At Cedarcide, we offer several pest-control solutions for both indoor and outdoor use. From concentrates to ready-to-use formulas, from personal & pet use to lawn & garden care, we have what you need to keep your home, yard and animals free of pests.
But which products are right for you? To make your shopping experience easier, we’re launching a series of blog posts to help you better understand the differences between our most popular formulas. Today we’re talking about our two all natural pet & livestock solutions: Vet’s Choice and D.A.S.
Vet’s Choice is an extra strength, all natural and highly versatile concentrate designed to control insects and parasites commonly found on pets and livestock. Vet’s Choice eliminates and repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies, mites, gnats, ear mites and dozens of other biting insects. Vet’s Choice can be mixed with water for use as a bath, spray or dip. Vet’s Choice can be used in stables, barns and kennels to reduce flying insects, or used as a treatment for mange, hot spots and other animal skin disorders.
- Dilute Vet’s Choice with warm/hot water; shake to mix until milky white
- For Direct Spray: Add 4 oz. of Vet’s Choice per 1 gallon of water
- For A Bath: Add 2 oz. per 1 gallon of water
- For A Dip 1:200 ratio of Vet’s Choice to water
What is D.A.S?
DAS (Domestic Animal Spray) is an all natural and highly versatile solution designed to control insects and parasites commonly found on pets and livestock—think of it as a ready-to-use version of Vet’s Choice. Like Vet’s Choice, DAS is ideal for use in stables, barns and kennels to reduce flying insect populations, and can be used as a bath, spray or dip. DAS eliminates and repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies, mites, gnats, ear mites and dozens of other biting insects; it can also be used to treat mange, hot spots and other animal skin disorders.
To use: DAS works best when animals are thoroughly wetted with the product and then allowed to air dry. Apply directly to your animal’s skin or simply add it to their bath for lasting protection against pests. For additional protection and prevention, dilute DAS with water at a 3:1 ratio and apply to your pets’ bedding using a spray bottle.
How Are They Different?
Who Should Buy Vet’s Choice?
Those treating many animals—such as in agricultural use or for facilities like animal rescues—should choose Vet’s Choice because it’s concentrated, meaning it will last longer than the same amount of DAS. Vet’s Choice is also more customizable, allowing customers to dilute the solution to whatever concentration they prefer.
Who Should Buy DAS?
Those looking for a quick and convenient solution to protect pets or livestock from biting insects. While Vet’s Choice will last longer because it’s concentrated, DAS is easier to use, with less need to dilute.
We love animals here at Cedarcide. And not just common pets like dogs, cats and horses—we love them all. In fact, protecting animals and the environment from the toxic effects of traditional pesticides is a big part of what inspires us to do what we do.
Because many of our customers are bird owners, or use our products for agricultural reasons, we’re sometimes asked, “Is cedar oil toxic to birds?” The answer is yes—but it’s a little complicated. While we have customers who use our products to treat outdoor chicken coops and cages, our products are not formulated for birds, and therefore we suggest you do not use them on or for birds. When applied directly or otherwise used incorrectly, cedar oil can be toxic, even deadly to birds.
Cedar Oil And Birds
Cedar bedding and cedar oil are known to irritate birds’ delicate respiratory systems, and at high doses, can actually kill them. Birds are especially vulnerable to strong scents—like those found in essential oils, candles, and manufactured fragrances. Phenols, which are present in many of these strong-smelling items, are often the culprit: phenols are toxic to several small animals such as cats and birds. If you fear your bird may have been exposed to toxic fumes, look for the common signs of disease and illness in birds. For a full a list of woods toxic to birds, click here.
How Is Cedarcide Cedar Oil Different?
Firstly, Cedarcide cedar oil never contains phenols or phenolic compounds. Secondly, because we use only the highest quality cedar oil sourced from only pet-safe cedar trees (Juniperus ashei, to be specific), our products are always all natural and non-toxic. Using a multi-step filtration process, our cedar oil is purified of all unnecessary contaminants and other potentially harmful ingredients. However, as mentioned before, cedar-based products should never be used directly on birds under any circumstance.
