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Green Corner: Try environmentally sound pest control

Thomas Harris
The Green Corner

It’s that time of the year again when the bugs like to come out and play and move into our homes. Instead of buying expensive poisons that could potential be gotten into by children, pets, or get sucked up into your vegetables, try some of these natural deterrents.

There are numerous pests that make their way in once spring has sprung. The biggest problem I have found in Grand County are ants. These guys are relentless and can climb up walls to get in.

The best way to really get rid of them is boric acid. This stuff is a naturally mined product and if you put it around doors or a visual crack where they are getting in, it will get on them and they take it back to the den. Eventually, it will kill all the ants in the colony. To make a homemade treatment, you will need 1 tablespoon of boric acid, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 4 ounces of water, and some cotton balls. Mix boric acid and sugar in a bowl with water; pour this over cotton balls and place them in the path of ants. Ants may also be deterred by mint, citrus oil, cinnamon, coffee grounds, cucumbers, and cayenne pepper. Ants will not cross these if you put out a small line of it near where they are entering your house.

Spiders are another pest we deal with here in the mountains. Don’t pile wood up against your house and caulk or close up any cracks or holes that lead into your house. Other than not letting them in in the first place, there are numerous deterrents that if placed in corners where they hang out will keep them from setting up a home. These include: mint, vinegar, cedar, tobacco, citrus, and chestnuts. Other than the chestnuts, all of these can be mixed with water in a spray bottle to spread the smells in areas where spiders may congregate.

Mosquito’s are another problem we have up here and these guys can carry diseases like West Nile virus and malaria. The first thing to do is to not have any standing water sources where they can propagate. Regularly drain pools, bird baths, pet water bowls, or anywhere water collects. Secondly, one can plant marigolds around you property since mosquitoes and other flying insects do not like the fragrance they give off. Mosquitoes have an aversion to neem oil and garlic water as well. Citronella candles can work; especially, if you put them lower to the ground and there is no breeze. While barbecuing or having a fire, throw some sage or rosemary into the coals to help repel them. Installing bat houses around one’s house can really help, since bats can eat 500-1,000 mosquitoes a night. Plus, kids think they are cool.

Go out and try some of these, feeling confident that your animals or children will not get poisoned by running across or eating any of these remedies.

Thomas Harris is president of the Infinite West Board of Directors.


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