Natural Remedies for Disturbing Home Pests

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There is a number of home pests that can make their way into your home. Some of them are definitely more common than others, some are destructive, others create inconveniences or small burdens, some can make your life quite miserable. Most homeowners have to deal with ants, roaches, termites, or rats, at some point of their life. Although some home dwellers believe that pests only enter homes that are too junky or dirty, it is not always the case.

home pests, natural remedy

Cockroach; Photo courtesy of Jo. via Flickr

Some pests, like rats or roaches, seek warmer environments, which means if your home is relatively cool, they might not stick around. However, all of these pests are always looking for food.

Here are some of the most common home pests that might be creeping and crawling around your home along with practical ideas and natural remedies how you can go about getting rid of them:

1. Taking Out the Ants

Ants are one of the most common pests that seem to terrorize most homes. This is because they are attracted to sugar and will come after pretty much any food that you leave out to take back to their colonies. Once you have an ant problem, it can take a while to get it under control. Sure, there are ant traps that you can put out, but those look nasty after a while and do they really help solve the issue?

Thankfully, there are several natural things that you can do that can deter ants from being in your home. As many of us know well, essential oils are absolutely wonderful and very useful. You can use either cinnamon, lemon and peppermint oils to keep ants at bay. Cinnamon helps to repel, lemon masks their scent trails, and peppermint has too strong of a smell for them to be able to handle. When you use these, however, just make sure to not spray it all over the place. Be very strategic about it and spray the oil only around places they gather or march through.

2. How to Find Roaches

Roaches are very flexible pests that can fly, flatten their bodies, and crawl up walls and ceilings. Finding a dead roach does not always mean that you have an infestation on your hands, but live ones usually mean they are living in your house somewhere. These insects love to hide in dark places and usually find refuge in the ceiling or that space right under your attic. Roaches love to be upside down, which is why many hide in these areas. Pipes and plumbing areas are also popular roach quarters, since they provide darkness and moisture.

Luckily, though, there are a ton of great natural remedies that can help ward off these critters, such as using mint oil or cedar wood. So if you live in an area that is prone to getting cockroaches, make sure to have some of that around your home to prevent an infestation. Spray mint oil all around your door and window frames, and, just in case, place cedar chips where you store your food.

3. Signs of Rats

Rats usually hide between the walls, under sinks, or within cabinets. The key is to look for droppings. These will look like small pebbles. Rats are scary rodents to deal with because they are much larger than other pests. Of course, it should be noted that rodents have been responsible for the spread of some serious diseases such as salmonellosis, plague or hemorrhagic fever, which is why it is important to take action. Although many of these diseases have not been around for decades, who is to say it cannot happen again?

Nobody want rats crawling around their home, therefore it is good to know that there are some unique things that you can do. Some people place owl feathers and dried cat litter near the places where rats tend to visit. Peppermint oil is also another great repellent, because it is too strong for rats to breathe. If you’re not allergic to them, getting a good hunting cat is also another good idea.

4. Detecting Termites

A simple way to find out if there are termites in your house is to look for mud-like streaks around wood structures. These streaks are made up of feces and wood, which is used to make their tunnels. You may also find piles of dark brown wings, usually after heavy rains, when flying termites search for new places to start a new colony. You should also know that some termites are attracted to the mixture of standing water and wood.

It may be possible to find them between the walls, ceiling, basement, or patio. Keep in mind that these insects like to stay away from extreme heat and direct sunlight, meaning that they are likely to be in dark places, especially in the summer. You will likely find them under the patio or basement when it is raining. The ceiling could be a good home for them when the weather is nice or when it is too cold in the basement.

Some people spray an orange oil to kill termites, which destroys their membranes and they end up dying of water and protein loss. Neem oil is another good nontoxic remedy homeowners can try. It can make termites stop eating and laying eggs, and eventually, they will die.

home pests, natural remedy

Termite at work; Photo courtesy of USDA via Flickr

If All Else Fails

If you tried all possible natural remedies but your infestation continues and you start seeing damages in your home, then you should probably seek help from the professionals. Besides, some home pests might be tough to detect and eliminate by yourself. If it gets out of hand, it is crucial to contact a local specialist, such as Jeffrey Hills and Associates, who are capable to get rid of them for you—therefore, salvaging your home.

These tips should help you find and take care of common pests that may be hiding in your home. Use the natural remedies to help you get rid of them, but don’t hesitate to call an expert if you can’t get them under control.

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Author:Hannah Whittenly

Hannah is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

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