Pest Control For Birds
Even though Cedarcide products aren’t suitable for birds, there are several other natural options for protecting your pet birds or chickens from biting insects and parasites. From diatomaceous earth and bug-repelling plants, to apple cider vinegar and natural cleaning practices, there are many non-toxic and eco-friendly ways to reduce the insect populations that threaten your avian friends. For more info on natural pest control for birds, check out the following resources:
When it comes to weed control, the world’s on edge. Monsanto—producer of the most financially successful weed-killer on the planet, Roundup—is currently locked in a mess of legal battles. Rumor and science have it that Roundup’s active ingredient, Glyphosate, causes cancer. As the most widely used herbicide on the planet—on average, a pound of Roundup is used on every acre of cropland in the U.S., half a pound on every acre of cropland worldwide—these findings should alarm all of us.
This is yet another reminder why it’s important to seek out non-toxic alternatives to chemical-based herbicides and pesticides. The truth is when it comes to weeds, you can go natural and still get the results you’re looking for. Whereas traditional weed-killers endanger our soil, our water, family and pets, the following chemical-free alternatives threaten only one organism: Weeds!
Sodium makes soil less hospitable to dandelions and other common weeds. To prevent weeds and other unwanted grasses from growing, use baking soda. Apply the baking soda at roughly 1 teaspoon per individual weed plant, being sure to cover the entire plant—including stem, leaves and flowers. Baking soda can also be applied by sweeping it into sidewalk cracks and other common problem areas. Tip: be careful and precise when using baking soda to eliminate weeds, as the sodium can also kill surrounding plant life.
Salt works the same way baking soda does: sodium helps kill and prevent weed growth. Mix a solution of 1 cup salt to 2 cups water, and apply it to any undesirable plant growth using a spray bottle. This solution can also be boiled and then applied for added weed-killing power. Caution: never use more salt than necessary, as considerable salting of soil can render it unhealthy.
Have some extra vodka lying around? If so, you also have a free DIY weed-eliminator. Mix 1 oz. of vodka with 2 cups of water and a few drops of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture in the heat of the day, thoroughly coating the weeds’ leaves. This solution works by breaking down the weeds’ natural waxy coat, making them vulnerable to sun damage and dehydration. Note: this method does not work for weeds growing in shade.
The obvious tried-and-true method of pulling weeds by hand is still one of the best. This approach is easiest when the soil is soft and wet, like just after a light rainfall. For detailed instructions on how to properly pull weeds, click here.
Vinegar is a fast and highly effective natural weed-killer. While both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar will work, agricultural-strength vinegar is the most convenient and effective option. Using a spray bottle, thoroughly soak both the foliage and lower stem of each weed plant. Apply with caution, as vinegar kills most types of plant life, not just weeds. If it rains shortly after application, you may need to reapply once the soil has dried out again.
Corn Gluten Meal
While corn gluten meal—a finely ground byproduct of the corn milling process—won’t kill existing weeds, it’s a miracle solution for preventing weed growth. In effect, corn gluten meal works by preventing weed seeds from germinating, and ultimately sprouting. Best of all, corn gluten meal doubles as a nutrient-rich plant food.
When boiled, basic household tap water transforms into a weed-destroying formula. Simply pour the boiling water anywhere you’re experiencing weed troubles (careful—boiling water can also kill surrounding plant life if not applied directly to the weeds alone). Please exercise extreme caution when using this approach.
As with other plants, weeds cannot grow without sunlight. Kill weeds by denying them of this essential element. Using biodegradable newspapers (most are), completely cover the weeds and then thoroughly coat the newspaper-covered weeds with a two-inch-thick bed of mulch. Note: any grass or plants similarly covered will likely die as well, so apply carefully.
Toxic, unnatural oils like motor oil are a big no-no, but new or used vegetable oil is both eco-safe and effective at killing weeds. Entirely coat unwanted weeds by carefully pouring vegetable oil on both foliage and stem. The weeds will be gone in no time.
