pots and plant stands. A drop of water can be all a roach needs to feel satisfied.
KEEP THEM OUT!
By keeping ants, roaches and rodents out of your home, you can prevent them from ever becoming a problem. Rodents spend most of their lives hiding. They love cracks, and can squeeze just about anywhere. Think smart, and they can’t move in on you:
- Seal cracks and openings along baseboards, behind sinks, and around pipes and windows.
- Repair holes in door and window screens to prevent insects and other pests from entering a home.
- Check boxes and bags for roaches before bringing them into a home.
- Clean up clutter, including stacks of newspapers, paper bags, and cardboard boxes. These make good hiding places for pests.
- Set traps to control rats and mice. If you use baits, make sure they are in a tamper-resistant bait station made of durable plastic or metal, and place in an area where children and pets cannot touch them.
- Citizen’s Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety
- Tips for reducing pesticide impacts on wildlife
- Ants, bed bugs, slugs or weeds? Control them safely in your home or yard
- Home Safe Home poster
- En español: Segurida en la Casa
- Infestations Vacations Exit
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Principles
- Help! It’s a Roach! A Roach Prevention Activity Book for Kids(the tips are great for anyone)
- Socorro! Una Cucaracha! Un libro de ejercicios para niños sobre prevención de cucarachas in la casa
- More on IPM at NPIC Exit
En español: Manejo Integrado de Plagas (MIP) Centro Nacional de Información de Pesticidas
- Search for registered pesticide products