There is sufficient evidence to support the fact that adults shouldn’t unnecessarily be exposed to pesticides anymore than children should. In 2004, Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) presented an analysis of pesticide related data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The results showed that many U.S. residents carry toxic pesticides in their bodies at levels above the government’s “acceptable” thresholds. Many of the pesticides found in the test subjects have been linked to serious short- and long-term health effects, including infertility, birth defects, and childhood and adult cancers. Parkinson’s Disease has been linked to pesticide exposure.
Obviously, pesticides are much more dangerous than the industry admits to. Many people in the business will say they use “safe” pesticides. There is no such thing as a safe pesticide and it is actually against the law to say so.
How do you combat pests?
Never use routine spraying of pesticides in your home. If ants find their way into your home or are making a nuisance of themselves in your yard, there are several non-toxic options you can use to control them.
If you know where the ants are coming in from, you can repel them with such products as food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE), baking soda, talcum powder, medicated body powder, damp coffee grounds, salt, cayenne, garlic powder, Comet Cleaner or Tide laundry soap. Place any of these materials in corners, under baseboards or in any cracks and crevices where you see ants emerging.
These products are mostly powders and won’t work around the perimeter of your home as they will be blown away or washed away. Diatomaceous earth is available at feed stores.
If you can find the ants’ entrance on the outside, you can block it with Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, any toothpaste or duct tape. You can also squeeze lemon juice into the opening and leave the lemon peel there.
You can spray the ants themselves with a mixture of 40 percent water, 40 percent alcohol and 20 percent dish soap (these proportions don’t have to be exact).
You can also spray them with Fantastic or WD40. You can spray around your foundation with a mixture of 2 ounce table salt and one ounce, white pepper in one pint water.
If you have ants making mounds in your yard you can flood the nests with club soda, a dilution of orange juice, Lemon Joy and peppermint or with white vinegar or food-grade DE.
If you use the DE, mix four tablespoons per gallon of water. You can also use one gallon of orange juice diluted with two gallons of water and a dash of soap. If you prefer, you can also spread dry instant grits on the mound. The ants will eat it and not be able to digest it and die.
Once ants are in the house, you can usually eradicate them with a non-toxic bait. However, whether it is non-toxic or not, I always recommend placing baits where children and/or pets cannot get to them.
When you use baits, the ants will take it back to the colony and kill the queen. If you are
seeing dead ants around the bait they aren’t taking it back and the problem won’t be solved. You may want to change baits if this is a problem.
You can mix apple sauce, Kara syrup, Crisco shortening, sugar water, canned cat food (fish flavored), creamy peanut butter, honey or jelly with boric acid or borax. Mix about 2 percent boric acid or borax into the bait. You can also use food-grade DE at a rate of 5 percent, or a packet of Equal, which contains aspartame (which you probably shouldn’t be putting in your coffee).
If cockroaches become a nuisance, here are some tips:
Combine half cup powdered sugar and quarter cup shortening or bacon drippings. Add half cup onions, half cup flour and eight oz. baking soda. Add enough water to make a dough-like consistency. Make balls of bait and put them wherever you see roaches.
Also you can mix one clove garlic, one onion, one tablespoon of cayenne pepper and 1 quart water. Steep for one hour, strain, add a tablespoon of liquid soap and spray it around the house for ant and/or roach control.
You can mix one cup borax and fourth cup black pepper and fourth cup shredded bay leaves and place them in areas to repel roaches. Keep all of these baits away from kids and pets.
Spraying the baseboards in a house or commercial building was never intended to kill bugs. It was intended to kill time in the customer’s house or business in order to instill “perceived value” It’s never necessary. If your exterminator wants to spray baseboards, find another one who only uses pesticides around the outside of your home.