Like all living organisms, weeds have to compete for limited resources to survive (sunlight, soil, water, etc). Researchers at Cornell University found that certain ground-covering plants are especially good at robbing weeds of these necessary resources. Install the following plants to help keep weeds out of your garden:
- Emerald blue moss phlox
- Thriller lady’s mantle
- Walker’s low catmint
- Golden fleece dwarf goldenrod
- Albiflorus creeping thyme
- Herman’s pride false lamium
- Majestic Lilyturf
Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!
Cats are special to us here at Cedarcide. They work alongside us all day, everyday—sleeping in our laps, lounging on our desks, watching over us as we hand-bottle & package your orders. (We’re now going to shamelessly show off our office cats, because who doesn’t keep 500+ pet pictures on their phones for these exact opportunities, right?)
C1 and C2 doing their weekly peanut inspections.
(Fun fact: We use pet safe, biodegradable peanuts that are made from corn starch.)
“I think maybe I can fit in here like dis.” -C2
Conan enjoying a mid day cat nap.
OK, enough pet pictures (for now.)
Occasionally we’re asked, “Is cedar oil toxic to cats?” The short answer is No. We wouldn’t let our furry friends hang around—much less use—our products if they were toxic or otherwise unsafe for cats. But there’s more to be said about the relationship between cedar oil and cats. Let us explain.
Cedar Oil And Cats
Cats—being highly sensitive to both odors and many essential oils—can suffer adverse side effects from improperly formulated cedar oil. Phenols, which are naturally present in several essential oils, can be outright fatal to cats, especially smaller individuals such as kittens. An inability to metabolize this common ingredient is what renders some types of cedar oil harmful to cats. Furthermore, some species of cedar—like Western red cedar—are naturally toxic to both pets and people, and should never be used in topical pet products.
How Is Cedarcide Cedar Oil Different?
Firstly, Cedarcide cedar oil never contains any phenols or phenolic compounds. Secondly, because we use only the highest quality cedar oil sourced from only pet-safe cedar trees (Juniperus ashei, to be specific), our products are always non-toxic, all natural, and safe for pets. Using a multi-step filtration process, our cedar oil is purified of all unnecessary contaminants—including any potentially harmful ingredients like phenols. However, as with any topical pet product, you should test your cat for possible sensitivity or allergy to cedar oil with a small first application.
How To Use Cedarcide For Cats
Tips for Using Cedarcide Original On Cats
Because cats like to lick their fur, and because they’re also extremely sensitive to scents, it’s best to test for possible sensitivity with a light initial application. While Cedarcide Original is non-toxic and cat-safe, on rare occasions smaller cats and kittens have found the natural cedar scent of Cedarcide Original too strong for their liking.
If like most cats, your furry friend takes no issue with Cedarcide Original, apply the formula by lightly misting your hands and massaging the spray into your cat’s coat. Be sure to apply Cedarcide Original all over—including armpits, in between toes, and around the ears and tail. Using Cedarcide Original in this way will not only kill any hidden pests, it will also provide protection against additional fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Cedarcide Flea + Tick Brush
The Cedarcide Flea + Tick Brush is the safest, easiest and most effective way to protect your cat from fleas, ticks and other biting insects. Designed to dispense Cedarcide Original insect repellent directly to your pet’s skin, the Flea + Tick Brush takes the mess out of keeping your cat safe from harmful pests. The moisturizing quality of Cedarcide Original will also help with tangles and matting.
Our pet shampoo is a favorite among cat owners. Simply use it as you would any other pet shampoo—It will leave your cat with a shiny, clean and great smelling coat.
We love horses here at Cedarcide. So much so, in fact, we’ve rescued 7 of them from kill pens as part of the Cedarcide Horse Rescue. The strength, grace and kindness of these majestic animals is a source of inspiration for us every day!
Occasionally we’re asked: “Is Cedarwood oil toxic to horses?” The short answer is No—when properly formulated and properly used, cedarwood oil is not toxic to horses. But there’s more to be said on the topic. Let us explain.
