The thought of spiders in your home is enough to make anyone feel a little unsettled, but these household pests are actually beneficial to have around. They are a natural form of pest control, keeping other pest populations like mosquitoes and flies under control in and around your home. Although there are a few venomous spiders found in our area, most others are harmless and don’t pose a threat to you or your family. While it’s not realistic to expect to eliminate every spider from your home, you can make it less inviting for them to help keep them out without the use of harsh chemicals or pesticides. Here are 7 natural spider control remedies you can use around your home.
Use Spider-Repellent Plants
There are several plants you can place inside and outside your home to naturally deter spiders from coming around. Lavender, mint, eucalyptus, and citronella are known to deter spiders from building their webs near them. If incorporating these plants into your landscaping isn’t a possibility, you can also spray essential oils with these scents, in addition to peppermint or tea tree oil, anywhere spiders are a problem. You can also crush mint and place it in sachets inside your cabinets or other areas where spider activity is high.
Eliminate Hiding Places
Spiders are masters of hide and seek. They can be found hiding in cracks, crevices, cabinets, knotholes, behind baseboards, inside seldom used items in your home (such as shoes), under rocks, in woodpiles, and under piles of leaves and dirt. By getting rid of these hiding places you can encourage spiders to seek shelter somewhere besides in your home. Move leaves, grass clippings, compost and woodpiles away from your exterior walls. Dust and declutter your home on a regular basis. Frequently dust any areas where cobwebs appear. Organize your storage areas and get rid of any empty boxes.
Get Rid Of Webs
Spiders spin webs to trap their prey as a food source. If you come across spider webs either inside or around your home, remove them as soon as possible. Eventually the spiders will move on and build their webs somewhere else.
Keep Outdoor Lights Off
While spiders aren’t attracted to your outdoor lights, other pests that they feed on are. Mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and other common prey for spiders are drawn to your outdoor lights, providing a literal buffet for a waiting spider. Keep your outdoor lights off as much as possible to help cut down on your outdoor pest populations.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous earth is a crumbly material made of the fossilized remains of an algae called diatom. DE can be sprinkled on the ground around your home and used as an insecticide. DE kills several pests in addition to spiders and can be used around your family and your pets.
Natural Spider Repellent
There are some organic substances that work as natural repellents for spiders. Vinegar is a common one. The acetic acid in vinegar gives a sour taste and odor to spiders who come into contact with it. Mix equal portions of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray it around your home, especially in areas where pests may be getting inside. Citrus is also a natural spider deterrent. Keep citrus fruits in a bowl on your kitchen counter and use the leftover peels to rub onto your windowsills and doors to help keep spiders out.
Seal Them Out
Spiders can get in through the tiniest cracks and crevices in your home. Make sure to regularly inspect the exterior of your home and seal any places where pests might be gaining entry inside. Be sure to check doors and windowsills and use caulk or weatherstripping to seal any cracks and openings.
While most spiders don’t cause any problems in your home, they can become a nuisance, especially in your yard or garden. Webs can be built in inconvenient places; they can cover your plants or hide blooms, stunting their growth. If you have a problem with spiders or need some help getting them under control, contact your local pest control company for an evaluation.
Macon Pest Control: Benefits of Green Pest Control
Green pest control is an environmentally friendly approach to managing pests that utilizes natural and organic methods to prevent and eliminate pests. In Georgia, this approach to pest control is becoming increasingly popular due to the many benefits it offers.
One of the biggest benefits of Northwest’s green pest control is that it is a safer option for both humans and the environment. Unlike traditional chemical pesticides, which can be toxic and harmful to the environment, these alternative pest control methods use natural ingredients that are derived from botanicals and are safer for both humans and the environment. This means that you can protect your home and family from pests without risking their health.
Another benefit of this eco-friendly pest control is that it is effective at controlling a wide range of pests, including common pests like ants, termites, and roaches. In the long run it is more of an affordable option because it is more sustainable and often requires less frequent treatment.
Pests are a nuisance and can be detrimental to both your home and your health. Protecting your family is of utmost importance, regardless of the pest control service you choose to use. Reach out to your local pest control company to receive the care you deserve.
Millipedes (“thousand feet”) are one of the most common pests found after rainstorms. These moisture loving creatures are usually tan or black in color with segmented bodies and dozens of legs. They have small antennae and large mandibles and are often mistaken for centipedes. Because they seek moisture and humid environments, they are most often found outside in your yard where they burrow and hide in small spaces. They can also be found indoors near patio doors, windows, and in basements. If they are found indoors it is usually because they have wandered inside by mistake.
Millipedes will eat plants and small insects. They usually eat decaying matter or plants that are already dead so they are generally harmless to healthy plants; they will, however, eat young seedlings. Millipedes don’t bite, sting, or transmit diseases to humans. They are considered by many to be beneficial to have around as they eat decaying matter and help control populations of smaller insects.
