Ask Our Experts

Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.

Add to My MSN

Nontoxic Pest Control

11/5/2010 4:43:11 PM

Tags: pest control, nontoxic

Nontoxic Spider ControlHelp! I’m terrified of spiders and my house is full of them, but I don’t want to call an exterminator. Is there a nontoxic way to get rid of them? 

Yes, you can reduce the number of spiders in your home by dusting crevices, corners and the spaces under beds and furniture with diatomaceous earth (DE) — a natural mineral dust with tiny, sharp particles. When spiders come into contact with these particles, they dry out and die within days. In addition to spiders, you can use DE to control other crawling insects that come inside your house, such as roaches, carpenter ants and even bedbugs, which are a growing concern for many people. Diatomaceous earth is most effective on pests that are under constant moisture stress, which is the typical life situation of most house spiders and insects that wander in from outdoors. The idea is to spread a light layer of the dust in places where spiders or other insects are likely to walk or crawl. As long as it remains dry, DE will be effective indefinitely. You can find diatomaceous earth at stores that sell organic pest control products. (Check out Organic Pest Control and Garden Products Finder for help locating a mail-order source.) Look for a product that says it is listed with the Organic Materials Review Institute, an organization that reviews products to ensure they comply with national organic standards. Some products come in a bottle designed to puff the dust into cracks and corners, or you can buy a small, handheld puffer.

Barbara Pleasant, contributing editor

Photo by IStockPhoto 



Related Content

Stenciling: An Inexpensive Decorating Method

Create a custom room in your home and express your creativity by decorating with stencils.

Solar Dehydrating Tomatoes, Step-by-Step

If you've been wondering how to dehrydrate tomatoes, look no further! We've compiled step-by-step in...

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite: Tips for Prevention and Eradication

“Bed bugs” are small nocturnal insects that feed on blood. Here are some tips for keeping them out o...

Can You Help Solve the Most Challenging Garden Pest Problems?

Help our readers solve garden pest problems without resorting to the use of chemical pesticides.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

hermiliesmith
2/19/2014 1:31:37 AM
Thanks for this informative news which helps me out for controlling the pests from my house and this will deliver fresh , clean and healthy environment. The techniques of http://www.safewaypestcontrol.com.au will freshen ups the atmosphere.

Bob Tea
9/17/2013 2:26:29 AM
thank you for this article, i have really enjoyed reading this and i will be returning in the future to find out more about http://www.pest-controller.co.uk/Wasp_Nest_Removal/

George
1/7/2011 7:57:17 AM
that's all good but I live where most of the winter is wet or snow covered. so in the winter time it wouldn't work for me. Another thing I have recently discovered for out side pest and last for quite a while even when wet... red pepper flakes. I bought a whole big bag, like the size of a small flour bag at local stores, and planned to use it for some Gen Cho chicken i was gonna make and ended up not making it. anyways I was in the process of cleaning out the cabinets and the wife said she heard a small field mouse in our upstairs walls the other day. So it got warm for a few days and we hadn't heard anything. So, i took the red pepper flakes outside and sprinkled them all around the house. Not a single thing has been in since then. no rabbits ( last year had one die under house peee ewwww) no field mice, no anything. I am not sure if the smell or the flavor or the heat from them bothers them , but I will be using them from now on at the end of every summer!!

bdaniel7
11/12/2010 10:00:02 AM
What about the possibility that the "dust with tiny, sharp particles" might be inhaled by the people?







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.