Cedarwood Oil And Horses
It’s important to note that you should never use full-strength essential oils directly on your horse’s coat—that includes cedarwood oil. Undiluted essential oils can be irritating to horses’ skin, and “hot” essential oils—which includes cassia, cinnamon bark, clove, hyssop, lemongrass, ocotea, oregano, and thyme—can actually cause mild burns and rashes at high doses. When it comes to cedarwood oil specifically, some species of cedar—like Western red cedar and white cedar for example—are naturally toxic and irritating, and should never be used in topical horse products.
Full a full list of plants toxic to horses, click here.
How is Cedarcide Cedarwood Oil Different?
Firstly, Cedarcide products never contain toxic species of cedar. Secondly, because we only use the highest quality cedarwood oil sourced from pet-safe cedar trees (Juniperus ashei, to be specific), our products are always non-toxic, naturally sourced, and safe for horses. Using a multi-step filtration process, our cedarwood oil is purified of all unnecessary contaminants and other potentially harmful ingredients. However, as with any topical product, we suggest testing your horse for possible sensitivity or allergy to cedarwood oil with a light initial application.
How to Use Cedarcide For Horses
We offer four products for horses and horse owners: Our naturally sourced insect spray, Cedarcide Original, our extra strength insect spray, Tickshield, our concentrated pest control bathing solution, Vet’s Choice, and a ready-to-use formula called Domestic Animal Spray, D.A.S.
Tips for Using Cedarcide Original and Tickshield on Horses
We’ve found that some horses dislike being sprayed. For whatever reason, the spraying or spritzing action can occasionally frighten some horses. For this reason we recommend approaching your first application of Cedarcide Original or Tickshield with caution. If you find your horse dislikes being sprayed, simply apply your chosen solution by misting your hands and massaging the spray into their coat.
If the spraying action does not bother your horse, apply Cedarcide Original or its extra strength counterpart, Tickshield, by misting your horse all over—including armpits, underbelly, and around the ears and tail. Do not spray your horse’s face. Instead, spray the solution into your palms, and apply it to the face using your hands. Regularly treating your horses with Cedarcide Original or Tickshield will kill and provide protection against additional ticks, mosquitoes, flies, mites, gnats, ear mites and other biting insects.
Tips for Using Vet’s Choice on Horses
Vet’s Choice is an extra strength and highly versatile concentrate designed to control insects and parasites commonly found on pets and livestock. Vet’s Choice kill and repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, mites and other biting insects. Vet’s Choice can be mixed with water for use as a bath, spray or dip. It can also be used in stables and barns to reduce flying insects, or used as a treatment for mange and several other common skin disorders.
If you plan to spray your horse directly, use 4 oz. of Vet’s Choice per each gallon of water. For a bath, we suggest mixing 2 oz. of Vet’s Choice per each gallon of water. For a dip, use a 1:200 ratio of Vet’s Choice to water.
Tips for Using D.A.S. for Horses
D.A.S. (Domestic Animal Spray) is a ready-to-use and highly versatile solution designed to control insects and parasites commonly found on pets and livestock (think of it as a pre-diluted version of Vet’s Choice.) Like Vet’s Choice, D.A.S. can be used as a bath, spray or dip, but with D.A.S. there’s no need to dilute beforehand. D.A.S. can be used in stable misting systems to reduce flying insects. It can also be used to treat mange and other common skin disorders.
Tip: D.A.S. works best when animals are thoroughly wetted with the product and allowed to air dry.
Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!
What Are Chiggers and What Do They Look Like?
Red bugs, mower’s mites, berry bugs, harvest bugs, chiggers—the arachnids scientifically known as trombiculidae mites go by many names. Ranging in size from 0.3mm to 0.4mm (1/60 of an inch), chiggers are nearly microscopic organisms known for their extremely itchy “bites.” Most active during spring, summer and fall, chiggers have four life stages: egg, larvae, nymph and adult. But only the larval stage individuals—in other words, the babies—are parasitic.
Found in moist vegetation worldwide (like grassy lawns, bushes and forests), these red-orange mites attach themselves to a host—a reptile, rabbit, insect, or human for example—in order to feed on their skin. Contrary to popular belief, chiggers do not bite or burrow into their hosts; instead, they inject digestive enzymes into their host’s skin in order to create a hole from which they can feed. After sucking up this liquified skin meal, the baby chigger drops to the ground, where it matures into its next life stage.
