Natural Bug Remedies

Tuesday, July 27th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Back to nature usually means back to the bugs, but sometimes pesticides are worse than pests. So here are a few natural formulas for ridding your home of these
creepy crawlers:

 Keep bushes and lawns clipped. Overgrown yards are a haven for small pests.

 Dump or mop up any standing water. It is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

 A small amount of cider vinegar rubbed onto the skin will help to repel mosquitoes.

 Pennyroyal, an herb, may be sewn or wrapped into a bandanna and tied around your favorite furry friend. It's a natural flea repellent. You can purchase pennyroyal at a health food store or grow it yourself.

 A concoction of lime juice, water, crushed bay leaves and a small amount of table salt eliminates cockroach problems. Here's the recipe:

In blender, combine:
Juice of two limes
One cup water
3 bay leaves
Teaspoon table salt
Process till smooth. Apply to roach source and problem areas with spray bottle.

* If silverfish have invaded your kitchen, lightly dust cupboards and drawers with a thin layer of cinnamon.

 If you're seeing ants around your home, here are a few natural remedies. Wipe down ant-infested counters and other problem areas with distilled white vinegar. Or, zap ants with a spray solution of water and a spoonful of dishwashing liquid. If you can determine the source of ants' entry to your home, wipe or spray ammonia around the area.

 Treat the legs of tables with an ant repellant, or set table legs in small containers of water to keep ants from joining your next picnic.

 By spreading a mixture of sugar, baking yeast and molasses on a 3 x 5 card, you can make a non-toxic ant trap. Place the cards, syrup side up, where ants travel. Ants will be attracted to the card and stick to it. Discard and replace when needed.

 Another ant remedy is made of equal parts of red pepper and sugar. Sprinkle it where ants travel.

 Repel garden pests with a solution of vinegar, water and a squirt of dish soap mixed with hot peppers, garlic, pureed in a blender. Here's how to make it:

Combine these ingredients in bowl of blender and blend until smooth.
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
1/4 cup fresh or dried hot peppers (red pepper flakes, anaheim, jalapeno, scotch bonnet, etc.)
whole head of garlic. Don't bother peeling.
Add 3 tablespoons dish soap and blend for just one or two pulses of blender.
Apply with spray bottle.

 Fresh kitty litter sprinkled around your garden repels slugs. A mixture of honey and water may also do the trick; spray around tender plants.

 A soap spray is one of the best ways to rid houseplants of aphids. Grate half a bar of soap (Ivory works well) and blend with 1/2 gallon of water. Just spray this mild solution on plants. Be sure to use soap and not detergent.

 Prevent bugs from hatching in dry goods, like flour and other grains, by freezing unopened packages for 24 hours. These tiny eggs are a natural part of harvesting and manage to stay intact throughout processing. Freezing kills any eggs that might be in the bag.

 Placing bay leaves on panty and cupboard shelves can help keep them bug-free. A bay leaf in your flour can help prevent weevils.

 To catch a wasp in your house, just spritz him with a water mister. The water will weigh his wings down and make him easier to catch and remove.

So instead of reaching for pesticides, try these few tips for mixing up a natural solution to your pest problem.