One key aspect of keeping your home comfortable and welcoming is keeping away unwanted pests. Ibiza is fortunate to not have many dangerous creatures: no scorpions or rattlesnakes to worry about! We do have the usual bothersome bugs and rodents though. Using conventional sprays and poisons can put pets and children at risk, and damage the environment. Here are some ideas for natural pest control to protect your home without toxic chemicals.
Nip these buzzing nuisances in the bud by keeping your surroundings free of standing water where mosquito larvae hatches. Check gutters, planters and buckets and tip out any standing water. If you have a water tub or pond, for example, go to the garden center and ask for Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis). This is naturally occurring bacterium you can add to water that kills mosquito larvae but is non-toxic to people and fish.
Fill your garden with lemon balm, catnip and rose-scented geraniums, all of which contain natural mosquito repellants.
Get flies to buzz off with natural sprays made from essential oils. Many plants have fly-repellent properties, including lavender and mint, so a few strategically placed plants on windowsills and around the terrace can deter flies. For a quick solution, make a spray. This recipe uses lemongrass oil, but you can substitute lavender or peppermint essential oil as well.
- 10-12 drops Lemongrass essential oil
- 60ml Hot water
- Pour 10-12 drops of lemongrass essential oil into a small spray bottle.
- Pour hot water over this oil.
- Shake well to mix the ingredients.
- Spray your doorways, windows or any space where flies get in
- Spray it directly on flies whenever or wherever you see them
Staying ahead of ants is a real task in the summer, especially if you live in the campo. The first thing is to keep food properly stored and the kitchen clean as they will come for anything edible. If you have an ant nest, pouring boiling water mixed with white vinegar over it will wipe them out. You can also mop your floors with hot water and vinegar. If killing ants seems like bad karma spray or wipe surfaces and entry points with cinnamon essential oil to keep ants at bay.
A range of natural techniques can help keep fleas off your pets, and out of your yard and home. Keep pots of lemon balm, sage, rosemary, catnip, lemongrass, basil and mint inside and out, as they all contain natural flea repellents. To nip infestations in the bud, buy food-grade diatomaceous earth, which is a non-toxic powder you can sprinkle around your home and garden. It dries out and destroys flea eggs. Another tip is to make a garlic spray for your lawn. This might sound crazy, but fleas hate the stuff. Take eight heads of garlic and pour over five litres of boiling water. Let steep for 12 hours. When it cools, strain out the garlic and use the water to lightly spray your yard.
Nothing helps fend off a rodent invasion like a natural predator so why not adopt a cat? Care4Cats always has loving felines that need a good home. In return for your care, you get a cuddly, all-natural way to get rid of rats and mice.
Suggestions or tips on getting rid of pests? Please share in the comments!