What Do Chigger “Bites” Look Like?
Appearing 6-48 hours after the chigger has fed, chigger “bites” consist of red bumps infamous for their intense itchiness. These irritating lesions usually occur in clusters in or around areas where skin and clothing are in close proximity—like the waist, ankles, armpits, crotch-area and back. While the first several days are the worst, these bumps can persist for weeks, even months in a milder form.
How Do You Prevent Chigger “Bites?”
Like with mosquitos and ticks, you need to use a repellent when venturing into chigger territory. Because of the toxicity of traditional bug sprays, we recommend using only non-toxic pesticides & repellents. For the sake of your pet’s well-being, treat them to repel chiggers, too. For additional protection, we recommend wearing long clothing when walking in suspected chigger areas, being sure to tuck pants into socks, and shirt into pants. After returning from these areas, bathe immediately in warm, soapy water. All possibly infested clothing should be promptly washed in warm/hot water, too.
How Do You Get Chiggers?
This a two part question: (1) How does one get bitten by chiggers? And (2) How do chiggers get into our lawns. Walking through a wooded area, tall grass or weeds, or on lawns not treated with pesticides, is how most people pick up their first chigger “bites”. This is also a common way chigger populations are introduced into our yards, as chiggers readily hitch a ride on our clothing only to be dropped somewhere near our homes. Other common hosts such as rodents, turtles, small birds, and more also contribute to the spread of chiggers—which is why a regular outdoor pest-control regimen is encouraged during the warmer seasons.
What To Do If You Have Chiggers
If you fear chiggers have invaded your lawn & garden, or if you want to prevent them from doing so in the first place, you’ll need to treat your lawn with an naturally sourced outdoor pest control solution. In the heavy chigger months between spring and fall, we recommend treating your entire yard at least once per month to help keep your home and lawn chigger-free.
Thoughts, suggestions, have your own tips to add? Comment below or head over to our Facebook page to let us know what you think!
Spiders are everywhere. A recent study found that on average each square meter on our planet contains approximately 130 spiders. Which means if you’re reading this in a cubicle or kitchen nook roughly the size of a mattress, you’re being watched by about 1,040 beady, spider eyes! Their vast numbers are shocking, but nothing compares to spiders’ appetites. New research found that spiders consume upwards of 880 million tons of prey each year; by comparison all 7 billion humans on earth consume just 400 million tons of meat and fish combined. In fact, the amount of meat spiders consume each year outweighs the total biomass of all humans on our planet—in other words, spiders could, theoretically, consume every human on earth in just one year.
The numbers are shocking, but in truth, spiders are all but harmless to humans. Without question, our lives would be overrun with insects were it not for the spider, nature’s ruthlessly efficient exterminator. It’s for this reason that spiders are considered beneficial. And unless you’re absolutely terrified by them—or commonly seeing venomous individuals like black widows or brown recluses—we encourage you to leave them at their work. If you fall into the above category, though, we’ve got you covered. Here’s 10 all natural ways to get rid of spiders.
Clean & Remove Clutter From Your Home
Clutter and disorganization are a spider’s best friend, giving them ample space to hide and hunt. Consistently vacuuming, dusting, wiping down countertops, and de-cluttering your house will deter both spiders and their natural insect prey. When organizing your home, use sealable plastic containers instead of items like cardboard boxes, which do not adequately seal, providing spiders with yet another place to set up camp.
Clean & Remove Clutter From Your Yard
Brush, stacked wood, unused flowerpots, gardening equipment—spiders will make a home out of any outdoor clutter. Unkempt shrubbery, trees, and overgrown gardens also make ideal homes. Removing unnecessary clutter and keeping the lawn trim will reduce your spider population.
Seal Your Home
Even the smallest openings are a welcome mat to spiders. Windows, baseboards, doorways, light-switches, outlets, fixtures, wall & foundation cracks, chimneys, vents—all are potential spider entrances. Seal your home by remedying these cracks and openings using caulk—don’t forget to check basements and attics, too. The same process should be repeated outdoors as well, paying close attention to the roof and any foundation/wall cracks & holes. Screens or seals should be used to ensure windows, vents, chimneys, and doorways always remain firmly shut.
