In the desert, we have about a million and one nasty leggy critters that get into our house and try to eat us and our food. Personally, I hate bugs. We need organic pest control.
To quote a fine movie:
“The only good bug, is a dead bug.”
Don’t get me wrong, I know there are beneficial insects in the world..frankly, as long as they stay out of my house, and yard too, I am ok.
So, here we battle them, head on.
We do not have a commercial pest service, except for termites. This is not something I have been able to fix organically… more on that another day- but let us say, I have had termites 4 times in the past 13 years in my house- visually identified- ( in that, I have actually seen them poking out of the wall) and they eat houses. They ate mine.
So, what organic pest contols have we succeeded with?
We have a house with vaulted ceilings and hard flooring throughout. We would get a cricket or two in the house and it would be so loud I would get headaches. The cats were bouncing off the walls to find them. They usually would get a few every day, dissect them and leave them for me. Nice cats. That is, if they weren’t in the walls…that was maddening. They would cricket all day and night, and wouldn’t stop unless you whacked the wall with your fist.. and I did.. often.. but they just started up again in a second or two.
We would go in the garage, and during monsoon season, it would be a carpet of them there. A cricket carpet. Nasty. They would leave their poppyseed looking poo in my shoes and anything else that was in the garage. Nasty. You couldn’t leave anything in the garage that wasn’t in a closed container, because they were going to be in it.
They really loved the space over my back door. Their poo would fall from the door paneling. I hate crickets.
We had a rash of baby rattlesnake invasions over a few year’s time. One at time, in the spring when they had just hatched, and they were about the diameter of a pencil. There are hilarious and terrifying tales to be told about how I captured them with a spatula, pyrex bowl and a can of canned air.. ( freeze them) We tried everything to get rid of them. But one thing was clear- they loved to eat crickets. A local herpetologist told us that we were going to keep having snakes as long as we provided them with a cricket buffet. Well, we ended up starting to get glue traps on Amazon to catch the snakes. I placed them around the doors where we thought they were coming in… we did end up catching 2 snakes on the glue traps. ( yes I know this is not the most humane treatment for snakes, but having 4 cats and 2 people constantly being in danger of snakes-INDOORS we went with it.)
Long story short on this- we discovered that in addition to being great at catching snakes, the traps also were piled with crickets.. spiders and some other creepy nasty bugs I didn’t even know I had. The next year we had less crickets. Still had snakes. I was not impressed.
I somehow came across some info on diatomaceous earth as being a good material to kill bugs, without the hazards of pesticides. I ran out and bought some ( pool grade) at Home Depot. It was cheap, and I soon had a house perimeter that looked like an exploded flour factory. It worked great. I only spread it where I wouldn’t track it in the house, and I kept it outside. I had many less crickets in no time at all.
Fast forward a bit- I got a dog. I didn’t want her getting into the powder, it can be very irritating to the feet. So I read up some more, and found that food grade diatomaceous earth was safer. I still try to keep it away from where the dog will be. This isn’t too hard. I killed 99.9% of the crickets, and my dog is happy.
There are still hazards to breathing the material. When you lay it down, you never want to breathe it or get it into your eyes. Safety glasses, gloves, and a dust mask are advised. I also hose off asap just so I don’t puff it up on my clothes. Never apply during any wind. It is fine and flies!
Stay tuned for more installments of Green and Organic with more organic pest control!