We are using way too much pesticides in our society, in our homes, in our schools, in public buildings and even in our forests. I have covered the many problems pesticides cause many times in my columns. We have to have a system where we use safe and effective methods for pest control. Some companies do this, and I recommend them in some instances. Many companies prefer to spray pesticides because it is easier. Just spray and pray – spray pesticides and pray you kill something.
There are virtually no household pests that require pesticides for control. Yellowjackets and wasps may be an exception because they can be potentially dangerous. However, if you have a wasp nest near your house now when it is cold, it will die out. Knock it down and you can hang small brown paper bags stuffed with paper where the nest was. The wasps will think it is a nest and not go near it. They only go near their own nests.
You can control ants with various baits, and the bait depends on the species of ants. Here are a couple of baits you can use for ants. For odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile), pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum) and little black ants (Monomorium minimum), you can mix two tablespoons each of peanut butter and jelly with one tablespoon of boric acid. Place where the ants are foraging. Terro Bait is also a good commercial bait made from boric acid. You can use instant grits to control some species of ants in your yard You can prevent ants from coming in your home by placing peppermint essential oil in the areas where they can enter. Pesticides are not necessary for ant control. The bait stations most pest control companies use contain toxic pesticides and are dangerous to animals.
There are a number of good baits available for controlling some cockroaches. Outside you can control roaches with pie pans filled with beer. Not Lite beer as they don’t like it.
There are good repellents for spiders, centipedes and scorpions that you can use and natural products you can use to kill any of them in your house. You can control bed bugs yourself as well. You don’t need to pay a small fortune to a pest control company to spray pesticides in your home. You can do it yourself with safe products. There are many other baits and repellents you can use for various pests. There are also non-toxic methods for controlling termites that you can insist a company uses if they treat your house. It is also important to realize that you must know if your home is being properly treated for termites as many homes are not properly treated. If you have had your house treated, look at the graph and see of the depth of the footing was measured. Most termite labels require the termiticide to be applied based on linear footage around the house and the depth of the footer. If they didn’t measure the footer, they violated the law, because the label is the law, and you should consider getting your money back.
If you have a pest question, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will help you to the best of my ability and there is no charge. I have been involved in controlling pests for over 45 years and I know the hazards of pesticides. I was IPM Specialist at UNM for 12 years and never used toxic pesticides on campus and I was IPM Manager for the City of Santa Fe. I took care of about 80 city buildings in Santa Fe and never sprayed any toxic pesticides anywhere. Pesticides are a real pandemic.