Turn Off The Lights
Traditional outdoor lights are irresistible to most insects, which makes them a dinner bell for spiders. Switching off these lights at night can do wonders for reducing spider populations. Indoor lights whose glow reaches outside are also a liability. For the former, consider trading your bulbs for yellow sodium vapor lights (which do not attract insects). For the latter, plan on installing additional window dressing to limit indoor lights from bleeding outdoors.
Get Rid of ALL the Bugs—Including Spiders
The most effective method for deterring spiders is to remove their food source—this entails adopting a general pest and insect control regimen, both inside and outside your home.
Traditional pesticides endanger your family, your pets and the environment. We recommend using only natural pesticides instead. For outside: Using a non-toxic, plant-safe pesticide, thoroughly spray your entire yard, including all shrubbery, gardens, bases of trees, and anywhere else insects and spiders might be hiding. We advise spraying front, back and side yards all in one session. To prevent pests from re-entering your yard, carefully spray along fence lines and foundations to create a repellent perimeter around your home and lawn. Repeat this process weekly—or as needed—until you no longer see spider activity.
For indoors: Using a non-toxic, non-staining natural pesticide/repellent, treat doorways, windowsills, baseboards and other suspected spider entry points. Continue treating these areas until your spider problems are resolved.
DIY Vinegar Spray
Spiders can’t stand vinegar—in fact, a direct spray is often fatal. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water to make a safe, all natural spider repellent. Using a spray bottle, apply this solution to doorways, window sills, known spider hangouts, and other possible entry points once a week until your spider problem’s resolved.
DIY Mint-Based Repellent
Spiders actively avoid the strong smell of peppermint, making it an effective solution for spider control. 5-10 drops of peppermint oil in 16 ounces of water will give you a handy spider repellent you can use throughout the home. As with the aforementioned vinegar, spray this solution in and around possible entry points and spider problem areas.
Citrus oils and peels are a highly effective method for repelling spiders. With a lemon oil spray or actual citrus fruit peels, you can deter spiders from entering your home. Place fresh peels skin-side-down along window sills and other spider problem areas, such as bookshelves, cabinetry and shelving. (Tip: citrus peels can also be used in your garden to limit spider activity).
Much like citrus, peppermint, and vinegar, cedar is a natural spider deterrent. Cedar chips/shavings can be broadcast throughout your lawn and garden to repel outdoor spiders. For indoor issues, apply cedar chips along common spider problem areas such as windowsills, near doorways, shelving, and closets.
For spider control, this chalky natural pesticide does double duty—killing and repelling not only spiders, but also spider-attracting insects. DE is highly abrasive, containing nearly microscopic edges which injure bugs that come in contact with it. Placing DE along spider problem areas and potential entry points will keep spiders at a distance.
Of all the pests people hate to see in their homes, cockroaches are right at the very top—and for good reason. While they don’t regularly bite or sting like other household pests—such as bed bugs, ants or fleas—roaches can be extremely bad for your health. In addition to worsening symptoms in asthma sufferers, roaches are known to carry over 50 different pathogens, including pneumonia, meningitis, salmonella, staphylococcus (staph infection) and streptococcus (strep throat). In other words, if you have roaches, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Roaches, however, can be very difficult to eliminate. It’s no accident they’ve existed for over 300 million years, predating even dinosaurs. Their unique ability to hide and to live off nearly any food source—from feces to glue to other dead roaches—has made roaches one of our planet’s most durable organisms. If you have a roach infestation, don’t worry, there’s no reason to panic. With patience, consistent effort and a little know-how, you can send these disgusting insects packing. Here’s 10 ways to get rid of roaches naturally
Starve Them With Cleanliness
The smallest crumbs and spills can feed a roach for weeks, even months. Cleanliness needs to be a top priority. Floors, counter tops, flooring, appliances, cabinetry, sinks, dishes, back splashes—your entire house needs to be clean and free of food debris at all times (don’t forget to clean behind appliances!). We find natural disinfecting wipes help speed up the cleaning process.