If you do feel the need to keep millipedes out of your home, there are several natural options you can try for both repelling and eliminating these pests. Here are a few of our favorites:
DIY millipede traps are pretty easy to make plus you don’t have to be there to check it! Put the piece of fruit inside the bottle so that it sits in the bottom. Grab a piece of vinyl tubing (about 6 inches in length), a plastic soda bottle, some caulk or tape, and a piece of ripe fruit. Try to get a piece of tubing that just fits snugly into the lip of the bottle. Slide the tubing into the bottle so that about 2 inches of tube is inside and seal it with the caulk or tape. Lean the bottle on its side, making sure that the tube doesn’t touch the edges of the bottle. Millipedes will crawl into the tube to get to the fruit as it starts to rot and not be able to crawl back out. You can place several of these traps anywhere you see millipede activity.
One of the easiest and quickest ways to get rid of millipedes is to manually remove them. Try not to just squish them with your foot as they will give off a foul odor similar to stinkbugs. You can use a broom and dustpan to sweep them up and dump them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them; or you can just vacuum them up with a vacuum cleaner or shop vac and dispose of them outside.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous earth is a crystalline powder substance that can be used for a variety of pests. The crystals in this natural product pierce the hard exoskeletons of pests, causing micropunctures all over their bodies. This then dehydrates and slowly kills the pests over time. DE can be sprinkled around room perimeters, under appliances, under door gaps, on sliding glass doors, around foundations, in houseplant soil, and under fences. DE is safe to use by and around humans.
Boric acid is similar to DE. It also cuts up the pests as they crawl across it, causing them to slowly dehydrate. It also upsets the digestive system of millipedes, causing it to work faster than diatomaceous earth. Boric acid should not be used in areas with kids or pets.
Essential oils are more effective as repellents rather than insecticides. Tea tree oil and peppermint oil are the two most common for use against millipedes. Essential oils should always be diluted with water before use. Apply the oil mixture around entry points like windowsills, door gaps, basements, vents, foundation cracks, and crawlspaces. You can also apply them outdoors in any areas millipedes may be, as long as it is shielded from rain.
Like essential oils, cayenne pepper works best as a repellent rather than an insecticide. Cayenne pepper also works for other pests besides millipedes. You can buy whole cayenne peppers and grind them yourself or buy the powder. Sprinkle the pepper in any areas where millipede activity is spotted. You can also sprinkle it around foundations and entry points to your home.
Like any pest, prevention is key to heading off infestations before they get out of hand. While the above methods are great for existing millipede problems, keeping them out of your house in the first place is the most natural remedy of all. Try these millipede prevention tips to help keep millipedes away.
Millipedes are attracted to moisture so keeping your home dry will help make it less attractive to them. In kitchens and bathrooms, wipe up any excess moisture from handwashing, dishes, etc with a towel. Use less water when possible and don’t turn faucets on full blast. Seal or cap any containers with liquid in them. Try to wash dishes all at once instead of throughout the day. In basements and garages, wipe up any excess moisture that accumulates. Try to clean up water spills immediately. Dry cars, boats, tools, and equipment outside. Store any wet equipment outdoors. Use a dehumidifier if necessary. Outside, clear out any clogged gutters or install gutter guards. Keep water away from your foundations. Fix any damaged drains, sloping tiles, and unlevel ground. Repair sprinkler systems. Practice good pool maintenance. Avoid overwatering your lawn and try to water early in the morning so the moisture has time to dry out before nightfall. Adjust your sprinklers to prevent pooling.
Remove any mulch, leaves, grass, hedge clippings, boards, firewood, boxes, stones, etc. from around foundations. If you can’t remove them, try to elevate them. Keep grass mowed and plants pruned. Don’t overfertilize your lawn. Secure your trash and compost. Keep your floors clean and dry (this eliminates both food and water sources for millipedes). Caulk any cracks or crevices in foundations and around wiring and plumbing. Make sure weatherstripping and thresholds are in good repair and fit tightly. Caulk around doors and windows and expansion joints where sidewalks, patios, sunrooms, etc. are next to foundations.
While millipedes aren’t harmful (and are even considered beneficial by some), they can be a nuisance if you find them in your home. If you have an issue with millipedes or any other pest, contact your local pest control company for a free evaluation and appropriate treatment plan.
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Are you the type of person who freaks out the instant that they spot a yellow and black winged creature nearby? If so, maybe you should take a second glance before you run screaming back into the house. That yellow and black creature flying amongst your freshly planted to roses may very well be a flower fly! However, they want you and other predators to think that they are wasps or bees so that they can feast in peace.
Members of the Insect Family Syrphidae
Flower flies, also known as hoverflies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae. They get their name from their main source of nutrients – flowers! They, much like bees, feed mainly on nectar and pollen. Their larvae, however, feed of a wide range of foods including other pests. This may seem like it will cause potential pest problems, but in actuality, they are considered natural pest control (much the green products of Northwest Exterminating), in that they prey on insects such as aphids, which cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops globally. Additionally, adult aphids are important to the plant pollinating process.
If you would like to the help of flower flies to aid you in pest control, then you should look to companion plants such as buckwheat, chamomile or parsley to attract them. If, however, you’d like a stronger pest control force to protect your home and lawn, then Northwest Exterminating offers all the resources you need.