You live in a toxic environment. The number of toxins you are exposed to during any given day continues to rise sharply. There’s air pollution. Mold. Chemicals in your food. Chemicals in the water supply. Chemicals in the products you use to clean your home.
The chemicals you use to control pests like ants, mice, or termites are one of the worst sources of environmental pollution at home.
There are many different chemicals used to control household pests. They include organophosphates and organochlorines used to kill bugs and spiders. These two chemical families cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, sweating and stomach cramps if they are ingested. Exposure to the skin can cause a minor rash.
But the real threat from skin exposure is that these chemicals absorb through the skin into your blood stream. Chronic exposure of this kind can lead to weight loss, muscle weakness, and tremors.
Nitrophenolic and nitrocresolic chemicals are used as herbicides to kill unwanted plants. These chemicals are toxic to both your liver and your immune system.
Arsenic-based pesticides are used to control rodents. These chemicals can build up in the body, damaging the liver and nervous system. They’ll make you feel achy, dizzy, and feverish.
Now, clearly living around ants and rodents isn’t a safe or healthy option. But how do you control pests without compromising your health?
Natural Pest Control Gives You a Healthy Home and Peace of Mind
Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take that will control pests without poisoning your home.
The first big step is to keep your home clean. This may sound like a lot of tedious work, but in a few simple steps you can eliminate most of the reasons that animals or insects might come into your home. Rinse dirty dishes. Take the kitchen garbage out each night. Sweep the kitchen floor regularly. These three steps are usually enough to eliminate the smells that might draw pests in.
Once you’ve gotten rid of the reasons that pests might invade your home, the next step is to put up barriers, so that any persistent pests can’t get in. Screens on doors and windows can help keep out insects. Put screens up over crawlspace openings, too—it helps keep out rodents. Of course, screens don’t stop all insects. To keep insects from coming through cracks between doors and windows and their frames, use caulk to seal the cracks.
You can also use natural insect repellants to keep bugs away. Most insects will avoid eucalyptus because of the scent. Consider rubbing eucalyptus oil near the likely entrance points for pests. Basil and bay leaves also repel insects. You can keep a basil plant in your home and tuck bay leaves into corners to add even more natural pest protection.
Finally, consider planting peppermint and spearmint plants around your home. Most bugs and mice dislike the smell and will stay away.
Pests can be a real problem, but chemical pesticides provide a less than ideal solution. Try some of these natural methods to get rid of the pests in your home and enjoy a safer, cleaner environment.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Photo Credit: checkbook.org