Remove Clutter—Both Inside and Outside
Roaches use clutter—especially stacks of paper—to both hide and breed. Every instance of clutter is a roach nest just waiting to happen. If you’re experiencing a roach infestation, you need to keep your home as clean and free of clutter as possible. As far as outside, wood piles, brush, yard clippings, moist mulch, lawn equipment and furniture are all possible roach homes, and should also be removed.
Seal Up Your Food
Leaving unsealed food out in the open is an easy way to invite roaches over for a meal. From leftovers to dry items like cereal, all the food in your home needs to be sealed. If you have an active roach infestation, this includes unexpected things like pet food and fruit bowls, too. Ziplock bags work, but hard plastic Tupperware-like containers are even better. Make sure the outside of your sealed containers are free of sticky residues and food debris, too. And always thoroughly wash and rinse bottles and cans before recycling them—roaches are attracted to any residual sugar, no matter how small the amount.
Remove Their Water Source
While roaches can sometimes go weeks to months without food, they can go only a few days without water. A single drop of water can sustain a roach for several days. So, successfully ridding your home of excess moisture is essential to eliminating a roach infestation. Never let water sit for prolonged periods of time, such as in sinks, potted plants, and pet dishes.
It’s also important to address the following areas of concern: leaking plumbing, sinks, bathtubs, basements, crawl spaces, A/C units, appliance drip trays, and attics. In the case of severe infestations, you might need to wipe down your shower and sinks regularly to avoid even the smallest sources of moisture (damp rags, towels and sponges should not be left out, either).
Take Out The Trash Daily
Trash cans are a buffet for roaches. To prevent and repel these pests, you’ll need to take out the trash daily. Trashcans should also remain firmly sealed at all times, and be cleaned regularly to limit food debris and other residues.
Seal Your Home
While necessary, weatherstripping windows and doors only goes so far. When it comes to roaches, you have to be diligent, and go even further—no crack, crevice or hole can go unsealed. In this regard, caulk is your best friend.
Indoors: fill any cracks/holes in cabinets, pantries, counter tops, piping, walls, ceilings, attics, crawl spaces, basements, under sinks, floorboards, and anywhere else roaches could enter your home. Outside: fill any cracks in foundations, roofing, and the exterior walls of your home. It’s advisable to use plugs or stoppers to seal drains, sinks and bathtubs when not in use, too.
Make a Natural Homemade Repellent
A mixture of 30% peppermint oil to 70% water makes for a natural, non-toxic indoor roach repellent. Spray floors, counter tops, cabinets, window sills, doorways, and other problem areas to deter roaches. Cedar oil works, too.
Have catnip lying around? If so, you’re in luck: catnip is another natural roach repellent. In 1999, Researchers at Iowa State University discovered that catnip—specifically a chemical in catnip called nepetalactone—successfully repels roaches.
A DIY Roach Trap
There are several easy but highly effective roach traps you can make at home. They all work on the same basic premise: (1) bait the bottom of a container (like a bottle) with something that will attract roaches (like sugar, fruit or bread), and (2) make sure to build the trap in such a way that roaches can easily enter the container, but not escape. This last feature can be done by lining the walls of the container with something slippery like petroleum jelly, or by creating a funnel at the top of the container. Place these traps in high traffic roach areas and leave them overnight. Continue this approach until you no longer capture additional roaches.
Natural, non-toxic pesticides are the easiest and most effective solution for eliminating and preventing roach infestations. Because roaches often enter your home from your yard, it’s important to treat both inside and outside your house. We recommend using Cedarcide Original for indoor use—as both a spot killer and a repellent—and PCO Choice concentrate or ready-to-use Yardsafe for outdoor use.
Watch this video to learn how to properly treat your lawn with PCO Choice
DIY Roach Bait
Many experts advocate using a boric acid mixture to bait and kill roaches. While this approach is effective, it also poses health risks to pets and children. To avoid these risks, we advise using a 50/50 natural mixture of baking soda and sugar. Thoroughly mix the two ingredients and sprinkle the bait around roach problem areas and suspected entrance points—like windowsills, baseboards and doorways. Continue using this method until your roach infestation disappears.
