Having bugs in your home can be both frustrating and unhealthy, but not everyone wants to call in the pest control services right away. There’s also the option of buying powerful bug sprays or making your own, but what if one just doesn’t want to kill off these creatures?
While some might say that humans and bugs can coexist, that doesn’t mean that we should let them stay in our homes. Whether we have an infestation of spiders, cockroaches, or something else, the fact remains that these bugs can cause harm. At best, they look unsightly and will creep out any guests. At worst, they’ll eat holes in our belongings and might harm our loved ones.
Fortunately, there are ways of getting bugs to leave a home in a humane, non-killing fashion. Let’s have a look at some of them now:
1. Preventative Methods
Before you look for ways to get rid of bugs, see where you can prevent them from coming inside in the first place. Bugs will enter your home unless they have reason to be there; holes to hide in, food to eat, etc.
Even if you think such knowledge is redundant is the pests are already inside, it helps to take preventive steps so that they won’t come back. Plus, you don’t want more bugs coming in while you’re trying to get rid of the present unwanted guests.
Here are the steps to take for preventing bugs from entering your space:
- Start by washing your dishes as soon as possible
- Cover any unsupervised food
- Sweep up every stray crumb; if you have small kids or animals in the home, make sure to vacuum, mop, and sweep as frequently as possible
- Take your trash out as frequently as possible
- If you have a pet and use dry food for them, make sure to seal its bag and put it in a secure area.
- Wipe countertops with a solution of vinegar and water every single day
- Keep food in airtight containers whenever possible
- Clean your pets’ food dishes and don’t leave out their food at night
- Cockroaches are especially attracted to water, so take care to thoroughly dry each area of your home. This could include having exhaust fans for drying the bathroom quickly and making sure to wipe the kitchen sink completely dry each night.
- Don’t let paper items like bags, boxes, or newspapers pile up; recycle them as soon as you can
- Seal cracks in your baseboards, walls, and window trim so the insects have limited entry points.
- Make sure to play the plug on the bathtub and sink drains when they’re not in use.
- Clean appliances that regularly come into contact with food; the most common examples are toaster ovens, microwaves, stoves, and refrigerators
The steps above might seem like a lot of work, but they won’t take more than a few minutes each at the most. Once you get the hang of them, they’d also become second nature. The best part, of course, is that you won’t have to worry much about bug control once these habits are a part of your daily life.
If you need something more to keep bugs away, here are some natural options for bug control that every homeowner should know.
2. Humanely Removing Large Bugs
Large bugs like cockroaches, centipedes, and spiders can frighten a lot of people. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that they’re probably more scared of humans. If you really want to help them get out of your space without getting hurt, pluck up the courage to remove them manually when needed.
One way to do so is to put a cup over the bug, slide a sheet of paper underneath the opening, and then carry the whole thing outside. You can then release the bug and prevent it from finding its way back by following the steps in the first point. If you find one of these strange and unusual bugs, make sure to look it up and get instructions on how to best handle the situation.
3. Focus on Keeping Ants Away
Once you get ants in any living space, they can become a long-term pain. Before they increase in numbers and get completely out of control, take preventative measures by putting some sort of humane repellent around the home.
For instance, if you see cracks where the ants can come in, put a line of cream of tartar there. This will prevent them from crossing over. Other natural and non-lethal repellents include paprika, coffee grounds, cinnamon sticks, chilli peppers, cloves, or even dried peppermint leaves.
Another option is to squeeze a lemon at the place when ants come in. Leave the lemon peel in the same place. If you feel like there are several entry points that you simply can’t reach, it might help to plant mint all around the house’s or building’s foundation.
There are also organic ant repellents available in the market. One example is Orange Guard, which is both nontoxic and harmless for humans and animals. While it does repel ants, it’s not meant to be directly sprayed on them. If it touches their bodies, it will destroy the ant’s waxy coating and cause them to suffocate. What you want to do is spray the repellents all around the house and at the entry points, taking care to avoid the ants themselves.
4. Humane Spider Control
The first step, again, should be prevention. Have screens on your windows so that spiders can’t enter. Make a natural repellent spray and apply it to door frames and window frames, in bathrooms, and all the corners. One useful recipe is to add 10-15 peppermint essential oil drops to 8-12 ounces of water. Mix these in an empty spray bottle. You can also rub some lemon peel on the frames of doors and windows; spiders hate citrus.
Spiders do love the dark spaces caused by debris, though, so clear away your log piles, cluttered belongings, and trim overgrown hedges.
5. Humane Flying Insect Control
Flies, bees, and wasps are annoying pests when outdoors. When they’re indoors, you naturally want them gone as soon as possible. However, remember that wasps and bees would only sting or attack if and when they feel like they’re in danger. There’s no need to slap at one even if it lands on you; simply stay relaxed and don’t make any sudden movement until they fly off.
To stop bees from coming into your home, hang some eucalyptus or cedar over your windows and doors. For flies, basil and lavender flowers work pretty well. You can arrange some beautiful lavender flowers that will both enhance your home interior and also act as a natural bug control. Basil leaves are great for salads and pasta dishes, so having a small plant in your home will be doubly useful.
Wasps won’t come near any strange nests, so make a fake one by taking crumpled paper and putting it in a brown bag. Seal the bag and hang it outside.
6. Humane Cockroach Control
Cockroaches are probably one of the hardiest species we have on this planet. They can hold their breath for a very long time (around 40 minutes), and can proportionally run three times the speed of a cheetah.
With this in mind, it’s evident that getting rid of a cockroach infestation might be a tough call. Start with preventative steps like placing cucumbers, catnip, garlic cloves, and bay leaves in high areas around the house or apartment. All of these are natural repellents for cockroaches and might prevent or at least limit the problem somewhat.
If you want to take the cockroaches outdoors but don’t want to try the cup and paper method, make a live trap. You do this by taping some newspaper around a glass jar. Then, put a little petroleum jelly on the inside of the jar’s lip. Place tiny bits of vegetables, fruits, or bread inside the jar and leave it out. Cockroaches will hopefully climb inside and won’t be able to come out due to the petroleum jelly.
After that, all you have to do is pick up the jar, take it out of doors, and release the bugs. To stay on the safe side, you might want to put a secure lid on the jar and release the roaches at some distance from your home.
Knowing the most humane ways to get rid of various bugs in your home is quite useful. This way, you can have a bug-free home for good and also remain guilt-free. However, there are still times when you might have to call for some professional help. Getting rid of bed bugs, for instance, is more than most people can manage on their own. For other kinds of bugs, however, do consider the humane way instead of direct sprays or exterminations.