Scorpions are one of our planet’s great survivors. From scorching temperatures to below-freezing conditions, scorpions can thrive in almost any environment. Having existed for over 400 million years, there are now over 1,700 species of scorpion—these predatory arachnids can be found on every continent in the world except for Antarctica. In the U.S., scorpions are mostly limited to the Southwest, such as Arizona, Texas, California and New Mexico. Unfortunately for those living in these areas, scorpions can be difficult to eliminate. In fact, some scorpions can go anywhere from six to twelve months without food, and because they’re nocturnal and active almost exclusively at night, they can be hard to properly control.
The good news, however, is that scorpions are not nearly as dangerous as people think, with most encounters being no more harmful than a bee or wasp sting. The better news is that by taking preventative measures and using various natural methods, a scorpion problem can be prevented or outright solved. Follows these 8 simple guidelines to control scorpions naturally.
Get Rid of ALL the Bugs
The first and most crucial step to controlling scorpions is general pest and insect control. By removing the scorpions’ food source, you can send these venomous arachnids packing.
When it comes to scorpions, we advise creating a repellent barrier around both your house and yard using a naturally sourced outdoor pesticide. Be sure to spray around your home’s foundation and along fence lines (this treatment should be done twice a month until the problem is resolved). Natural indoor pesticides can be used to kill individuals that have found their way into the home, and as a preventative measure to treat doorways, windowsills and baseboards.
Maintain Your Yard
Keeping a clean and well-organized yard will go along way toward safeguarding your home against scorpions. Vulnerable to dehydration—and therefore extreme heat and sun exposure—scorpions require shady, cool places to hide during the daytime before emerging to hunt at night. Make sure to do the following:
- Keep bushes and small trees landscaped. Do not allow them to overgrow and touch the outside walls of your home—scorpions use these as bridges to enter through windows or other small openings.
- Keep grass & other vegetation short and trim.
- De-clutter your yard, removing all unnecessary items: including brush, debris, decorative rocks, woodpiles, lawn equipment, etc.
Maintain Your Home
Just as crucial as de-cluttering your yard is keeping your home clean and organized. Clean—because crumbs attract bugs which in turn attract predators like scorpions. Organized—because scorpions will use everything from shoes to boxes to piles of clothing to hide. Traditionally cluttered spaces like closets and underneath beds will require attention, too.
Seal Your Home
Scorpions require openings no bigger than a credit card to enter your home. Windows, baseboards, doorways, light-switches, outlets, fixtures, wall & foundation cracks, and even ceiling fans are all potential scorpion entrances. Seal your home by remedying these cracks and openings using caulk (don’t forget to check basements and attics, too!). The same process should be repeated outdoors as well, paying close attention to the roof and any foundation/wall cracks & holes. Screens or seals should be used to ensure windows and doorways remain firmly shut, too.
Eliminate All Excess Moisture
Scorpions are prone to moisture loss and usually enter homes as a way to find water or cool down. Whether inside or outside your home, it’s important to remove puddles, standing water, and any other sources of moisture. Plumbing, basements and crawl spaces should also be kept dry and free of leaks.
Those sticky traps used to catch mice and small rats can be re-purposed as scorpion traps. Place them along common entryways, near possible water sources, and in other dark, cool spaces like closets and underneath furniture. Caution: some sticky traps contain synthetic pesticides and other toxins; for the safety of your pets and family, be sure to only purchase the non-toxic versions.
DIY Burlap Trap
A moistened burlap sack makes for an effective scorpion trap. Simply wet the sack and place it in scorpion trouble areas like basements, attics or just outside your home. Leave the bag opened and in place overnight and check it in the morning (be extremely careful when checking both inside and underneath the bag—scorpions pack a nasty sting!). Repeat this process until you no longer see scorpions in or around your home & lawn.
Lavender, cinnamon, peppermint and cedar are all essential oils said to deter scorpions. These can be diluted with a carrier oil (or smaller amounts of water) and sprayed along scorpion problem areas and entry points—such as baseboards, windowsills, doorways, and around the perimeter of your home.